Do It Yourself Car Body Repair

How to Repair a Dent in a Bumper


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From time to time the little accidental knocks made in our vehicles might require us repair a dent in a bumper. Bumper repair can be tackled in a number of ways, but it largely depends on the type of bumper your vehicle has. Metallic bumpers are somewhat easier to repair and requirements are very straightforward, but vinyl bumpers are much more of a challenge.

1 – Remove the Bumper

Metallic bumper dent removal is a relatively simple task which can be undertaken with the use of a rubber mallet, a small block of wood and a cloth. By removing the bumper you will have easy access to the inside of the molded metal, so take off the bumper and lay it on a soft thick cloth or towel to prevent the surface being damaged during the repair process.

2 – The Block

Round off an end of a block of wood to match the original shape of the inside of the bumper and place it against the dent. Tap it with the rubber mallet and check it every so often to see how the repair progresses. When you are satisfied that the bumper has been restored to its original shape you can clean, polish and replace it.

3 – Removal

For vinyl bumpers make sure you remove the bumper before you begin and then heat the inside of the bumper. These bumpers offer a higher level of challenge in the car dent repair process. Vinyl is a molded hard plastic which has to be gently heated in order to affect a good repair.

4 - Softening

You will need a heat gun or a hairdryer which should be set to warm the vinyl and held a few inches away from it for around five to six minutes. The vinyl will then soften and be pliable enough that you can affect a good repair. Once the heat has softened the bumper, push out the dent and use cold water on a cloth to reset the shape of the vinyl and cool it quickly enough that is stays in shape.

5 – Color Coded

Molded bumpers are usually color coded to the body of the car and they blend in inconspicuously with the rest of the vehicle. They can prove challenging and should ideally be repaired by a professional. You must cut out the dented area in the fiberglass and replace it with a fresh patch. You will have to sand the area once it is replaced and repaint in a matching color to the code of the body work.

6 – Resin

Use fiberglass resin to rub out and repair the dent. Most bumpers can also be repaired by using a thin sharp tool like a crochet hook. It does involve making a small incision with the tip of the hook, passing it through the hole and pulling the dent out. You then need to cover the small hole with a resin compound to blend it. This is not ideal, but it can be made to work in situations where it is not possible or easy to remove the bumper.

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