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 heat the bumper with a hot air gun. If your bumper has paint damage and scratches, you can use custom mixed paint to touch up any scratches.
How to fix a car bumper dent?
Using a hot air gun, you can quickly heat a car bumper and pull out the dent. Car bumpers are plastic, yet they are right and can’t be easily bent. Heating the bumper with a hot air gun makes it flexible and allows it to bend easily. This is the fastest way to fix a bumper dent. The only drawback here is that you must pay attention to not melting 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 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. 10 mm bolts and plastic clips hold up car bumpers. 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 moving on to step two, try pushing on the bumper with your hand without even heating the bumper. Depending on the dent’s severity and how flexible your bumper is, the dent might come right out. If your bumper is thick, the dent may not come out, and you must continue to the next step.
If you have car ramps, roll the car on the ramps. If the vehicle is raised a few inches, it will be easier to work with the bumper.
Heat the dented 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 too close, or you will melt the paint. If you use a heat gun, hairdryer, or hot water, you will need to heat the bumper for about 5 to 15 minutes.
If you use a hairdryer, set it to the maximum hot setting. Move your hand over the dent in 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 the bumper until the paint melts.
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. You would have to use force to push the dent out if you didn’t.
We like to use a wooden block to pop out the dent by pushing from behind the bumper. A wooden block can avoid damage 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 a 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 to 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 you see on your bumper may be from the other car or the object 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 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 a can of paint for your car and mail it to you. You will need to provide the paint code for your car, which is usually found on the same sticker with your VIN, or just provide the VIN, and they can often find out the color of your car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a plunger to remove a dent in my car?
You can use a plunger to get it out if you have a panel on your car that has a large dent. The dent must be large, not very severe, with minimal creases. If you attempt 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, designed for this purpose and can pull better. The kind of dents that you may be able to fix with a plunger is 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 puller.
You can heat the bumper with a hot air gun, hairdryer, 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 to push the dent out.
How much does fixing a dent on my car’s side cost?
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. They will use Bondo and primer to level the surface if there is paint damage or imperfection. Lastly, they will spray paint the car (dent area and fade in) with matching color paint and a clear coat.
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