How to Maintain Your Vehicle

Should You Attempt to Fix a Small Dent on Your Car by Yourself?

If you've walked out of the supermarket to find that someone has caused some minor damage to your car and fled the scene, you'll be less than happy. It seems that they allowed their door to fly open unchecked, resulting in a fist-sized dent on the side of your vehicle that will require some attention. Is this something you can handle yourself, and how should you approach it?

Assessing Your Options

DIY panel-beating is not for the fainthearted, and you need to make a reasonable assessment of the damage before you proceed. Generally speaking, if the dent does not involve any creases or cover any ridges or elements that may define shape and form, you may be able to proceed. If you're unsure, it's best not to take the risk, as you might cause more damage than already exists.

Taking a Close-Up Look

If you can reach the far side of the damaged panel, even better. For example, if the dent is on the rear wing and close to the wheel arch, you may be able to reach into the wheel cavity to access the reverse side of that panel.

Attempting the Fix

You will then need to arm yourself with a small piece of flat wood, a towel and a rubber mallet. You should cover the wood with the towel and place it on the far side of the dent. You can then gently tap against the wood with the rubber mallet. If you are lucky, the dent will pop out on the visible site.

If cracks are around the dent, then this procedure will not work. In this case, you will need to sand down the damaged portion of the bodywork and repaint it anyway.

Asking for Advice

In most situations, you should get in touch with an experienced panel beater instead and they'll be more than happy to give you their advice. If you like, you can take photographs of the dent and ask them for their opinion, or simply take the vehicle to their place of business for them to sort it out.

Taking the Best Approach

Remember, do-it-yourself panel beating is certainly a way to save money, but if you make more of a mess than was originally there, you'll end up with an even larger bill. The professionals will have the tools, equipment, and necessary expertise to take care of the issue for you.  

If you need panel beating repair services, contact a local company.