car with a band-aid over a car dent that needs to be repaired.
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Car Dent Repair: 5 DIY Hacks That Can Save You Money

You may be the most careful driver, but getting a dent or door ding is an unfortunate right of passage for most car owners.

Let's face it, car dents are very annoying when they happen. Sure, getting them fixed is usually easy but it can be costly. Fortunately, there are some cheap DIY methods that can help you repair the damage yourself in some cases. 

Why it’s worth getting your car dents fixed

No matter how well your car runs, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of keeping your car’s exterior pristine. It’s an important factor for anyone looking to buy a used car. Unrepaired dents can lower the value of your car, even if they are small in size. If there is paint damage too, it can further decrease the value of your car.

Paintless dent repair vs. traditional auto repair

Some damage is reversible without the need to call a specialist. If the damage is in the right place and isn’t too extensive, paintless dent repair is a cost-effective way to repair dings and dents. Some more traditional methods of dent repair require the application of new paint and chemicals, which usually means a higher cost for you. But when the damage isn’t too serious, paintless dent repair is a valid method to pursue.

With paintless dent repair, special tools are used to alter the damaged metal of the vehicle and reshape the area so it looks as good as new. There is no need for bonding, sanding, or repainting with this method. And it is generally a faster, cheaper option.

5 DIY ways to fix car dents

Here are some DIY paintless dent repair tricks that may help you fix the damage yourself and potentially save hundreds of dollars. Remember to always be extra careful with homemade fixes in order to avoid further damage to your car. If you would rather play it safe and seek professional help, we have some tips to help you with that as well.

1. DIY dent removal kit

Purchasing a dedicated do-it-yourself kit makes removing car dents easy. There are a wide range of dent removal kits available on the market. Some kits are designed for small, coin-size dents, while others are intended for larger surface areas. Car dent repair kits work by pressing a small suction cup into the centre of the damage and pulling it outwards. 

2. Hot glue method

Some DIY dent removal kits contain a hot glue gun. You begin by covering the surface area with hot glue and attaching a little plastic handle. When the hot glue dries, you can gently pull on the handle to pluck out the dent. You might have to repeat the process to get perfect results, but it shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes. 

3. Plumber’s friend

A popular technique for fixing medium-sized car dents is using a bathroom plunger. Simply make a seal by putting some hot water on the force cup and on the dent. Then you can start pushing and pulling to create a vacuum to pop out the car dent. You can also purchase a plunger tool designed especially for repairing car dents. 

4. Hot water technique

If you boil water and pour it over the damaged area, the heat will cause the metal to expand. This will make it easier for you to push and pull on the metal and may help you pop it back into its original place. Ideally, you should be able to somehow access the backside of the dent to push it out. Please note: boiling water can inflict damage on some paint jobs. If you’re worried about diminishing your car’s finish—or if you cannot access the backside of the dent to push it back out with a rod—this might not be the best solution for you. 

5. Hot & cold combo

If you would rather avoid the risk of getting wet, a hairdryer and a can of compressed air is a useful toolset. Start by slowly heating up the surrounding area of the dent with the hairdryer to avoid damaging your car’s paint. Once it's warm to the touch, immediately apply cold compressed air to cool down the centre of the damage. This may help the metal pop back to its original form. This entire process should take no more than five minutes. 

Who can I go to for dent repair?

If you would rather be extra careful, you can seek help from professionals. Here are some options to consider.

1. Mobile dent repair specialists

Mobile dent repair is perhaps the most convenient way to have your car dent fixed. Rather than taking your car to the auto body shop, the professionals come to you.

The companies that offer these services generally have access to the same tools that you can find at an auto body shop. The difference is that the work is performed by a skilled and experienced pro. Mobile dent repair services generally start at around $100.

2. Auto body shop

If the dent requires painting, is on a body line, or in a hard-to-reach area, you may want to take it to the auto body shop. Auto body repair shops will have all the resources needed to assess the damage and either repair it via paintless or traditional methods, or replace the impacted panel altogether. 

While taking your vehicle to the repair shop will probably cost you more, at least you’ll feel confident that the damage is being handled by a professional. In most cases, minor dent repairs can cost around $75 to $150, while more significant damage or bodywork replacements could set you back well over a thousand dollars. 

Will my auto insurance cover car dent repair costs?

In most cases, car dent repairs are covered under a full coverage auto insurance policy. However, if you make a claim, your insurance premium payments could rise, so you need to do some quick math to determine if it’s worth making a claim or paying for the repair out of pocket. 

Your deductible is the amount you are required to pay before the insurance company pays the rest. It might not be worth filing a claim if the cost of the repair is less than your deductible. If in doubt, call your insurance company for clarification.

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