Do It Yourself Automotive Repair

How to Repair an Auto Dent Yourself


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Do-it-yourself auto dent repair can not only be easy, it can save you money if you know what to do. Not all dents can be repaired, but it generally doesn't hurt to give it a shot if your car is older, or you are an accomplished do-it-yourselfer.

Several items are required before you begin. You will need a dent pulling kit, a metalworking hammer and a dolly. Additionally, a ball-peen hammer, a claw hammer and a piece of wood might be useful as well. A rasp, a drill, sanding disks, a sanding bloc and a wire brush are also required, as well as aerosol paint and primer.

To begin, locate the center of the dent. Once found, drill a hole into the center of it with a small drill bit, 1/8 inch should be fine. Some dent removal kits include hot glue guns that allow you to attach a plastic adapter to the center of the dent. Use the dent pulling tool and thread the hole of the dent. If you used the plastic adapter, attach the tool to the adapter instead. Once the tool is in place, pull on the dent to flatten it out.

If you are not using a dent removal kit, you can locate the dent and place the block of wood on the outside of the car. Using the ball peen hammer gently try to pound out the dent from the inside. If you didn't buy a dent removal kit you can drill a small 1/8" hole and screw a self tapping screw into the hole leaving a half and inch out of the front of the dent. Once inside use a grab the screw with a claw hammer or self-locking grips and gently pull the dent out.

If you did buy a kit, use the hammer to carefully hammer the dent while applying pressure on the backside with the dolly. You may need to crawl under the vehicle, into the trunk or open the hood to locate the back of the dent. Once fixed, sand the dented area down with medium grit sanding disk, removing all paint from the dent. Apply filler to the small drill hole and any remaining imperfections, then allow it to harden. Use a rasp and a sanding block to reshape the surface. Once dry, check for any imperfections prior to re-painting the area.

Cover the areas you wish to remain untouched and create a window to repaint the dented area. Apply primer using an aerosol can from a distance of 8 to 10 inches away. Spray one thin coat while smoothly moving the can back and forth. Once dry, apply two more coats in a similar manner. Sand with fine sandpaper before applying the top coat of paint. To apply the paint start from the top spraying horizontally, moving down from the same distance as with the primer (8 to 10 inches). Allow the paint to dry completely before repeating the process two more times. Lastly, you will have to wet sand the areas where the new paint meets to old paint to blend it all together for a uniform repair.

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