Different Types of Dent and Paint Repair Options for Cars

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Cars are a must-have for people that travel a lot for work, for school, or for vacation. These vehicles would allow you to go from one place to another without experiencing the stress and hassle of using public transportation like trains and buses.

While cars are used almost every day by most owners, they can be quite fragile even if they are big. So, it is important for car owners to take care of their vehicles by inspecting them for damages and getting those damages repaired as soon as possible, as the damages that your vehicle gets would often worsen over time.

Two of the most common issues that you may experience with your car are dents and paint problems. To know more about these issues and how to fix them, here is a guide to the different types of dent and paint repair options for cars.

What are the Different Types of Dents?

Before we get into how to repair dents, let us first talk about the different types of dents so that you will know what kind of dent your car has, which is important if you want to get the best fix for the damage. Here are the things you need to know about the various kinds of dents that you may see on your car.

Dings

dings on a car’s exterior

A common, albeit very small, type of dent is a ding, which is a minor dent that occurs when a small object like a rock hits the surface of the car’s exterior with a little bit of force. Dings usually happen when you are driving fast on the road and small pieces of rocks are caught under the wheels and are flung towards a specific section of the car’s exterior. Because of how dings can be caused by small objects that can be difficult to be seen or avoided on the road, these minor dents are fairly common.

Round Dents

Round dents are damages that are much bigger than dings and are usually caused by larger objects like balls, hailstones, and bigger rocks hitting the exterior’s surface. However, the force applied by the object to the surface of the car is not much or not too severe, so the dent that they produce is rounder and shallower in shape compared to dings and the other type of dent that we will talk about in a while.

Sharp Dents

sharp dents on the side of the car

Sharp dents are worse than round dents, as they have a sharper center that can be difficult to repair, especially if the dents are deeper than usual round dents. These sharp dents occur when big objects like stones, balls, and metal pieces hit the car’s exterior with extreme force. [1] Some of these objects can even produce a hole in the car’s exterior when they slam against the exterior when the car is moving fast.

Creased Dents

Creased dents are a longer type of exterior damage that occurs when an object slams hard on the surface of the car and is dragged along to the left or to the right. These creased dents usually occur on the side panels of the cars, as they are more susceptible to getting hit by objects while the vehicle is moving. When the car is moving on the road, the object that hit a side panel would be dragged by the air. Creased dents also occur when your car hits and drags along a wall or a post that has sharp points on its surface.

What are the Best Ways to Repair Car Dents?

Fortunately, there are easy ways to repair car dents, and you can even do these repairs on your own. Here is a list of the best ways to repair car dents.

Pour Boiling Water on the Dent

kettle with boiling water

A classic way of repairing dents is by pouring boiling water on the dent itself. After pouring, you can then reach to the back of the dent and push it gently until it returns to its original position or appearance.

The heat coming from the boiling water allows the metal of the car’s exterior to be more expandable and flexible, which is why you will have a much easier time getting the dented section of your car back into its original shape or appearance when you do this method.

However, you may not be able to apply this method to sections where you can’t reach the back of the car’s exterior shell. So, this may only work on dents on the bumper, the hood, and other sections that are not covered on their back.

Use a Plunger to Pull the Dented Section

Another popular way of fixing a car dent is by using a plunger to pull the dented section back to its original form. To do this method, you will need a plunger suction cup that is the same size as the dent of the car. Once you have poured water on the dent, push the suction cup of the plunger onto the dented section until you get a secure lock for the plunger and the car’s exterior. Next, pull the plunger until the dent on the car’s exterior is gone.

You can pour boiling water first onto the dent before using a plunger for better results. You can use this method on dented sections that don’t have a reachable back like the car doors.

Rub Dry Ice on the Dent

dry ice in water

The next effective method is rubbing dry ice on the dent. In case you don’t know, dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide, so it is very different from the regular ice you get when you put water (dihydrogen oxide) in a freezer. Whenever you rub dry ice on the dent, the chemical reaction of dry ice that constantly chills and heats up would make the dent more flexible and malleable.

After rubbing dry ice for a few minutes, you will notice that the dent gets smaller and smaller until it pops back into place. So, with dry ice, you don’t usually need to pop the dent back in place yourself, although some stubborn dents may still require you to reach the back of the dent and push it using your hand.

Use a Dent-Popping Tool

For those that want to use a tool that is really intended to be used for dents, then they should buy a specialty tool like Pops-a-Dent, which is a product that can pop dents back into their original place or appearance. [2]

The dent-popping tool works similarly to the plunger, as it also has a section cup in the middle that goes directly onto the dent. However, instead of pulling, the dent-popping tool allows you to neatly stick two more suction cups at the side of the dents to secure the place of the middle suction cup. Then, you would just have to twist or turn the wheel on top of the middle suction cup to pull the dent. If there are holes produced by dents, you would have to take it to a professional and have those welded so that a patch can be applied

Use Compressed Air and a Hair Dryer

regular hair dryer

If you have a hair dryer at home, then you can use it along with compressed air to get rid of the dents on your car. To do this method, you would first have to heat up the dented sections using the hair dryer (set it at a higher temperature than usual). Next, you can use a can of compressed air and then spray the dented section with the compressed air until it pops back into place.

What are the Different Types of Paint Issues for Cars?

There can be different kinds of paint issues that you may find on the exterior of your car, and some paint issues can be easy to fix while a few may be more difficult to repair. Here are the different types of paint issues for cars that you should know about.

