Have a dent in your car's fender? While the dent may not affect your car's performance, it definitely affects its appearance. You may want your car looking good as new as soon as possible. You can always take it to an auto body repair shop. In fact, if the dent is serious enough, that may be your only option. However, there are other steps you can take first before you take the car to a shop. Below are a few things to try:
Plunge it. Your bathroom plunger isn't just for unclogging the toilet. You can also use it to get a small dent out of your car. Simply put some water on the dent and on the plunger and then apply the plunger over the dent. Also, be sure to use a plunger with a cup formation, rather than a flange. You want a wide surface that will completely cover the dent and apply flush to the car's surface.
Apply boiling water. Many car fenders are made from plastic. If the plastic is stiff, it may be difficult to pop the dent out of place. You can resolve this issue by applying boiling water to the dent area. The boiling water will loosen the plastic and make it more flexible. After you apply the boiling water, reach behind the dent and try to pop it out. If it doesn't work at first, try a few more times. The plastic could be so stiff that it needs several applications of hot water.
Alternate heat and cold. Another approach to popping a dent is to force the plastic to expand and then contract. This alternating process will force the plastic to shift and pop back into place. You can do this by applying a combination of heat and then cold. Start by using a hair dryer to blow hot air onto the dent. Then use a can of compressed air to apply cold air. Continue alternating in this fashion until the dent pops. Keep in mind that if the dent is fairly large, it may take several applications before you see any results.
Use a dent removal device. Many auto repair stores sell dent removal devices. These often include small attachments that look like plungers. You place the device over the dent and then turn a knob to tighten the suction over the dent. As the suction tightens, the device pulls the plastic back into place. These devices are often effective with small dents but may be problematic with larger ones.
If these methods don't work, it may be time to take your car to an auto body repair shop. Call shops in your area, describe your dent, and ask about prices and timelines.