Car Dent Pullers: Do DIY Dent Removal Kits Work?
Little dents in your car are frustrating. Sometimes, a ding in a car park can cause noticeable damage to the bodywork. Many car owners are turning to car dent pullers to try and repair the damage themselves.
Dent removal kits (or dent repair kits) pull dents from the outside of the car, unlike Paintless Dent Removal techniques, which push dents out from the inside. Car dent pullers are widely available and cheap to buy, but do they work?
Before you attempt a DIY dent removal, read our advice on the types of car dent pullers available and when to choose a professional dent repair service.
What is a Car Dent Puller?
Car dent pullers lift dents out of car bodywork and straighten the metal out. There are two main types of pullers: suction and glue kits.
Suction dent pullers work like plungers, you attach it to the dent and pull it up towards you to remove the dent.
Glue dent puller kits involve gluing a flat pulling tab directly onto the dent. The pulling tab has a screw function, so you twist the handle to pull the tab up and away from the car.
Other kits attach the pulling tab to a pole. Then you slide a weight along the pole, like a bicycle pump, to provide the upward pressure.
Please note: We do not advise you to use any dent puller kit that requires you to drill holes into the dent.
Do they work?
Dent pullers only work on shallow dents that are positioned on a flat, flexible surface. They can improve the appearance of car dents but are unlikely to create a perfect finish. Unfortunately, DIY dent pullers will not work on deep, angular dents or damage along the edges of bodywork. Dents in areas of thick metal are very difficult to remove at home.
Pros of Dent Pullers
- DIY dent pulling kits can save money in the short term.
- You don’t have to be without your car while it is repaired.
- You can control your own repair.
Cons of Dent Pullers
- Using a DIY small dent puller is very time consuming, especially if you have no previous experience.
- You cannot achieve a perfect professional finish with a DIY dent pulling kit.
- It is very easy to make the damage worse, which would then require a more expensive repair.
- You cannot use a dent puller on an area that also has paintwork damage, as this will worsen the damage.
How to use a Car Dent Puller
It is important to follow the instructions that come with your dent puller kit. Keep in mind that some car dents may take several attempts to pull the damage out.
The first step is to clean the surface of the car thoroughly – this will remove any dirt and grease.
Then thoroughly dry the damaged area as this will help the dent puller stick to the metal.
Suction Dent Pullers
- Moisten the suction surface with a small amount of water and attach it the puller to the car.
- For small dents, attach the puller to the centre of the dent.
- For large dents, begin pulling at the edges and work your way towards the middle.
- Once the puller is tightly attached to the car, begin pulling it straight up towards your body.
- Use small, quick pulses rather than one big tug.
Glue Dent Pullers
- Choose the pulling tab that best suits the size of the dent.
- Heat up the glue gun and apply a blob to the bottom of the pulling tab.
- Fix the tab to the dent, but be careful not to press too hard. There should be a layer of glue between the tab and the metal.
- Allow the glue to set for several minutes or until hard.
- Attach the pulling mechanism over the pulling tab and begin pulling the tab away from the car. Be sure to use short, quick movements.
- If the tab pops off before the dent is removed, remove the glue with the substance provided, and start the process again.
- If you pull the dent too far, you may create raised areas. You can use a rubber mallet to gently tap them back down.
Risks and Advice
Dent pullers have limited use and are not suitable for removing most types of car dents. Removing any car dent is a lengthy multi-step process which requires experience. If you move too quickly or pull too hard, the metal could stretch and will require a more extensive professional repair. For large dents with paintwork damage, always take your car to a professional.
Minor Dent Repair and Removal Service
At ChipsAway, our specialists offer a dent removal service which can rectify most minor dents. From a bumper dent to small dent in the side panel, we can repair the damage in no time. We are experts in car dent repairs, so it’s our job to get your car back to fantastic condition stress-free. Unlike a DIY dent pulling kit, all ChipsAway repairs come with a Lifetime Repair Guarantee.
Call us on 0800 145 5118, or complete our online form for your free dent repair estimate.