If you've recently had a vehicular collision that has left you with a shallow but large (and very noticeable) dent in your door or side panel, you may be mulling over your repair options. Turning in this claim to your own insurance company can often cost you more than you'll receive, as any increase in premium costs associated with your claim may be more than you receive in repair funds after paying your deductible. However, you may also be reluctant to pay these costs out of pocket, particularly if your vehicle is on the older side or the repair quote is close to its total value. Fortunately, there may be a do-it-yourself method that can yield some success with your particular type of dent. Read on to learn more about how heat treatment is used to repair large, shallow dents.
How does heat treating a dent work?
The heat treating method of dent repair isn't successful on all types of dents, particularly those that are deep or misshapen and may require more extensive repair with magnets or stud welding techniques. However, heat treating is uniquely suited for dents that are very shallow but cover a large surface area on a thin panel, like the hood, door, or rear quarter panel. This process works by heating the dent enough to make the molecules malleable, then quickly cooling it to "pop" out the dent. Heat treating is performed using specialized tools in auto body shops, but can sometimes be performed at home using tools you may already have on hand.
What can you use to heat treat this dent on your own?
Because the heat aspect of heat treatment doesn't require you to heat the surface of the dent any hotter than you can touch, you should be able to accomplish this with a regular blow dryer or small space heater with attached fan. Once the surface is nearly too hot to the touch, you'll want to turn off the hair dryer and quickly spray the surface of the dent with computer duster. By turning the canister of duster upside down, you'll be able to blast a spray of cold air that will immediately lower the surface temperature of the dent and pop it back into its original position.
If your attempt at do-it-yourself dent removal isn't successful, it's unlikely to cause any additional issues -- making this process a no-brainer to try at home before bringing your vehicle into an auto body shop, such as Wasatch Body Shop, Inc., for professional repair.