How to Pound Out Dents in a Car

by Chris Moore

Dents on your car are never fun to look at. If you are thinking about trying to pound a car dent back out yourself, take the size of the dent into account; the bigger it is, the more work it will take to repair. This will determine the exact tools you need as well as whether or not you can do it with the fender connected to the car. The older the car is, the more logical it will be to try and repair the dent yourself, as professional repair might cost more than the car's actual value.

Apply a large suction cup with a handle to the dent and begin pulling along its outside edge. Work your way toward the center with each pull while tapping the inside of the dent with a bag of buckshot. It's always best to try pulling a small dent out by suction first before attempting to pound on it.

Raise the end of the car with the dent onto a jack and remove the closest wheel to give yourself more room to work.

Pound the dent with a smaller soft hammer first. Crawl underneath the car so you can see the underside as you pound. Feel around the fender's outer edge with your free hand and aim for the dent's center to avoid pounding out protrusions.

Disconnect the fender from the car if the dent is large or the smaller hammer is not working. Disconnect every fastener for the fender using a wrench and pull it off; you'll likely need to raise the hood or trunk and remove the headlights to find some fasteners.

Hold a dolly or the bag of buckshot against the outside of the dent as you pound it with a heavier hammer. Always try short taps with the hammer instead of long, heavy pounding.


  • check Supporting the car on jack stands once you've raised it with the floor jack will give the car more support and make it safer to crawl underneath


  • close If the dent exceeds 8 inches in diameter, having it professionally repaired may be the best option.

Items you will need

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera blue sports car front end image by Michael Shake from