Author Topic: car dent repair (Read 7120 times)

Mariner

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car dent repair
« on: March 21, 2015, 04:08:43 PM »
Hello!
So I recently dented the hatch of my 09 Honda Fit (below the license plate) when I accidentally backed into my neighbor's SUV. Am told by a body shop that it'll cost at least 1K to repair. As I don't have collision coverage and prefer not to pay the 1K for a dent, I was wondering if anyone had any frugal alternatives to this repair. Maybe by purchasing an accessory that would hide the damage (bike rack?) or something else I am missing? I realize this is a weird question, but just thought I'd throw it out there.

dhlogic

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 04:42:54 PM »
1) Leave dent

2) Save $1000

Mariner

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 04:45:42 PM »
Thanks. I had not considered that.

Spork

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 05:02:18 PM »
I've used dhlogic's succinctly described method before.

How big are we talking? Did it crack or otherwise damage the paint?

I have seen some success (not perfect) just pushing it out from behind if there is no crease -- and if you can pull off some panels to get to the back of the metal.

I've also heard tales of very small dents (like hail dents) coming out by parking it in the hot summer sun, then hitting it with a piece of dry ice.

If the paint is cracked or chipped.... you might sand it off and hit it with some primer (and matching touchup paint if you have it). That's better than rust.
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dhlogic

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 05:09:03 PM »
I was pretty blunt in my reply, sorry. It is truly what I would do and have done with my vehicle. If it is cosmetic damage and doesn't affect the function of the vehicle, strongly consider leaving it alone.

I have owned my vehicle for 12 years. I purchased it with dents and it has acquired several more since then. It will acquire more in the future.

Spork

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 05:19:38 PM »
I was pretty blunt in my reply, sorry. It is truly what I would do and have done with my vehicle. If it is cosmetic damage and doesn't affect the function of the vehicle, strongly consider leaving it alone.

I have owned my vehicle for 12 years. I purchased it with dents and it has acquired several more since then. It will acquire more in the future.

It made me snicker.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
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To relax their restless flight

Mariner

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 05:29:24 PM »
It's a pretty big dent - at least a foot wide - so would be difficult to push back on my own and make it look okay. It's just cosmetic damage, and the paint is intact. However, before this happened, I was planning to sell it and buy an older car (I no longer need a commuter car), but this of course limits its re-sale value. And if I'm going to stick with the Fit for the next decade, I'd like to at least hide the dent so I don't get annoyed every time I walk by it ... There probably is no good answer to my question. But thanks very much for your replies! I appreciate it.

dhlogic

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 05:54:18 PM »
The Fit is a pretty solid car to own, even if it's no longer being used for commuting. I assume you still need a car from time to time? It's positive characteristics still make it a good choice when used in a limited basis. What would you replace it with?

Years ago I was a little upset about a dent someone put in my front fender after backing into it. I've since changed my views on things and it no longer bothers me.

cjottawa

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 06:20:52 PM »
Not kidding: wait until someone (eventually) rear-ends you and let them pay for the (much larger) repair.
True story - my friend did exactly this with her Fit. Went about two years and, sure enough, someone rear ended her in a parking lot. All covered by the other driver's insurance.

Plastic bumper so it won't rust. There's usually very little downside in leaving this kind of thing, unless there's structural damage.

Also: if there aren't any cracks and the paint is intact, see if you can find a body shop that'll carefully suck the dent back out. I am betting the quote you got included a full repaint of the bumper.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 06:22:55 PM by cjottawa »

Mariner

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 07:57:09 PM »
Great, thanks for the suggestions cjottawa. That's a good idea - it's only a matter of time before it gets bumped in the parking lot ... It's actually dented just above the bumper. But it may be possible to suck it out. I'll look into getting a quote for that, and if it's not more than a few hundred bucks I may go that route.

Syonyk

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 08:54:10 PM »
There is definitely "Insurance is covering this" quotes, and "Well, it's not factory spec, but it'll pass inspection from 2 or 3 feet" level repairs, with a radically different cost between the two.

I'd either leave it, or see if you can get one of the second type of quote.
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mrshudson

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2015, 09:15:16 PM »
There are actually salvage yards that sell parts for your car - you may have to wait around a bit and keep checking until you find one in the color of your choice, but when you do you fixing it is usually simpler than you'd think. Bumpers are easy enough to remove and reattach, as are little things like filler panels above the bumper. If you do need to rivet something - Honda dealers may carry rivets, and it's nothing that a rivet gun can't do. Only slightly more complicated is getting hold of a primered replacement part from ebay and painting it yourself.

Total cost - $100-$200 depending on the size/extent of the damage.

gooki

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2015, 01:21:07 AM »
You got a photo?

Dents in plastic bumpers can often be fixed by simply removing the bumper and letting it snap back into shape, and then refitting.
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Emg03063

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2015, 03:13:05 AM »

Retire-Canada

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2015, 07:46:04 AM »
If the dent isn't huge get a sticker to cover it.

You can get a custom sticker made for a few bucks with something on it you think is cool or just a plain one that is a reasonable colour match for your car so it's not easy to see.

