How to DIY repair a car to get big & small dents out of a bumper & panel

It sucks. It sucks so much when you get a dent in your car.

It doesn’t just necessarily hurt your wallet. It can also hurt your pride. Sometimes you’re at fault. Sometimes you’re not. 

It hurts if you were at fault because it increases your monthly payments. You got points on your license because you were in an accident.

Driving around with a car that has dings in it also just isn’t fun. Heck, some even think it’s totally unacceptable.

car dent repair tool

Whether you’re a person who’s concerned with the financial part or how it looks, it still sucks. Going to a body shop and having them undent the car is no fun. You also know that they’re going to charge you an arm and a leg to do it. 

They’re probably lying about how long the damage takes to repair. There’s a lot you can do at home. 

You will be able to restore your car to its original glory in a lot of instances. It does depend on certain factors. If the damage is serious, you may not be able to get the results you were hoping for without taking it by a professional. 

We’ll be showing you a smart plunger you can use to fix a lot of dents DIY style!

It’s important to know that you won’t be able to fix all dents at your home. So before we get started, let’s take a look at some of your home options.

Which types of dents can be fixed at home? 

We don’t want you going down the rabbit hole if there are talks about the damage that you won’t be able to fix at home. It’s better to be straight up about it. Some types of damage won’t even help to get started.

There’s a thing that’s important to consider.

Has the dent damaged the paint when it happened? It would be great news if it didn’t because then the odds are that the results will be better.

Scratched up paint on a car

Have big depressions been formed on the surface? It’s another good sign because these bigger surfaces can be fixed as well. Sharp. Small indents leave very little possibility of being pulled out. 

Cracks on the panel will also make it hard to work with. It means pulling out the dent isn’t possible. 

Dents can also be so large that they cannot be suctioned out.

Is your body panel made of aluminum? You’re also out of luck in a majority of the cases. However, there are some instances where it’s possible. 

We’ve now covered the situations where you’re out of luck. Are you still following along? Great, we’ve got lots of good stuff coming up. 

How to Take a Dent Out of a Car – When It is On a Metallic Body Panel

Dent on the side of a car

Let’s take a closer look at what actually happens. Let’s explore the theory of how you can pop out a dent in a car. It’s crucial for getting a better end result.

How are they formed? 

Cars are in large part made out of sheet metal. They are what’s formed into the body panels, and they consist of atoms. All these atoms are arranged in an orderly metal.

Consider for a moment what happens when your car is in some sort of an accident. It’s introduced to a lot of force. With such incredible force being introduced, there are two options:

  1. The atoms are displaced, and a dent emerges on the body panels.
  2. Sheet metal is affected so much that a tear happens. The sheets come apart. 

Our mission is to realign those atoms. We want to ensure that the body panel is back in its working order. It is assuming that the sheets have not come apart.

If the right counterforce is applied, there are sometimes situations where damage can be remedied. Dents can be undented. Greatness can be restored. 

Force going one way is what caused the damage in the first place. To restore what has been damaged, you will need to apply adequate force going the opposite direction. 

Deformed beyond a certain level, and you will not be able to remedy the damage. When that happens, home remedies do not work. You will need a pro.

Big or small, only certain dents can be popped out of a car.

You should proceed with getting help from a professional if you don’t feel confident with applying the necessary force. 

We have great things coming up for you. Also, this method can also apply when your travel trailer has been damaged. 

You’ll need a couple of items before you get started. Then you can often make the vehicle look as good as the day it was built.

Here’s a chart with the things you’ll need:

Car dent puller or plungerGloves
Some forcePatience

It’s a simple process. It bears noting that you can use a normal plunger to try and do the job, but the special ones are better.

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How to fix a dent in a car door with a plunger

  1. Go on Amazon and find the right plunger.

    These come in varying qualities, and it’s imperative that you get a good one. If you want recommendations, we put some at the end of the article.plunger on amazon

  2. Evaluate the dent.

    This method is great for certain types of dents, like ones in large flat body panels. If they form a depression, it should also work. Once again, you’re out of luck if the paint is damaged. Inspection of a dent

  3. Follow the instructions.

    Most of the plungers work the same way very much. That is not to say there can’t be small differences that make them work a bit differently.Car door that's damaged

  4. Clean the plunger.

    If you’ve used it before, the plunger may not be clean. It needs to be so before. Debris could scratch the surface and leave you with more problems than you started with. 

  5. Use caution

    It bears noting that it’s important to use caution when using the plunger. You could get hurt if you don’t. Damaged car door

  6. Push it against the bodywork.

    Locate the dent and push the plunger against the body panel in the way the instructions say. 

  7. Make sure there’s no leakage.

    For you to be able to apply the necessary force, you’ll have to make sure there’s no leakage. The plunger won’t stick to the surface if there’s a leak. 

  8. Pull the plunger back.

    You’ll need to apply force at this point. It’s often easier for people that weigh a little bit more.

