Removing dents from your car body.

"Dent-al work!"

One of the most annoying and frustrating things is returning to your car to find a dent.

Sadly some drivers will just drive off and claim not to have noticed!

Even if drivers leave their details there can be a lot of frustration dealing with body shops and insurers.

Removing dents from doors.

There are a number of mobile dent removal specialists who will use tools from the back of the panel to push out the dent.

They can also pull out the dent from the front, and in most cases, these specialists have the tools and ability to do a really good job repairing your dented panel.

Failing that it may involve a trip to a body shop where a panel is beaten into shape or replaced and will need to be primed and painted.

Paintless dent removal is much much cheaper than using a bodyshop and should be your first port of call if you have a minor panel dent.

A body shop will typically replace the damaged panel and respray to match, remembering to blend in the paint to the surrounding panels as you never get a 100% match.

The other professional option is to smooth off the dent hammering and shaping, so you have a rough area with a few ripples, this might also involve cutting away rough parts, edges, or sharp parts, and using filler to smooth over before painting.

As with many things it really pays to get a professional in, they have the tools and experience and can do a better job in less time than most of us.

What about DIY dent removal?

Determine the type of dent you have and this will identify the tools and method used.

Nice clean dents in the center of a panel are easiest to repair, the idea is to exert opposite pressure to lift out the dent.

Dents on the edge of a panel on curved surfaces, and those with multiple ripple lines are the hardest to repair.

Can you get to the rear of the panel, it may involve removing interior trim, or wheel arch splashguards, in some cases you'll have to unscrew the panel to remove it, but thankfully most cars have a modular design and panel removal in most areas is easy.

Using a large flat surface, exert firm steady pressure to the rear of the dent, and hopefully, it will pop out, sometimes you'll need to heat the panel.

Alternatively, if access to the rear of the panel is hard,  you could use a dent puller which is a M shaped device with a screw handle. You glue the central stem to the dent using a specialist heat glue.

When it is set you undo the screw and the dent will pop out. You then use a glue remover and just polish off the panel.

Can paintless dent removal be done?

Removing dents is entirely possible to do without replacing a panel or needing paint. Our tips could save you a fortune compared with bodyshops.
It is really worth trying to repair yourself, especially if you have a clean indentation in the middle of the panel.
Things get harder on bent panels or at panel edges. If you can get to the back of the dent by removing door cars and trip for example, it just takes a good push, but use a large flat object, my preference is a hard bound book in most cases.

What is the Co2 dent removal method?

Another method of dent removal involved the use of a hot air gun or hair drier.

The premise is to use the fact that metal has a "memory" and will try to go back to the state it was in given the right conditions.

We all understand thermal expansion and contraction, so using this on your panel dent can give the panel dent a motivation to disappear.

Heat up the panel as much as possible and then spray on CO2. A hot air gun is usually best for this but we've seen it work with hairdryers, but don't damage the paint or plastics by using too much heat.

Once the panel is hot, you need to cool the dented area as much as possible as quickly as possible, the idea is that the back of the metal stays hot, and as the front cools it contracts pulling out the dent as it does so.

This will freeze the panel and the sudden temperature change will often cause the panel to flex back into shape.

This will not damage the paint and will either work well or not at all so you will not risk damaging the panel. It doesn't tend to work to well on thicker metal panels from early model German cars for example, and much depends upon the dent itself, so you've got nothing to lose other than the cost of the C02.

Where can you get suitable Co2 from? A fire extinguisher, or an inverted camera air spray cleaner, can which contains CO2 can be used. DO NOT TOUCH THE liquid CO2 or Nozzle of the sprayer.

Wheel arch dent removal tips.

These are more challenging to fix as the curvature of the panel means that a seam is often created and paint is broken.

Your first priority has to be to fix the paint. use a touch up pen to fix the paint and avoid rust from forming.

Next, remove the inner wing lining and with the following tools move the dent.

If you are lucky the panel will ping back into shape and require minimal beating and shaping.

A block of wood and a clamp or 2 will allow you to put pressure on a wide area.

Careful placement of the clamp may mean that the dent pulls straight out. If you create another crease or dent it becomes almost impossible to get a perfect finish.

The handle of a hammer will be coated with rubber and this will avoid scratching the back of the panel and causing rust.

You can usually push out the dent if you have enough strength, try to let the panel flexing do the work rather than hitting it.

Do not use anything with a sharp edge as this could dent the metal or even worse cut through it. You may if you are lucky find a panel from a breakers yard in the correct color.

Fitting a wing is usually just a matter of removing the front bumper and unscrewing the old wing.

Finally, if all else fails you will need the services of a body shop. New spray paint is very hard to match so you should get the surrounding panels feathered in to avoid a sudden change in paint color.

A dent in the wing will usually mean that the wheel has been hit also, it is a good idea to get the bearings and wheel alignment checked or you could be paying out for new tires more frequently that you need to.

Scuff marks can be removed with a good quality Polish (not wax but cutting paste). In many cases, the paint will come up as good as new requiring little more than a dab of a touch up pen.

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