Homemade Dent Pullerby Linda Donahue
Sometimes you can remove small dents in your car without the expense of going to a body shop. However, any method for removing dents, whether it involves a home remedy or a product available commercially, carries some risk of damaging the dent-weakened paint. Keep this in mind when attempting any repairs.
Pulling Out Dents with Temperature
One home-remedy method for removing dents involves temperature changes that pop the metal back into shape. Heat the surface with a hair dryer for approximately one minute. Then take a can of air duster, and turn it upside down. Spray the compressed air on to the dent for about 10 seconds. An icy mist should form on the dent. Allow the ice to melt. The combination of cold and hot air does the work, and the dent should pop out on its own within moments. Wipe off the moisture.
Using Dent Pullers
As of January 2010, commercial dent-puller kits sell for around $20, though you could make one of your own at a similar cost. You need a hot glue gun, glue sticks, suction cups, a large wing nut, a bolt and a bar with two legs shorter than the bolt. Bond one of the suction cups to the bolt with an epoxy that works on rubber and metal. You need to have the bolt's threaded end on the back. The wing nut screws on to for tightening during the pulling phase. The bar with two legs should look like a flattened U. Attach another suction cup to each leg, and drill a hole in the middle of the bar to hold the bolt. For your homemade dent puller, you follow the same directions that come with commercial dent poppers. Glue the suction cup at the end of the bolt on to the dent, and thread the bolt through the bar. (You have to glue the cup because the suction alone does not offer a hold strong enough for the job.) The other two suction cups can simply rest against the car's side. Twist on the wing nut, and keep tightening it against the bar. This action pulls on the dent, popping it out. You then need to remove the glued suction cup and any excess glue from the side of the car. Commercial kits provide a plastic scraper for this.