How to repair a dent in a car, but please leave it to the experts…

Repairing a dent in a car can vary in complexity depending on the size, location, and depth. At Reclamet Repair and Refinish, we implore you to refrain from trying and doing this yourself as you could cause more damage and, more likely, an unsatisfactory result. Instead, we explain how we repair a minor dent in your car so you can trust us to do it right.


Assess the Damage: Firstly, we inspect the dent to determine its size and location. Minor, shallow dents that have not damaged the paint are typically the most straightforward to repair.


Gather the Necessary Tools: We use several specialist tools, but some are similar to everyday items. Knowing the tool is very important to avoid incorrect use. These include (among others):


  • Rubber mallet or a similar soft-faced hammer
  • Plunger (for minor, shallow dents)
  • Heat gun (for plastic and metal panels)
  • Compressed air
  • A paintless dent repair (PDR) kit
  • Auto body filler (for deeper dents)
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Automotive primer
  • Automotive paint (matching the colour of your car)
  • Clear coat
  • Polishing compound

Plunger Method (for minor, shallow dents): If the dent is accessible from the inside, we will have a look and remove the interior panels if necessary. We ensure the area around the dent is clean and dry so that the plunger can create a strong seal.


Applying a lubricant to the plunger’s edge, we press the plunger firmly onto the centre of the dent, then pull outward while maintaining a solid seal, and the suction will pop the dent back into place.


Heat Gun Method (for plastic bumpers): To fix a dent in plastic, a heat gun is used to heat the affected area to be easily reshaped. It’s important to ensure that the temperature is just right – not too hot or cold – so as not to cause any further damage to the plastic. The dent is then pushed out from the back using an appropriate tool.


Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) Kit: PDR kits contain specialised tools like dent pullers, rods, and glue guns.


Auto Body Filler (for deeper dents): We sand the area around the dent to remove any paint, create a rough surface for the auto-body filler to adhere to, and then apply it to the dent.


Once the filler has dried, we sand it smooth and apply primer, paint, and a clear coat to match the rest of the car’s surface.


Paint and Finish: We sand the repaired area smoothly and apply a matching automotive primer for an excellent paint and finish. With matching automotive paint, we paint the area and, once dried, apply a clear coat to protect it.


Finally, we buff and polish the repaired area to blend it with the surrounding paint.


Final Inspection: After completing the repair, we inspect the area to ensure the dent is no longer visible and the paint matches the surrounding surface.


More extensive or complex dents may make the area costly to repair; in these cases, it may be more cost-effective to have a replacement body part.


At Reclamet Repair and Refinish, we can access a vast range of original manufacturer auto parts at our warehouse facility. We can replace an area at a fraction of the repair cost and apply a paint finish to match the vehicle.

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