How to Repair a Bumper Dent

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How to Repair a Bumper Dent

A dented bumper is one of the most common types of vehicle damage. People who regularly drive in high traffic areas or who are on the road during poor weather are particularly susceptible to incidents that leave a dent on the bumper. Auto body shops charge dearly for such repairs, and having insurance cover the work affects the rates and deductibles. Thankfully, many bumper dents are easy to remove without any special training or equipment.

Assessing the Damage

The average car owner can remove the majority of minor bumper damage to an acceptable level. The repair may not be perfect; it may still be possible to see some ripples or some areas where the shape of the bumper is not as it originally was. This is often the case even when a professional does the work. Thankfully, it is possible to repair the majority of dents to close to perfect condition.

Some bumper dents really should have a professional do the work in order for it to look as good as possible. Particularly, if the bumper is cracked, has missing material, or if the paint is significantly damaged, taking it to an auto body repair shop probably ensures the best results. In general, car owners must make the decision on their own about whether to do the work themselves or pay to have a professional do it.

Different Dent Removal Methods

Manufacturers sell bumper dent repair kits, and many of these work great. These kits often require that the user drill into the bumper or attach something to it with an adhesive or some other method. This causes further damage that the user must then repair, although, most kits include the touchup paint and supplies for these repairs. Many dents do not require such an invasive repair procedure.

The Heat Method

Many experts recommend that the majority of bumper dents can easily pop back into shape with the application of heat and pressure. They recommend a few different methods to apply the heat, each of which has positives and negatives.

Heat Application

Pros

Cons

Hair Dryer

Almost everyone has one on hand and knows how to use it

Almost impossible to get it hot enough to damage the paint

Takes a long time to heat the bumper hot enough

May never get it hot enough to remove the dent completely

Heat Gun

Quickly heats the bumper enough to push out the dent

The focused heat allows the user to continue working with the dent to get out even smaller ripples

Inexpensive to purchase and easy to find

Most people have to purchase one specifically for this use

Can heat the paint hot enough to cause considerable damage to the paint

Boiling Water

Simple and everyone has access to a pan and water

One pan of water may not be enough to heat the dent

Can cool considerably while waiting for more water to boil

Most experts recommend using a heat gun because it is the most effective way to provide a steady, focused amount of high temperature heat to the area.

Removing the Bumper Dent

Before heating the bumper, it is important to gain access to its back in order to be able to push it outward. Depending on the vehicle and the location of the dent, this may require removing panels from around the wheel well and even detaching a section of the bumper. For best results, it is preferable to open the area behind the bumper enough to access the dent from behind with the heat gun or hair dryer. Doing so removes the risk of overheating and damaging the paint on the outside of the bumper.

Once there is access to the back of the dent, heat the bumper, including the area surrounding the dent and any sections where the dent overlaps the natural shape of the bumper. Pay particular attention to where the dent creases as these flex points need extra heat to smooth them out. When the bumper is hot to touch, but before the heat has damaged the paint, start pushing on it from behind with the handle of a tool or some other blunt object.

The dent often pops right out, completely returning to its original shape. Certain areas may need a little more work. Just keep heating and shaping from behind until it is as close as possible to the original condition. Many dents do not need any further paint work and the repair is finished once the dent pops. If there are some minor paint imperfections, purchase some touch-up paint that matches the colour of the bumper and follow the instructions on the container when applying.

How to Buy Bumper Dent Repair Supplies on eBay

It is good to know that a dented bumper is reasonably easy for even the novice to repair and is not cause for any headache, frustration, or unnecessary body shop bills. The heat gun is the best tool for the job, when used with care, but most people do not have one readily available. Shop for it, the tools needed to gain access to the back of the bumper, and any other bumper repair or touch up kits on eBay and save time and money while making the repair. The eBay Deals page often offers many automotive items at even better prices.

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