Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingBodywork and Paintwork Fix Dent In Car – How To Remove And Repair Small Dents DIY

Fix Dent In Car – How To Remove And Repair Small Dents DIY

by Jordan Harris
How To Pull A Dent Out Of A Car

As gearheads, we like to keep our beloved cars looking pristine at all times. As a result, it can be both frustrating and disappointing when they get dented. Although a small dent wouldn’t harm performance in the slightest, knowing how to get rid of them would be of great use for any car owner. Today, we’ll tell you everything you need to know in order to fix dent in car.

Although you might not believe it, the cost of dent removal can be even higher than fixing some mechanical issues. So, the information you learn today might help you save some of your hard-earned cash as well. And you don’t have to be an expert in car repair to remove dents in your car either.

With the proper knowledge, even a novice would be able to fix car dents, and without needing to go the distance like getting expensive tools or having to rent a garage to work on a car. We know that you are itching to get started, so we will do just that. First, let’s take a look at some of the most common ways your vehicle can get dented.

Causes Of Car Dents

Before learning how to fix dent in car, we thought it would be useful for you to learn about some of the most common causes of car dents. With this information, you will be able to try and avoid such situations, minimizing the risk of dents in the process.

  • Bad Weather
  • Vehicle Doors
  • Debris
  • Branches
  • Shopping Carts
  • Tight Parking
  • Animals

Common Causes Of Car Dents #1 – Bad Weather

Bad weather, especially hailstorms, is notorious for damaging and denting vehicles. According to the National weather service, a hailstone only has to be the size of a golf ball (around 1.75 inches) to dent your vehicle.

Hailstorms can happen at any time of the day, but they most commonly occur during late afternoons. As such, it’s worth investing in a simple car cover for hail protection, given how expensive the typical cost of hail damage repair can be.

fix dent in car

If you get caught in one, the best course of action is to park the vehicle in a sheltered area. Otherwise, you’ll just have to hope that the hail does not cause too much damage. In addition to hailstorms, bad weather conditions can dent your vehicle in other ways as well. We will talk more about these later on in this article.

Common Causes Of Car Dents #2 – Vehicle Doors

One of the most common ways your car can receive dents is by the doors of other vehicles parked nearby.  Parking lots and driveways are the two most common locations where this would happen. Oftentimes, small kids are the ones who slam their doors into yours. However, adults are also equally likely to do the same.

Worst of all, most people aren’t likely to own up to their mishaps. Instead, they tend to flee the scene without notice. If you have ever returned to your vehicle after a day of shopping only to find it dented in several places, you should know what we are talking about.

Parking your vehicle away from other vehicles, or even an empty parking space whenever possible is the best way to avoid your vehicle getting dented by these careless individuals.

Common Causes Of Car Dents #3 – Debris

If you are a person who drives your vehicle a lot, dents from road debris are almost unavoidable. As you are driving, debris like stones, sticks, and even trash can get kicked up and hit your vehicle from all directions.

The force with which these materials impact your vehicle varies depending on how fast you a traveling. In other words, the faster you drive, the deeper the dents will be. In addition to your own vehicle, debris kicked up from other vehicles can cause some serious damage as well.

Large 18-wheelers are notorious for this, and it is a good idea to fall back if one of these gets in your way. Additionally, strong winds can also kick up masses of debris, causing similar damage to what we discussed above.

Common Causes Of Car Dents #4 – Tree Branches

Here’s a surprising cause of car dents – falling tree branches. If you aren’t careful enough, a falling branch from a tree can result in significant damage to your vehicle’s bodywork. People who park their vehicles under trees are especially susceptible to this.

You might think that there needs to be a particularly bad storm for this to happen. But, that is not the case. Old, rotten tree branches can fall from trees at any moment onto your vehicle.

If the branch is larger in size, the damage would be even worse. So, each time you park under a tree, make sure to take a good look at the branches and ensure that all of them look healthy.

Common Causes Of Car Dents #5 – Shopping Carts

If you are a person who takes trips to the shopping mall constantly, shopping carts can be your worst enemy when it comes to car dents. Most people are careless when wielding these, so it is up to you to park in an area where the risk of a shopping cart crashing into your precious ride is minimum.

Common Causes Of Car Dents #6 – Tight Parking

Most owners get their vehicles dented while trying to squeeze into tight parking spaces, making tight turns or when parallel parking. If you want to avoid spending hundreds of dollars to fix dent in car, avoid these narrow spaces and always try to park your vehicle in a more spacious area instead.

Common Causes Of Car Dents #7 – Animals

On top of being one of the scariest things you can experience behind the wheel, hitting an animal with your vehicle can cause some significant damage to your vehicle as well. Not only would this cause some significant dents, but it would mess up the paint too.

The place where the animal collides with your vehicle can dictate how much you’ll need to spend to get the vehicle back in working order. For example, a head-on collision may cause more structural and mechanical damage when compared to a sideways impact.

