When you wind up with a dent on your car, the frustration can be intense, especially when you take it a body shop to get a quote for repair. Most dents, even the smallest ones, require hundreds of dollars to repair – and that’s primarily labor. Doing the labor yourself can save you considerably.
Bang it Out
Many minor dents can be hammered back out with nobody the wiser. To hammer out a dent, you’ll need a dolly, or rounded metal piece and a body hammer. Ideally you have several of each to have a variety on hand for every dent project.
Get to the Back of the Dent
You’ll need to be able to access the back of the dented area as well as the front. Remove a panel if necessary and then examine the dent from both sides. Select the dolly and hammer that fit the curvature of the sheet metal the best and get ready to hit.
Hitting Out the Dent
Line up the dolly on the outside of the dent to give the hammer hits the right shape. Then use your hammer to gently tap on the indented side of the metal. If the hits aren’t doing the job, gradually increase your pressure until they are. A series of hits should pop the dent back out.
Cover Up Paint as Needed
If your dent involved scratched paint, you’ll want to apply cover up paint as quickly as possible to keep the affected area from rusting.
Replacing the Body Parts
If you have a large dent, you might have to actually replace the section that is severely dented. If you drove a Celica, for example, you can find Toyota Celica parts in a wide variety of locations, including online. Search for the right Celica body kits and buy the piece you need. Unless you are very handy, it would probably be best at this point to bring your new body piece to a professional for installation and paint.
Easy Step By Step
- Arrange body hammers and dollies
- Examine the dent to select the right tools for the job.
- Remove the paneling from the inside of the car so that you can see the dent from both sides.
- Hold a dolly on one side of the dent and hit the side where the dent is sticking out in order to pop it back through.
- If a dent is too large to be handled easily, consider buying a replacement part.
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions
Everything is negotiable, especially labor charges. Be sure to haggle over rates if you do wind up needing the help of a professional.