Repairing A Small Dent In Your Vehicle's Body

If you recently had the misfortune of having a tree branch hit your vehicle or if someone threw a baseball and missed their target, hitting your vehicle instead, you may have received a dent in the body that will needs repairing. Small dents caused by impact may be able to be repaired on your own with the help of a few tools. Here are some instructions for you to use when dealing with small dented areas in your vehicle's body.

Assess The Damage

Take a good look at the dented area of your vehicle to determine its size. If it is relatively small, such as three inches in diameter or smaller, you may be able to use temperature control to remove it from your vehicle. This works best when the dent is located in an area such as the hood, trunk, door, rooftop, or fender of your vehicle because these are flat areas to work on. If the damage is a bit larger or if it looks like paint is scraped from the surface, an auto body shop would be a better alternative than repairing on your own.

Materials You Will Need

  • Electric hair dryer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty, insulated gloves with rubber coating
  • Dry ice

Heating The Area

To remove the dent from your vehicle, it will first need to be heated up. Use a hair dryer on a medium or high setting and direct the heat directly toward the dent. Do not touch the vehicle with the hair dryer or you may cause the paint to melt. Hold it a few inches away for the best results. Keep it directed toward the dent for about two minutes. Immediately after turning off the hair dryer, cover the dent with a piece of aluminum foil. Tape it in place using painter's tape. This will help contain the heat.

Cooling The Area

When working with dry ice, it is important to keep it off of your exposed skin so you do not risk frostbite. Put on a pair of heavy-duty insulated gloves, preferably with a rubber coating on the exterior to keep out moisture. Pick up a block of dry ice and rub it directly on the surface of the aluminum foil. You will hear a popping sound as the metal goes back into its original positioning. This usually happens in under a minute. 

If it does not work, you can try to repeat the procedure. Do not attempt it more than three or four times in a row so you do not compromise the paint on the vehicle from too many temperature shifts in a short time period. If the procedure does not work, you may need to repair it using auto body filler or get help from an auto body service such as Lacey Collision Center.