  9. Repeat the process if needed. 

    There’s no saying that you will be able to pull out the dent on the first try. Give it some more tries. Try to go at it from a different angle. Move the plunger a bit. There may be some tweaking that needs to take place for you to be successful. That’s how you pop a dent out of a car!

Who knew DIY dent removal would be that easy?

How to remove and get dents out of a car door panel

Here’s another trick when you’re trying to remove and get dents out of a car’s door panel. The best situation is if you use the method mentioned up higher and use the plunger. If it works, your task at hand has been fixed.

However, there’s something else you can try. 

Heating metal will cause it to expand. Cooling metal will cause it to contract.

Certain situations do not lend themselves very well to using a suction device to pull out the dent. Perhaps it’s too small, and the suction cup doesn’t stick properly.

It could also be that it’s inaccessible or hard for the plunger to get a grip.

So, here’s what you’ll do to a dent in a car door panel that’s causing you issues.

Take advantage of the fact that metal has the properties that it has. However, make sure that the hair dryer doesn’t overheat. 

You will want to heat up the panel area that has been affected. It should take you somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes. You now want to cool it down suddenly with cold water. It’s important that the water is sufficiently cool to give it the shocking effect you’re after. 

It may not work the first or second time. Try doing it a third time.

There are certain things to look out for. Also, it is a method that should be used when the alternative isn’t working. Constantly running your hair dryer leaves it at the risk of it overheating. If so, it could be destroyed. When the hair dryer is getting so hot that you’re getting concerned, you will want to turn it off. Give it a break.

It has done good work already. It’s also important to realize that the metal panel will get hot. You could potentially burn yourself doing it. Lastly, if done for too long, it can damage the paint. 

So it bears noting that the hair dryer method should be used with caution. Avoid doing it so long that it damages the paint. It can also work to get dents out of car panels that have some of the characteristics we described above.

Crease dents are nasty, though! They’ll leave the paint damaged, and while you might be able to pull the dent out, it still won’t look good. 

What are some products we recommend? 

We know we told you to go to Amazon and get a dent puller. The truth is some are better than others. 

There’s the small, simple plunger that may get the job done. It also may not. You could even use the one that you already have at home. 

Gliston store

Gliston store is a luxurious solution when it comes to this type of work. Whether you’re an enthusiastic DIY person or a shop, this set will go a long way. It can be used on various parts, including the car hood. 

It comes with an impressive 89 pieces and treats everything from hail damage to dings. If there is one dent kit to rule them all, this is it.

Manelord 

Manelord offers another option that we’re crazy about. It’s not the big, vast kit that you get from Gliston, but it’s a very powerful plunger. There’s much good to say about it, and there’s a reason they have so many reviews. 

At the present time, they have over 2,500 reviews. 

There are reasons why this plunger works a lot better than some of the alternatives. It uses science.

It uses the scientific principle of leverage, making it much easier to use than a more basic model. It also comes with an incredible amount of suction cups. 

These cups are a game-changer compared to the most basic model. We’ll talk about that in just a second.

However, the suction cups ensure you can get a grip and that it’ll be easy. You’ll have to create a vacuum to get a grip with a normal plunger. 

It works great in a place like a toilet, where creating this vacuum is easy. However, it may not be on the side of a metal sheet located on a car. It even works on a metal fender!

It’s adjustable in a way so you can easily make the tool work for you. If it’s a small dent, it’ll need a different setting than a big one.

QQCherry

QQCherry makes the third tool we’d like to highlight. It’s quite an odd name for a plunger if you ask us, but it’s gotten a lot of positive feedback.

Trust us when we say that we went through a bunch of plungers in pursuit of the right one. There were a bunch of the cheaper models that just didn’t stack up. Whenever force would be applied, they’d break.

It’s an option when you’re on a budget. Is it really the best plunger to repair dents in the car? Probably not. However, has it helped make the world a little bit less dented. Definitely.

FAQ

How much does it cost to fix a small dent in a car?

$18 for a small dent. It is the price you’ll pay if you’re going to buy a DIY plunger from Amazon and have a try at it yourself. It’s not foolproof, but the results could potentially be good. 

Who fixes dents in cars?

Body shops. The easiest answer is just to take your truck to a body shop and have them fix the dent. It’s especially the case when the paint has been damaged. In those situations, there’s not much you can do yourself.

Will boiling water damage car paint?

It could damage the paint. When the paint is already in bad condition, exposing it to extreme heat could be an issue.

Can hot water remove a car dent?

In theory, yes. However, we do not recommend trying it. All sorts of risks are involved when dealing with boiling water. If you get it on you, you’re looking at serious risk of getting burned.

How much does it cost to bump out a dent in a car?

A body shop will charge you $50 to $2,500 to bump out a dent. The more damage there is, the higher the cost. The higher end of the spectrum also includes actual bodywork to repair the paint.