Car dents can seem to appear from nowhere. In some cases, you know what happened, like when your son opened the back door too fast and hit the parking meter on the sidewalk or your daughter rode her bicycle into the driver’s side door when she wasn’t paying attention. But what about that mysterious ding on the front fender that wasn’t there when you went into the mall? Did a grocery cart roll into the back door last week? Who sat on the hood and made the indent near the grill? A quick search online will give you many options for fixing dents themselves. Learn whether these tips are fact or fiction.
Hair Dryer and Compressed Air
One method described online is describes using a hair dryer to heat up the dent until it is too hot to touch and then quickly cooling it with compressed air. This method will not work on modern cars as most use a combination of metal and plastic on side panels and bumpers. A hair dryer cannot create enough heat to soften the metal and allow it to pop into place.
Wet Sponge and Plunger
According to online sources, you can drench the dent with a wet sponge soaked with water then use a cup plunger over the dent and apply pressure to pop the dent. Surprisingly, this method actually works on rounded dents and smaller dings. Applying a small amount of heat to the metal and then using the plunger may also work.
Small suction tools can be purchased online for under $10 but some online sources claim you can use almost any type of suction tool, including a GoPro camera mount. This process works similar to the plunger, suggesting that you wet the surface and apply the tool. Like the plunger tip, this process can also work for small dents or dings.
Internet sources claim that dry ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide, can be used to fix a dent. Heat the dent until it is too hot to touch. Protect your hands with gloves and wrap the dry ice in a towel. Rub the dry ice on the dent for about 15 minutes and the dent will pop into place. This is false information. Even if the dent appears to improve, as soon as the area returns to the outside temperature, it will reappear again.
If you have discovered a dent in your plastic bumper, one internet method suggests pouring boiling water on the dent and surrounding area. You then reach under the bumper and push the dent out with your hands. This method actually works as the hot water softens the plastic so it can be pushed back into place.
The bottom line is that, although you may be able to repair a small dent yourself, some of these methods can actually cause more damage to your car. The surface can be damaged and mini creases can appear in the area surrounding the dent. Instead, schedule an appointment with Elmer’s Auto Body by calling or filling out the easy form online to have your dent repaired professionally and correctly.