While many try their best to avoid them, the appearance of a car door dent can sometimes be unavoidable. A dented car door can seem like an expensive thing to fix, with an array of headaches that oftentimes make ignoring the problem the easiest solution. Though, it doesn’t have to be this way. Restoring the appearance of your vehicle can be a relatively painless process, with several options for repair at your disposal.
1. Locate and Identify the Dent
The location of the dent and the extent of the damage done can directly affect which repair method is best suited to the problem. If your dent is shallow, shows no paint damage and is a reasonable distance from a crease or panel edge, paintless dent removal may be an option.
2. Using Household Items on Shallow Dents
To repair a shallow, uncreased dent, start by using a hair dryer to heat up the area around the dent. Make sure to keep it at least 6 inches away from the paint, using aluminum foil as needed to prevent heat damage to the paint. Once the panel has been heated, use either a small piece of dry ice, or a canned air duster held upside down while spraying to quickly cool the panel. This rapid change in temperature can oftentimes cause the dent to pop itself out, repairing the damage in one loud pop.
3. Paintless Dent Removal
For dents that cannot be repaired using the heating and cooling method, paintless dent removal companies may be your next best choice for affordable dent repair. These companies will gain access to the back of the door panel through the top of the door in the gap where the window sits, and proceed to gently push the dent out from the inside. Like the above home method of removing dents, dents that are excessively deep, creased or those that lie on a crease or panel edge may not be repairable using paintless removal techniques.
4. When Paintless Methods Fall Short
When paintless repair methods fail to repair your dent, you may be forced to repair the damage the old fashioned way. This method will require gaining access to the inside of the outer door panel so the damage can be hammered out against a dolly; a curved metal object that helps retain the shape of the panel as the dent is lightly hammered out. Once this is finished, the panel should be fully stripped of paint, after which a body filler should be applied and sanded smooth. Once smooth, the panel may be primered and repainted using a touch up paint.
Dents are not the end of the world, as most can be repaired either at home or by affordable paintless dent removal companies for a minimal cost in money and time. These simple repairs can have a huge impact on both the appearance and value of your car, and are an especially good idea should you plan to sell your car in the near future.