Repairing A Small Dent With Temperature Changes

22 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you had a mishap where you had bumped your vehicle into a tree, guardrail, or another structure, you may find you have a dent where the impact had occurred. If this dent is not large it might not be cost-effective to have your car insurance pay for an auto body shop to do your repair work. You can either pay for the damage out-of-pocket or give a go at making the repair yourself. Here are some instructions to follow if you decide to try using temperature changes to remove a dent from your vehicle.

Examine The Damage First

Before undertaking a dent repair job yourself, check the overall size of the dent. If it is relatively small, such as two or three inches in width, you may be able to use temperature change to move the metal back into place.

This will work best on a flat area of your vehicle, such as the hood, a side panel, the door, or the trunk. If the dent has multiple pushed in spots, or if it has areas where the paint has become scraped or chipped away, you may be better off taking the vehicle to a professional for auto body repair services.

Gather Your Materials

  • Aluminum foil
  • Hair dryer
  • Stopwatch
  • Painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty rubber insulated gloves
  • Dry ice

Start With Heat

The metal on your vehicle will need to be heated to try to get the dent to come out. Put your hairdryer on a "medium" or "high" temperature setting and direct the heat at the dent for about two minutes. Do not touch the vehicle with the nozzle of the hairdryer because it can cause the paint to become softened, possibly melting portions as a result.

Instead, keep it an inch or two away from the body as you heat. When you turn off the hairdryer, immediately tape a piece of aluminum foil over the dent using painter's tape. This will act like insulation and will help keep the heat from escaping from the dented area.

Finish With Coolness

Put on your insulated gloves and rub a piece of dry ice directly on top of the aluminum foil that you just placed over the dent. As the ice cools the exterior of the foil, the sudden change in temperature may cause you to hear a popping sound from the metal. This is the sound of the metal pushing back into its original location. This will usually happen in only a minute or two from the time you start rubbing the ice over the foil.

If you do not hear a popping sound, you can try starting the procedure again by heating with the hair dryer and switching quickly to the dry ice. If the dent does not come out after a two or three temperature changes, you may need to fill in the dent with body filler instead.