Being vigilant behind the wheel at all times is the best way of avoiding colliding with animals. We recommend you be especially cautious after dusk, as this is the time when you are most likely to encounter animals.

Those were some of the most common ways you could get dents on your vehicle. Next, let’s take a look at the most common types of car dents you may come across during your ownership of a vehicle.

Types Of Car Dents

It is important for you to have an idea about the different types of car dents in order to choose the best method of fixing them. Some common car dent types include,

  • Dings
  • Creased Dents
  • Sharp Dents
  • Round Dents

Let us go through them one by one to see their causes and what you can to do fix dent in car belonging to each type.

Types Of Car Dents #1 – Dings

Dings refer to small dents on the vehicle’s exterior surface, which are around half an inch in diameter. These are the result of some external objects hitting the car’s exterior at a considerable rate of speed.

Small rocks, doors of other vehicles, as well as shopping carts, are among some of the most common culprits behind car dings. More often than not, the removal process for simple door dings is fairly straightforward and simple.

Types Of Car Dents #2 – Creased Dents

The next type of car dents we will be taking a look at today are creased dents. When compared to dings, these cause more extensive damage to the exterior of a vehicle. If a vehicle hits your vehicle and then drags along the surface, the result will be a creased dent.

Driving close to walls, bicycle handlebars dragging along, or a low-hanging tree branch can all result in the formation of creased dents. The side panels of your vehicle are the most vulnerable to this type of dent damage.

In addition to warping the metal surface of your side panels, creased dents also damage the paint too. So, you would have to spend money on both metal repair and paint restoration to remedy creased dents.

Types Of Car Dents #3 – Sharp Dents

Sharp dents are considered by many to be the most difficult car dent type to remove. Although these dents are smaller in size, they often leave behind a deep indentation which makes them tricky to handle.

Sharp dents are caused by impacts with sharp objects, and they cause more significant damage under the vehicle’s surface. Depending on the extent of the damage, sharp dents may require a lot of handiwork to get rid of properly.

Types Of Car Dents #4 – Round Dents

The final type of dent you are bound to come across during your ownership of a vehicle is round dents. You can identify these easily by the hollow and circular indentation they leave behind.

Hail damage or any circular object may impact your vehicle, and leave behind round dents on the surface. If you park your vehicle near kids’ play areas often, you should beware of these dents.

Now that you know all about the different types of dents, let’s move on and take a look at the different types of car dent repair methods available.

Car Dent Repair

There are multiple techniques utilized by professionals for car dent repair. Paintless dent repair (PDR) and traditional dent repair (as well as learning how to pull a dent out of a car) are the two most common ways auto body shops use to fix dent in car. Let’s take a close look at each of them, shall we?

Fix Dent In Car Method #1 – Paintless Dent Repair

As the name suggests, the aim of paintless dent repair is to fix the dents without affecting the exterior paint finish. Repainting a vehicle usually decreases its resale value, making PDR a great way of restoring its value. This is aided by the increased durability of modern automotive paint.

fix dent in car

This type of repair is suitable and effective for removing small surface dents. However, as special tools are required to perform paintless dent repair, you are better off leaving it to the professionals.

Fix Dent In Car Method #2 – Traditional Dent Repair

Some dents are so severe that they can’t be fixed using paintless dent repair. This is where traditional dent repair comes in. Some people refer to this procedure as the filling method as well. Traditional dent repair is a multi-stepped process that takes both time and effort.

The first step of the process is assessing the damage. Here, the mechanics will identify the parts that can be fixed and the ones that require replacement. Then, the dent is pulled out using special equipment.

However, damage to the exterior paint during traditional dent repair is unavoidable. This is because the paint needs to be scraped away in order to fill in the dent with body filler. Although the technicians will repaint the affected area once the repair is complete, the longevity and durability of it are not guaranteed.

Overall, is seen by many as a method that delivers inferior results. Not only that but also it should be mentioned that traditional dent repair does not actually fix the problem. Instead, it merely restores the vehicle’s appearance.

Fix Dent In Car Method #3 – Replacing The Entire Panel

If both the above repair methods fail, you may have to replace the entire panel itself. But, this is easier said than done, especially in modern vehicles. Replacing the original body panels greatly reduces the value of the vehicle, and it takes a large amount of money and effort to do so as well.

If your car has been dented but you don’t want to spend some hard-earned cash to get it repaired by a professional, you can try and fix a dent in car in the comfort of your home. And when it comes to this, car dent pullers are some of the most useful tools you can buy.

Car Dent Puller

Using a car dent puller, you can remove dents on different types of materials such as plastic and sheet metal. Dent removal using one of these tools is easier, and it allows you to restore the dented surface back to its original condition. Furthermore, dent pullers eliminate the need to repaint your vehicle after a repair.

If you’re curious about repainting a car, we’ve plenty of other resources that you could refer to. That includes looking into the best paint jobs on cars, the cost to repair a paint chip on a car, and how much does it cost to paint a car a different color, in addition to how to fix peeling paint on a car, as well as how much does it cost to paint a car, including how much does it cost to paint a bumper, not to mention how to fix chipped paint on a car, and how much paint to paint a car.

