How To Remove Large Dents In Your Vehicle Using Inexpensive Tools And Household Products

Posted on: 20 August 2015

A large dent on your vehicle can be enough to ruin your day, but it doesn't have to be that way. Often, large dents can be repaired yourself with the use of a few simple tools and household items. Below is how you can eliminate dents and restore the condition of your vehicle's body:

Removing body dents - tools and materials needed

  • Electric heat gun - heat guns resemble hair dryers but generate a much more intense level of heat.

  • Liquid aerosol duster - known as "air in a can", liquid aerosol dusters contain compressed liquid tetrafluoroethane or difluoroethane.You may need several cans depending on the metal's response to your efforts.

  • Rubber mallet

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Safety glasses

Removing body dents - step-by-step

1. Evaluate the dent in your vehicle and determine if it can be fixed at home - as noted earlier, many dents are able to be fixed using the methods below, but some dent repair jobs will require the use of specialized tools and techniques. While it doesn't hurt to attempt this repair on any dent, below are some characteristics of dents that are more easily fixed:

  • Size - in general, the larger the dent, the more likely it will respond to corrective measures.

  • Depth - shallow dents are preferable due to less permanent alteration of the metal's structure as compared to deep dents.

  • Location - dents located in areas away from edges, exterior features and accessories, and on flatter surfaces are more likely to pop out with some coaxing.

  • Material - dents in sheet metal are better candidates for home repair as compared to dents in plastic materials.

2. Move vehicle to well-ventilated, brightly-lit area - the use of aerosol dusters is safe as long as you have adequate ventilation in your work area. Try to work outside, if possible, but if you are inside a garage or shop, be sure that windows are opened. In addition, be sure the area is well-lit by either sunlight or the use of bright lamps. Position the light or the vehicle so the light strikes the dented area at an angle rather than from head-on; this will allow you to better see the lines of the dent and help you gauge your progress.

3. Clean and heat the dented area - once you have the vehicle in a good working location, the dent is ready for repair. Begin by cleaning the dented area with a damp microfiber cloth; you don't need to use soap, but wipe away large pieces of dried mud and other obvious debris. Once the area has dried, put on your safety glasses to protect your eyes during the heating process. Turn on the heat gun and position it about two feet away from the surface of the dent. Move the tip of the heat gun in a circular motion so that the dent is evenly heated. Do not place the heat gun too close to the paint or it may begin to blister. Instead, keep it at a distance from the paint and do not hold the gun stationary at any point during the process.

4. Rapidly cool the dented area - after heating the dented area, immediately turn a can of aerosol duster upside down and spray a long blast of liquid along the circumference of the dent. Keep the aerosol can inverted so the product maintains its liquid state during use.

Hopefully, the dent will begin to pop out of the metal due to the rapid expansion and cooling of the metal surfaces. If not, you can gently tap the site of the dent with a rubber mallet; this flexing may "shock" the metal into bending into its correct position.

5. Dry and repeat - if the dent shows no signs of relenting, then you should wipe down the dented area with a clean cloth and repeat the heating/cooling cycle in steps 3 and 4 as many times as needed. Ultimately, if the dent isn't budging, you may have a need to have your damage reviewed by an auto collision center. You can look at this to find an auto collision repair shop.