Keep Your Car Prepared

Two Methods Of Collision Auto Body Repair That Might Work At Home

If you are currently looking at any sort of dent in your vehicle, you may be considering trying some "home remedies" to take the dent out yourself. The traditional method involves a drill, a hole in the dent, and popping the dent back out. While effective, this method does leave an unsightly hole where the dent used to be. If you would still prefer to DIY your auto collision dents at home, but avoid creating additional body damage, there are a couple methods you can try which may or may not work, depending on the size of the dent and your skills in this area.


Air-powered plungers, or plungers with a hydraulic cylinder built into the handle, may be able to remove dents smaller than the diameter of the plunger cup. To get a really good suction hold over the dent on your car, moisten either the area around the dent or the plunger's suction cup. Attach the plunger firmly over the dent and use the hydraulic pull handle to pull the dent toward you with one hand while firmly holding the plunger cup in place with the other hand. It may take a couple of passes to work, and it may only work if you can get a good seal all the way around the edges of the plunger cup.

Air Hammer

If you choose to try the air hammer method, you will need to remove the panel where the dent is located. (This method is initially a little more labor intensive, but it can be used as a last resort before you ask a professional to do the job for you.)

After you have removed the dented panel from your vehicle:

  1. Connect the air hammer to the compressed air tank and set the hammer to "pound."
  2. Place the end of the air hammer over the dent on the reverse side of the panel. Here, the dent will look convex rather than concave.
  3. Starting with the most elevated area first, release short bursts of air to "tap" the dent down.
  4. Circulate the air gun from highest to lowest points in the dent until there is no trace of the dent except for a few crinkles in the metal, then reinstall the panel on your car.
  5. You may want to do a little paint job too, in which case, leave the panel off until you have completed the paint job.

When Either of These Methods Does Not Work

If these two methods do not work, there are a couple more involving strange items like a hair dryer and cold, compressed air or dry ice, and using a hose from a compressed air tank to fill the space behind the dent until it pops out on its own. While you can certainly try these, they may not be as effective as the air plunger or air hammer methods. When all else fails, it may just be time relinquish control of the situation and have an expert, like those at Blue Ribbon Auto Body, perform your collision auto body repairs instead.