How to Fix Dents With a Rubber Mallet

by Amanda Knaebel

If your vehicle has become marred by an unsightly dent, auto body shops can be an expensive choice for repairs. You also could be without a vehicle for several days while the shop works on the dent. For large dents and ones that are difficult to reach, a professional auto body technician may be your only hope, but you can often fix small dents yourself with a simple rubber mallet and save yourself time and money on professional repairs.

Step 1

Remove any items around the dent that could be damaged when you try to pound it out, such as headlights and tail lights.

Step 2

Cover the dent with a rag and tap the metal from behind with a rubber mallet. You may need to open a door or reach up under the wheel well to reach the dent. Tap firmly, but gently. If you bang too hard, the dent could fracture and damage the paint or metal.

Step 3

Heat the dented area with a hairdryer for one to two minutes to make the metal easier to manipulate if simple tapping did not work. Tap from behind and run a cloth soaked in ice water over the metal to cool it down after you pound out the dent.

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