How to fix a car bumper dent with a hot air gun
If you have a dent on your bumper, you can fix it yourself. In this tutorial, we will show you how and help you save several hundred dollars.
In this DIY tutorial, we will use a hot air gun to heat the car bumper, which will allow us to pop that dent right out. If your bumper has paint damage and scratches, you can use a custom mixed paint to touch up any scratches.
DIY Methods to fix a car dent
Before we show you our step-by-step guide let's briefly talk about some of the most common methods that people and body shops use to remove a dent from a vehicle's. These methods work on front or rear plastic bumpers found on most cars and large body panel dents.
Using a hot air gun to repair a bumper dent
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.
Use boiling water to fix a bumper dent
You may have been advised to use hot water to fix a bumper dent. In theory you will be doing the same thing as with a hot air gun. Heating up the bumper by pouring hot water on the dent area and then pushing the dent out. Using hot water to fix a bumper dent isn't as effective as a hot air gun. You often can't get the bumper warm enough quickly to push the dent out.
Using hot water to fix a front or rear bumper dent isn't the most effective method, but it can still work. Especially if you have a few buckets of hot water ready to pour on the dent.
Use Hair Blower to repair a dent on your car's bumper
This method works better than using boiling water but is not as effective as using a hot air gun. You will need to keep the air blower on the bumper for at least 15-20 minutes to heat up the dent area. If you don't have a hot air gun this may be your best solution.
Fix bumper dent using a plastic bumper dent puller
You may also be thinking that you can use a plastic bumper dent puller to fix your bumper. Dent pullers don't work very well on bumpers because of the angles that bumpers have. You can always try a dent puller but don't be discouraged if the dent puller doesn't stick to the bumper and isn't able to pull out the dent. Dent pullers work well on side panels or quarter panels that are flat and have large dents. Depending on the situation we would recommend trying a 2-1/2" Vacuum Suction Cup Handle Dent Puller.
All these methods work but with varying success. We have found that the hot air gun is the fastest way to fix a bumper dent. Therefore below we have provided DIY instructions on how to pull a bumper dent using a hot air gun.
Instruction on how to fix dent on a car bumper
Tools & Parts Required
The following tools are required to fix a bumper dent.
- Hot Air Gun
- Heat Resistance Gloves (Recommended)
- Custom Mixed Spray Paint (To fix any scratches, if any)
DIY Bumper Repair step-by-step instructions
Step 1: 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.
If you have car ramps, roll the car on the ramps. It will be a lot easier to work with the bumper if the vehicle is raised a few inches.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 5: 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.
Step 6: 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.
Step 7: 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 accross 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 yoru 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.
You can use the paint to touch up any scrtaches using a q-tip or a small brush.
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.
We hope you never get a car accident and end up with a dent on your car. If you do though, you don't need to take your car to a body shop and pay over $500 to fix a dent when you can do it all yourself for free as long as you have soem basic tools and DIY skills.
- How to fix a long gouge in a car door by Bodyshopzone.com
- 8 Easy Ways to Remove Dents Yourself Without Ruining the Paint by wonderhowto.com