A car can get a lot of little dents in the fenders during an icy winter. Now that the warm weather of spring has fully arrived, it's time to start removing the dents to get your car looking good again. Many small dents can be taken care right in your driveway with only a few tools, and many car owners can do this work themselves. If you are someone who likes to work on their own car and you want to try to remove the dents yourself, here is how you can remove small dents from a fender made out of aluminum.
Heat the Aluminum
You want to heat up the aluminum on the fender to make it pliable. When the aluminum is pliable is it easier to pound it back into shape. Take a propane torch and heat the area around the dent. If you have several dents on the fender, work on one dent at a time. Put on some welder's gloves and heat up the dented area until you can move the aluminum with your finger. If the aluminum starts to turn gold, this means you're overheating the aluminum and it is starting to melt. Immediately remove the heat from the area and let the aluminum cool down a little.
You are going to need a collision dolly and a hand-held anvil. You use the collision dolly to slide in behind the fender so you can pound to dent out. The anvil is placed on the front of the fender where you are pounding the dent out. As you pound the dent out with the collision dolly, the anvil keeps the aluminum from getting pounded outward too much and helps to flatten the fender.
If the edge of the wheel well is also bent in, you use a pair of long-handled pliers to pull the dent out after you heat the aluminum. Make sure you put a rag between the teeth on the pliers and the fender to keep the teeth from scratching the surface of the fender.
There will typically be ridges around the edge of the dent once you finish pounding it out. Take a fine-grade metal file, and file the ridges down until the surface is smooth. You want to lightly slide the file over the top of ridges to avoid filing through the ridges and putting holes in the fender.
Touch Up Dent
There will be some scratches left over from using the file on the aluminum. You can use a rubbing compound made to cover up scratches made by filing the ridges down. Rub the compound into the fender with a buffer. Wash the fender to remove any remnants of the rubbing compound after you finish buffing. Apply an automotive touch-up paint to cover up where the original paint was damaged while repairing the dent. Wax and buff the fender to restore the original finish.
By following the steps above, you should be able to get rid of small dents. Larger dents will likely need to be repaired by professionals like those at Black Horse Auto Body Shop Inc.