How do I repair a dent on my vehicle by myself?

Over the years, we have seen many methods to repair door dings, bumpers, and dents all over your car by yourself. There are small tool sets sold on Amazon and at Harbor Freight, but ask any good tech, and they will let you know that there is no way they could have fixed a dent by themselves to perfection when they first started. Becoming a dent tech is like becoming a doctor. It’s years and years of practice, schooling, and mentorship. We are a local dent shop here in Glen Burnie. 

**A friendly warning, trying these methods, and then coming for an estimate will usually increase your repair time and assessment. It is harder to fix something that has been attempted than a dent that has been caused by an act of God, a door, or some other accident. 

Here are the methods we have seen out in the wild to repair a dent:

Dry Ice Method:

MYTH: “For low-cost dent repair to your car, try dry ice. Park your car with the dent in the sun and let the dent and surrounding sheet metal warm-up. Then, wearing protective gloves, put a small block of dry ice over the dent. The rapid chilling of the metal will “pop” the dent without scratching the paint.” 

TRUTH: This doesn’t work, and it’s an excellent way to crack your paint, leaving you with a hefty body shop bill, needing panels replaced, paint damage, and a more significant invoice, maybe even an insurance claim. 

Plunger Method: 

MYTH: Put a plunger over the dent and pull it out. “Not only can you unclog a drain with a plunger, but you can also get out small- to medium-sized dents out of your car too. Just splash some water on both the plunger and the dent and start pushing and pulling until it pops out. Make sure to use a cup plunger (for sinks), not a flange one (for toilets).”

TRUTH: While sometimes you can pull a dent out, most of the time, you are left with a mountain, and you have just reversed your damage. What started pushed in is now drastically pushed out, and the panel is warped. The energy in metal moves, and we are trained to replace it and move it back… If you move the metal too swiftly or quickly, what happens can be a travesty of extreme damage, and a new panel can be needed. 

A Guy in a Parking Lot Method:

Beware. Sometime over the history of the world, someone has gotten a decent repair in a parking lot but we have seen some very interesting things over our time. We have seen people put house putty in a dent and covered it with spray paint, or the most interesting repair is when someone puts a wax over the dent, collects your money, and lets you know that in a few days, you can wipe the wax off and the dent will be gone. Please, please, go to a reputable shop and get your damaged fix and don’t get scammed. 

If you have questions about door dings, dents, or damage to your vehicle, please reach out to us at the shop. We would love to help clear anything up and understand how you want to proceed with your car’s repair. We are here to help. Our goal is to explain the process to you to make things seamless and easy and get you back on the road with a car restored to its factory condition.