Dents in your car are a drag. They are even more of one when they are the result of something stupid or a freak occurrence, like the solitary wind gust that ripped my car door out of my hands as I opened it, banging against the car beside me and leaving me with a pretty good divot in my door. I was not amused.
Over time, your car will develop its share of dings and dents. Most people don’t mind and just chalk it up to normal wear and tear on their automobile. For others, who are meticulous about keeping up appearances with their daily transportation, there is the desire to remove the dings, keeping their car as close to showroom condition as possible.
Some companies offer ding repair services, and while it does guarantee a good job, it can also cost a little money. I took my 2002 Camaro to one of these “ding doctors” and had several dings removed for about $ 120. Some may call that pricey, but those dings were the only thing keeping a six year old Camaro from looking brand new, and I wanted them treated right.
There are other less expensive ways to go about it, provided you’re actually good with tools. If you want to remove your own dings, keep the following in mind.
Look closely at the ding and see if it is a ding or if it is big enough to qualify as a dent. In either case, as long as the metal is not creased or crumpled, you should be able to fix it without any sign that it was ever there.
Dry ice is a common cure for ding removal. Heat up the damaged area using a hair dryer and then touch the dry ice to the ding or dent for a few seconds before removing. Repeat this process several times or until the ding has disappeared. Remember to always wear gloves before handling dry ice.
You may also want to try the suction cup technique to pop dings and dents back into line. Be sure to clean the area first as particles can interfere with the process and cause scratches to the finish.
Tapping is a popular method for ding removal, using a rubber mallet against a block of wood placed against the ding. Take your time and tap the ding back into place.
Paintless dent repair is another option, and similar to what I used on my Camaro. A tool is inserted behind the panel where the ding is and the ding is then pushed back out. It may take some manipulation to return the sheet metal to its original configuration. This method is best performed by someone who knows what they are doing.
Most dings are easily repairable, and can be handled by the average owner, but for larger dents or other body damage, it is always best to hire a professional. Not many things look better than great bodywork, and not many things look worse than slipshod or amateur bodywork.
Billy D Ritchie is the Director Of Content for LeadsByFone, LLC, a lead generation company servicing the water damage restoration industry.
When not writing and educating folks about the perils of water damage, he is also a freelance writer, sometime actor, and formerly professional musician. He also enjoys spending his weekends building and flying model rockets