Dents on your car are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you just have to accept them. Car dents signify that you need to repair your car. Whatever caused them, they can make your car look beat up. As long as the paint is intact, dents can be fixed through paintless dent repair.
This article will give you a few tips on how to make those dents and dings disappear as long as your car’s not looking like it just finished a few laps at a demolition derby, that is. But, first, find out what exactly is paintless dent repair.
Paintless Dent Repair Definition
Paintless dent repair is a way of getting rid of minor dents from a motor vehicles’ body. There are many types of damage to the motor vehicle’s body that this method can repair, provided the surface paint is undamaged. Usually, paintless dent repair is used to fix damage from hail, door dings, and large dents. The list also includes bodyline damage and minor creases. If a paintless dent repair is all it takes, great—you can avoid a costly paint job.
But, if they’re minor dents, like the ones you get when you get rear-ended or you backed into an iron fence, and you’re confident that you can do it, here are a few general tips to do a proper paintless dent repair:
- Evaluate The Damage
If your car has minor dents, and you aren’t sure how to proceed, you can have your car assessed at auto body shops like https://www.fivestarhail.com/dent-removal.html. Remember, if the damage is extensive, let the professionals handle it. In any case, about 80 to 90% of dents can be remedied through paintless dent repair techniques. So, it’s essential that you first know if paintless dent repair is even viable.
However, understand that there are types of dents that paintless dent repair can’t do. Paint would be required for these types of dents, like creased dents, dents that are too deep, and dents near the edges. Moreover, you also wouldn’t be able to do the procedure on older vehicles from 1990 and earlier. The paint quality on these old cars won’t be able to endure paintless dent repair methods. If you’ve determined that using this particular repair method is doable, then you’re ready for the next steps.
- Get Proper Tools
With repairs like these, you almost always need to get behind the dent. For sure, you’re going to need supplies and specialized tools like what you see on sites like https://www.fivestarhail.com/dent-removal.html. You have to find the path to get to the back of the dent. You’d likely have to detach your car’s interior panels. It could also mean removing parts on the exterior of your car.
But, before you do, find out the safest and most efficient way of removing panels. Then, carefully remove them using the proper tools. Once you have access and can see the dent’s back side, you can begin repairing.
- Practice First
If this is your first time with paintless dent repair, don’t just grab your tools and immediately start whaling away at the dent. Practice first. Begin with an undamaged panel, preferably from a junkyard. This way, you can familiarize yourself with the tools you’d be using and get a feel of locating damaged areas.
It would also help you understand the different amounts of pressure you should be applying to move the panel on the actual dents. Practicing on a clean panel can give you an idea of how it ‘feels’ moving the material. Knowing how much pressure to apply can give you confidence before going into the actual repair.
- Read Carefully the Tools’ Instruction Manuals
The instruction manuals will give you a step-by-step walkthrough on a specific spot of the dent that you’d have to watch out for. The manuals will also show you how to position the tools before applying pressure to the dent. Typically, the procedure goes this way:
- Use a fluorescent light or a specialized light board in creating shadows on the dent. This will tell you the exact area to place your tools on the dent’s back side.
- The tools are placed at the back of the dent. You can also use special glue to apply to the front of the dent. This way, you can apply pressure at a controlled rate to the back and front of the dent.
- Very carefully, move the outer edge of the dented area until it levels with the surface. This should be done slowly and methodically until the dent becomes smaller and gone.
Repairing minor dents can be simple; it just takes a few specialized tools, a lot of elbow grease, and patience. However, if you have never done this sort of repair before, and the dents are too deep, in a complicated location, creased, and have damaged the surface paint, go to an auto body shop and have your vehicle assessed. Remember, when in doubt, get a professional.