How to Fix Dents and Scratches on Cars

It's common to the point of being expected to get scratches, dents, dings, and warped metal on your car, from the fender bender to the bumper bumps and everything in between. They're not only annoying; they're also hard to ignore once they're there.

There are owners who do give them no need and keep on driving with them. It's quite expensive to have them fixed, after all. However, a small scrape today can turn into outright door corrosion and destruction in the future if you don't address them sooner or later.

Thankfully, there are ways for you to go about fixing such problems without requiring professional car detailing services.

How to Fix Dents and Scratches

  • Remove a Shallow Scratch with Sandpaper: Only do it on scratches that are skin deep or shallow. Run your fingertip on the cut. If it doesn't catch the fingernail, then it's a shallow cut. Clean the area first. Afterwards, buy a 2,000-grit piece of wet sandpaper and rub the scratch way. Rub, take a break, and sprinkle water on the area. When the abrasion is almost invisible, apply a rubbing compound on the sandpapered portion.
  • Candle Wax or Super Glue as a Temporary Solution: If you have some candle wax on hand and you're only dealing with a light nick on the paint surface, you can use the wax to temporarily cover it up. Just rub the warmed up wax gently on it to seal the nick. You can also use super glue the same way. On the other hand, a good car wax can pretty much do the same thing while at the same time keeping the rest of your vehicle nice and polished for a few months or so. Candle wax is simply a good short-term fix during emergencies.
  • Use a Plunger for a Large Dent: If you're dealing with a large dent that has flattened or left a recessed pothole or crease on your car like a crumpled aluminum tin soda can, then you can use a plunger to pull that dent back to its original shape. A bathroom plunger will do in a pinch but a car dent plunger or puller is even better at this specific job. Just put the plunger head on the affected crumpled area and do push and pull motions to vacuum-pump it back to normal. You might have to do this repeatedly.
  • Fix from the Back with a Hammer or Mallet: If your metal finish is somehow warped from your bumper or fender, you can go and fix it from the back with a hammer or mallet. However, you can only use these tools if you have access to the back of the dent and have enough space to swing them. A mallet mostly works on hollow dents that are large in diameter. Meanwhile, the hammer is more ideal in fixing up small dents, hammering them back to flatness.

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