Do It Yourself Car Body Repair

How to Remove Car Dents with Dry Ice


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While dents and dings can wreak havoc on the appearance of your vehicle, there are several common methods used to remove car dents that can be done by yourself at home. One such process involves using dry ice and heat to force the dent to pop itself out. The process itself is quite simple and uses only a few common household items to pop out many dings in mere minutes. Best of all, this method can be done in four easy steps.

1. Inspect the Damage

Before you can use the dry ice method to repair your dents and dings, it is important to inspect the area to make sure you have damage that is repairable with this particular method. Lighter dents with a larger surface area, that are free of any creasing or paint damage will show the best results. Especially if they are located on a flat panel and away from any edges. Dents located on the hood, roof, doors, fenders and trunk are prime candidates for the dry ice method. It should be noted this method of dent repair will only work on metal panels, especially those with the thinner panel thickness common on vehicles from the past 10-15 years.

2. Gather your Materials

To fix a dent using the dry ice method, you will need a few common household items as well as a few items found at most retail grocery or retail stores. First you will need dry ice, as well as a pair of dry ice gloves to protect your hands from frostbite and other injuries related to extreme cold. Any thick rubber glove should suffice. In addition, you will also need a hair dryer, (preferably with a variable temperature setting if possible,) and a roll of aluminum foil.

3. Warm the Panel

Using the hair dryer, heat the panel gently, using the medium heat setting. It is important to constantly move the hair dryer and keep it approximately 5-7 inches away to prevent overheating the paint and causing damage. If your hair dryer only has one temperature setting, use the aluminum foil to help insulate the paint from the heat of the dryer. Continue this for about 1-3 minutes, or until paint is warm to the touch.

4. Cool the Panel

Using the aluminum foil to insulate the panel, take a piece of dry ice in a gloved hand, and hold it against the panel on top of the foil. Gently move the dry ice around the area of the dent in order to rapidly cool the panel. This rapid change in temperature will cause the dent to pop itself out, removing the majority of the damage. Keep in mind it may take several attempts to achieve the desired result.

It should be noted that while this process can work quite well and remove most traces of the dent, there may still be some slight evidence of the ding left after the repair. Depending on the extent of the original damage, additional repair work may sometimes be needed to completely remove all traces of damage.

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