We don’t even need to ask. If your car is more than a few years old, we know it’s got some door-dings. Years of grocery store parking lots and neighborhood games of catch have not been easy on the once pristine exterior of your car. Just to be clear, the best way to remove a dent is through professional repair – we just know that’s not always ideal. If you can’t get your car to a professional, here are a few ways to take care of the dent yourself.
1. The plunger method
Crude, but effective. The suction from a plunger can be used to pull a dent back to its original position. First, get the plunger and the car wet. Next, using a cup plunger (which is different from a toilet plunger), place the suction cup directly on the dent, push in carefully, and then pull out with some force. You’re trying to “pop” the dent back out. Just remember not to push with too much force, or you may end up denting the car worse. Having trouble? Allow “Plunger Man” to guide you:
2. Plastic body and boiling water
This method works best for bumpers of plastic car bodies. Since you’re dealing with hot water in this method, we’d recommend using a hot-glove of some kind to protect your hand. Your first step is to boil a pot of water. Once the water is boiling, take it out to your car and slowly pour it on the dented plastic. Quickly reach behind the bumper and carefully push the dent back into the correct position. You can also use this method with a hairdryer in place of the hot water. Here’s a video showing the magic in action.
3. Hairdryer and compressed air
This method is also most effective for small dents on plastic car bodies. First, heat the dented area up with a hairdryer for about 5 minutes. Next, take a can of compressed air, turn it upside down, and start spraying it onto the dent. The warm dent will start to cool rapidly, contracting the plastic and if you’re lucky, causing it to pop back into place. Here’s a video showing how it’s done. We recommend you watch, because the reaction to this method working is priceless.
Those are the best 3 methods we know for DIY dent repair. Just remember that they all come with the risk of chipping your paint (which was probably damaged by the original dent), and your dent may be too severe for any of these to work. If you want to have a dent fixed correctly, you’ll need to bring it to a professional – like the ones who work in the Leith Volkswagen of Cary service center.
Good luck with your DIY repair, and be sure to call or visit us if you need any extra help!