How to fix a bumper dent yourself
How to fix a bumper dent yourself
If you have a dent on your bumper, you can fix it yourself. In this tutorial, we will show you how to pull out a bumper dent. If your bumper has minimal paint damage, you can remove the dent by heating the dented bumper enough to pull out the dent.
In this DIY tutorial, we will use a hot air gun to heat the bumper. If your bumper has paint damage and scratches, you can use a custom mixed paint to touch up any scratches.
How to fix dent on a car bumper
Using a hot air gun you can quickly heat up a car bumper and pull out the dent. Car bumpers are plastic but yet they are ridgit and can't be easily bent. Heating up the bumper with a hot air gun makes the bumper flexible and allows it to bend easily.
This is the fastest way to fix a bumper dent. The only drawback here is that you need to pay attention so that you don't melt the bumper paint or the bumper itself.
What you will need
The following tools are required to fix a bumper dent yourself.
- Hot Air Gun
- Heat Resistance Gloves (Recommended)
- Custom Mixed Spray Paint (To fix any scratches, if any)
Loosen up the bumper clips
To fix the bumper dent we first heat up the dent. Most importantly you will need to get your hand behind the dent. That's why it is important to loosen up the bumper. Car bumpers are held up in place by 10 mm bolts and plastic clips. If the dent is on the corner you may be able to place your hand behind the dent by reaching from underneath. In our case, we removed two 10 mm bolts and the bumper came loose on one side.
Before you even move on to step two, try pushing on the bumper with your hand without even heating up the bumper. Depending on the severity of the dent and how flexible your bumper is, the dent might come righ out. If your bumper is thick, the dent may not come out and you need to continue to the next step.
Heat up the dent area in your bumper
In our case, we are using a hot air gun. Set the hot air gun at 650 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the hot air gun 8 inches away from the bumper. Pay close attention to the paint. Don't keep the heat gun to close or you will melt the paint. Depending if you are using a heat gun, hairdryer or hot water you will need to heat up the bumper for about 5 to 15 minutes.
If you are using a hair dryer set it to the maximum hot setting.
Move your hand over the dent on a circular motion. Don't keep your hand on a single spot.
Keep heating the bumper. Pay close attention to the paint color. You don't need to heat up the bumper to the point that the paint starts to melt.
Get dent out of the bumper
Now it is time to get the dent out of the bumper. Use gloves and with the palm of your hand push out the dent. If you warmed up the bumper, the dent would easily come out. If you didn',t you will have to use force to push the dent out.
We like to use a wooden block to pop out the dent by pushing from behind the bumper. A wooden block can avoid damage that you may otherwise cause to your hands or the bumper. Be careful and don't push with an object that has sharp corners. This can cause a crease or raised spot on the bumper.
Use a metal plate to lower any high bumper spots
You will be able to push the bumper dent out but you may notice that there may be a few high spots on the bumper. To fix these, heat up the spot and use a metal plate to press on the dent. You can continue press on the high spot and blow hot air to the area to fix any high spots.
Use paint scratch remover to clean dent
Now it is time to clean the area. Very often the paint that you see on your bumper may be from the other car or the object that you hit. These can be easily removed. Don't just use hot water though as it won't work. Use a Paint Scratch Remover Kit for the best results or alternatively you can use acetone.
Use matching paint to fix any scratches
If your bumper was severely hit and there is paint damage, you can use a matching spray paint mix to fix these scratches. You can go to your dealer and they will sell you a tiny bottle of touch-up paint. Or the better option is to buy a huge can of Custom Mixed Car Spray Paint. There are several body shops across the United States that will mix you a can of paint for your car and mail it to you. You will need to provide the paint code for your car which usually is found on the same sticker that has your VIN number or just provide the VIN number and they can often find out the color of your car.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a panel on your car that has a large dent you can use a plunger to get it out. The dent has to be large and not very severe with minimal creases. If you atempt to pull the dent with a plunger and fail don't give up, there are alternatives. You may want to use a body panel dent puller which is designed for this purpose and is able to pull better. The kind of dents that you may be able to fix with a plunger are limited. For example, if someone leans on your car door and creates a dent, you should be able to fix such a dent with a plunger or dent puller.
You can heat up the bumper with a hot air gun, hair dryer or hot boiling water and push the dent out. Make sure to use gloves so that you don't burn yourself. Also, you will need to access the back of the bumper in order to push the dent out.
The average cost to fix a dent on a car ranges from $400 - $800. The price depends on your location but also on the severity of the dent. The body shop will have to pull out the dent. Then they will try to fix any high spots. If there is paint damage or imperfection they will use Bondo and primer to level the surface. Lastly, they will spray paint the car (dent area and fade in) with matching a color paint and clear coat.
Dent pullers only work on large dents. If you have a small dent or a dent on your bumper, dent pullers don't work very well.
Yes, you can.