However, there are some risks in using car dent pullers as well. If you aren’t careful, the puller may damage the sheet metal of your vehicle. We also recommend using work gloves and protective glasses when using dent pullers for your own safety.

You can find several types of dent pullers available out on the market such as,

  • Glue Puller
  • Slide Hammer Puller
  • Suction Puller

The way you should operate a dent puller differs between these types. Now, we will take a close look at each of them.

Fix Dent In Car, Car Dent Puller #1 –  Glue Puller

Compared to other car dent pullers, using a glue puller can be considered the least invasive way of performing a collision repair. Here, some specially designed tabs are glued to the exterior panels of a vehicle.

Then, the dent is pulled out using a variety of tools. Not damaging the corrosion-protection layer (else, you need to know how to fix rust on a car) applied by the vehicle manufacturer is one of the most significant advantages of using a glue puller. Otherwise, you might encounter side effects such as surface rust vs deep rust.

The history of the glue puller can be traced back to 1999. Würth – a German company specializing in assembly materials was the first to introduce this type of collision repair to the world.


The technology made its way into the United States by 2000. Since then, the technology has received some major improvements, making it one of the most popular ways to fix dent in car in the modern day.

The procedure of using a glue puller goes as follows. First, find a glue tab that fits the size of the dent on your vehicle. Then, heat the glue gun, and apply a small amount of glue onto the tab.

After attaching the glue tab to the dent, fit the pulling fixture onto it. Slowly make the pull until the height of the dent is flush with the surrounding panel. You must repeat this procedure until the dent is completely pulled out.

Fix Dent In Car, Car Dent Puller #2 – Slide Hammer Puller

Slide hammer pullers utilize impact force to push the dent back into shape. Typically, you can identify three main components in slide hammer pullers – a long metal shaft with an attachment point, a sliding weight, and a stop.

You can use hooks, screw threads as well as other objects to attach the slide hammer to your vehicle as required. However, there are some slide hammer pullers that attach to the vehicle using plastic tabs. In addition to fixing car dents, slide hammer pullers can be used to fix issues with oil seals, bearings, and gears.

Fix Dent In Car, Car Dent Puller #3 – Suction Puller

If the dent on your vehicle is shallow or very large in diameter, you can use a suction puller to remove it. This is due to the fact that these pullers require a sufficient amount of suction to be applied in order to work best.

Make sure to wipe the dented area using a microfiber cloth before using a suction puller. Then, apply some water or Windex onto the suction cup. Doing so increases its suction force.

After that, place the suction cup in the center of the dent, and clamp down the handles. Now you can go ahead and pull out the dent slowly.

If you find attaching the suction cup tricky, try heating up the panel beforehand. Once the dent is pulled out, make sure to wipe down the panel to remove any excess water or Windex from the paint surface.

Paintless Dent Repair Cost

As we mentioned earlier, paintless dent repair is one of the most effective ways to fix dent in car. If you were interested in knowing the costs associated with this technique, this section is for you!

Compared to other types of dent removal available, the cost of a paintless dent repair is relatively inexpensive. The average cost is around $150 – $250, but the cost may vary depending on the size of the dent. For example, you only have to spend between $50 – $100 to fix light dents.

On the other hand, medium-sized dent repairs take between $75 – $300 to fix properly. Larger and more severe dents are the most expensive to fix. An auto body repair shop will charge you between $300 – $500 to fix one of these.

The location of the dent on your vehicle plays a part in determining the overall cost as well. Dents on hard-to-reach areas like the roof often cost more to fix than the ones on the doors or side panels.

Fix Dent In Car: Verdict

Every car owner should have a clear understanding of the different ways to fix dent in car as well as the costs associated with them. Although we can’t do much to prevent natural events which cause car dents (like sudden hailstorms) it is always better to take preventive measures to reduce the risk of dents.


Otherwise, you’ll have to spend a significant sum of money to get your vehicle’s dented body panels restored back to how they once were.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Get A Dent Out Of A Car

There are several ways you can fix a car dent. Paintless dent repair and traditional dent repair can be identified as two of the most popular dent repair techniques.

How To Fix A Dent In A Car

One of the most effective ways of fixing a dent in a car is through the use of a car dent puller. Some popular types of car dent pullers on the market include suction pullers, glue pullers, and slide hammer pullers.

How To Get Small Dents Out Of Car

There are several methods you can try to get small dents out of a car. Using a plunger to pull out the dent through suction, pouring boiling water over the dent as well as using dry ice to pop it out are some of them.

How To Fix Bumper Dent

If the dent on your bumper has a large diameter, you can fix it using a suction puller. Simply attach the suction cup inside the dent, and pull it towards you until the dent becomes flush with the body panels.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Dent In Car

The cost of fixing a car dent depends on a number of factors. These include the type of dent as well as its location. The average cost of car dent repairs ranges from $50 all the way to $2500.

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