Peeling

Peeling happens when there is a section of paint that rose from the surface of the car exterior. When the paint rises from the surface, it would be susceptible to getting torn, which would then produce a peeling texture on the exterior.

Peeling is uncommon in most cars that still have their original paint or color, as manufacturers would usually put layers of clear coat on the paint to prevent it from rising and getting damaged. However, peeling would happen after a bad paint job or when the car is exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time. [3]

Delamination

Delamination is a type of peeling that happens not on the paint but on the clear coat that is applied on top of the paint. Delamination would usually start as a small bubble or peeling section of the clear coat, but as the coat continues to be exposed to warm temperatures, the small delamination would become bigger and more noticeable. Much like peeling paint, delamination occurs due to bad paint jobs or prolonged exposure to sunlight and harsh temperatures.

Scratches

car with scratches

Scratches are arguably the lightest paint issue compared to the other, as scratches are just marks on the clear coat or paint that is caused by being scraped or hit with a sharp object. Scratches are often caused by flying debris that comes into contact with the exterior of your car while you are driving. In addition, scratches can also happen when you accidentally hit a wall while opening the car door.

Fading

Fading is an issue where the paint fades to a much lighter color from the original. If your car is colored white, you will notice that the color would fade into a lighter yellow, while other colors would look duller. Fading is typically caused by the UV rays of the sun, so prolonged exposure to the sunlight can cause the paint of your car to paint.

Fading paint is fairly common for cars that are parked in outdoor parking lots or yards. So, if you want to prevent fading paint, you would have to provide shade for your car whenever you park it. Indoor parking lots are recommended if you are going outside, and you should park the car in the garage if you are at home.

What are the Best Ways to Repair Paint Issues for Cars?

Paint issues in cars can easily be fixed using various repair methods. But keep in mind that some of the methods that are used to repair paint issues can be quite expensive, so you need to make sure that you have the budget before starting the repairs. Here are the best ways to repair paint issues for cars.

Remove the Peeling Paint and Prime the Surface

a car getting ready for a new coat of paint

The best way to repair peeling paint is to remove all of the clear coat and paint on the section where the peeling is. Sandpaper is the common item used for removing the peeling paint and the paint in its surrounding area.

After sanding the area, you would then have to prime the surface of the same area using a primer, which is utilized to make the paint stick better onto the car exterior’s surface. Once the primer is applied, you will then have to apply the paint and the clear coat. This method can be difficult to do on your own, so you may need the help of professionals to fix the peeling paint.

Sand the Delaminated Clear Coat and Apply a New Coat

If the clear coat of your car is delaminated in one or more sections, then you will need to sand the clear coat and apply a fresh layer of coat. There are many steps that are needed to be followed when it comes to fixing a delaminated clear coat, but the common steps are to use 1000-grit sandpaper first on the clear coat, and then perform wet sanding (soaking the sandpaper in water before using) the delaminated area using 2000-grit sandpaper.

Next, cover the areas you don’t intend to coat with masking tape and plastic. Use a can of clear coat to spray a new coat over the sanded area. Much like fixing peeling paint, applying a new clear coat to the damaged areas of your car can be challenging to do without the help of professionals. So, the best (although pricey) way to fix a delaminated clear coat is to just bring the car to an auto repair shop so that they can apply a new clear coat for you.

Polish the Scratches Using a Rubbing Compound

buffing the side of a car

If your car has light scratches that only damage the clear coat, you can easily fix them by polishing the scratched areas with a buffing pad and a rubbing compound, which will remove the scratched layer of the clear coat and would make the previously scratched areas look brand new. [4]

Unfortunately, the same method cannot be used for deep scratches that damage all layers of the cleat coat and sometimes even the paint of the car exterior. For these deep scratches, you may need to sand the damaged areas and then polish them using the rubbing compound.

Get Your Vehicle a New Paint Job to Replace Fading Paint

For cars that already have severe fading on their exterior paint, a new paint job is recommended since the fading can be difficult to fix if there are already a lot of faded areas and the shade of paint is already too dull or light from what it originally looked like. Getting new exterior paint for your car can be quite expensive, even if you just have a small car. However, if you want your car to look brand new while also sporting a cool new paint job, then getting it painted will be worth it.

So, there you go, the different types of dents and paint issues that you may encounter while owning a car and several ways to fix these issues. Owning a car is a big responsibility, so you will need to have it properly maintained not only for its interior parts but also for its exterior parts.

References

[1] Carcility. (2020, September 21). Common Types of Car Dents. Carcility. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from https://www.carcility.com/blog/common-types-of-car-dents/

[2] Aguilar, N. (2019, May 29). 8 Easy Ways to Remove Dents Yourself Without Ruining the Paint. WonderHowTo.com. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from https://diy-auto-repair.wonderhowto.com/how-to/fix-car-dents-8-easy-ways-remove-dents-yourself-without-ruining-paint-0163056/

[3] Gerber Collision & Glass. (n.d.). Common Issues With Car Paint. Gerber Collision & Glass. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from https://www.gerbercollision.com/articles/common-issues-with-car-paint-what-causes-them-and-how-to-prevent-them

[4] Support@LeadRevenue.com. (2022, June 15). 4 Types Of Car Scratches And How To Fix Them. Scott Robinson Honda. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from https://www.scottrobinsonhonda.com/4-types-of-car-scratches-and-how-to-fix-them/ 

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