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beaster

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2015, 10:36:32 AM »
I used to have an old rav4- great little vehicle but we live in cold place that salts roads and rust eventually took its toll. I was very poor and did not have money to repair the fenders appropriately that had rusted through so I started asking around if anybody knew anybody that does body work. I got referred to a guy that worked at one of the body places but moonlighted on the side and did body work on weekends in his home shop. I got his professional skills for a fraction of the cost I would have had to pay at the body shop. Never hurts to ask around and see who knows who- you never know what you will find.

Spondulix

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2015, 03:10:46 PM »
DH ripped up his Fit bumper after backing into someone in a parking lot... So I'm just following the thread.

r3dt4rget

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2015, 05:29:00 PM »
Dents are like scars. It adds character and reminds you of the journey you've been on. There are frugal ways to repair it but that would require learning the skills of auto body repair, and you don't exactly want to use your own car as a learning experience. If it's plastic or a removable piece (within reasonable size, not whole hatch for example) just search ebay and local junkyards for the part. Eventually you will find it in the same color for a fraction of that $1k repair quote. If it's metal and part of a larger panel on the body you are limited to repair which is not easy to cheap out on if you want it to look good and last. Entire bumpers can be had for under $200 if you can tolerate non-OEM replacement brands but will need to be painted. Again, either hire a professional painter or learn the trade. See where this is going? If it doesn't effect the functionality of the car you are better off just leaving it be. The car is a depreciated asset anyway. Spend $1k to repair it and the value is still going down the next day.

I've driven my Civic with a large dent in the front fender for years. It's annoying and I have always wanted to fix it, but after awhile you realize it's peace of mind knowing you have a dented up car. Shopping cart slammed into my bumper? No big deal look at the dent on the fender. Ex keyed the door? Hey now this side looks as shitty as the side with the dent.

surfhb

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2015, 06:20:55 PM »
Every body shop employee does side gigs. Look in CL.

A $1000 dent quote should cost $200 or so.

frugal_engineer

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2015, 07:39:53 PM »
If you're so inclined you could use this opportune dent to learn how to do auto body work. Since its a door you can take it off the car to make repainting easier.

For the size dent you're talking it'll probably take you a good number of hours to get it looking decent, but ~$75in bondo, paint, tools (assuming you have basic tools already) and youtube can having it looking as good as new. Well maybe not quite as good as new, but as close as makes no difference! - and you'll have learned a new skill.

Mariner

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2015, 08:25:24 PM »
Thanks for the replies. Not sure if this will work, but I've attached a photo of the dent. It's pretty danged big - I backed right into someone's spare tire with protruding bolts.

mrshudson

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2015, 07:15:31 AM »
I would probably leave it as-is, based on the size of the dent and assuming you are not looking to sell the car at anything under 200,000 miles (it's a Honda after all). At that mileage and price point, a cosmetic ding will be the least of the buyer's concern.

cjottawa

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2015, 07:50:08 AM »
Thanks for the replies. Not sure if this will work, but I've attached a photo of the dent. It's pretty danged big - I backed right into someone's spare tire with protruding bolts.

It will be more difficult to pull the dent out later so if you're ever going to do it, do it now. This is clearly not your bumper; you've dented your hatch, and it is metal. No paint removal though so it may not rust.

Meh.

I take back what I said about leaving it.

When you go to sell the car, it's not just going to impact value based on "there's a dent." The dent says "I don't give a shit about my car and don't put regular maintenance into it." As a potential buyer, I'd either nope the fuck out out or be offering half of market value to offset any future repairs.

Get it fixed.

Consider installing a cheap, aftermarket reversing camera to avoid this sort of thing in future.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 10:29:21 AM by cjottawa »

neo von retorch

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2015, 08:29:06 AM »
I owned a Silver 2007 Honda Fit for four years. In that time, if I remember correctly, it was hit four times. Three times in the rear bumper and once in the rear passenger door. No dents that big! I had the bumper quoted at one point ~$500 to remove, patch, replace clips and repaint. Probably should've done it. That was before the door dent. Anyway, in poor life decisions mode, I sold the car with 57k on it for $11k to a friend of a friend. He happened to not care about the dents, but then it was a 4 year old Fit in 2011 - he still got a pretty good deal.

But that is a big dent in metal. I'd consider getting another quote or two and if they can do a reasonable job without too much cost, or you can muster the courage to fix it up yourself, it's probably worth it. You're thinking about it enough to post and get opinions on here. I don't think it's good to let those things stew in the back of your brain.

One more anecdote... further back in my history, I had a '94 Stealth. Paid $8500. Got hit in a parking lot (front left fender.) Looked bad at first, but was mostly just white paint on a red car. Wiped it down and it didn't look too bad. But I ending up selling that car for $3000... much less than I should've. That kind of car NEEDS to be in great shape to maintain value. A Honda just needs to be in great mechanical condition... and the frugal choice is to drive it to 200k+ as others have stated, so maybe it isn't a big concern. [/rambling]

mrshudson

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2015, 09:10:28 PM »
I don't know if such a thing exists for Hondas, but Toyotas have the toyotanation forum. Their DIY repairs have saved me literally several hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in repairs.

The beauty of your mass produced Honda and Toyota is the availability of spare parts. OEM parts and consumables are relatively cheap, and non-OEMs even cheaper. You also have literally hundreds of youtube videos to get educated.

cjottawa

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2015, 11:59:09 AM »

frugal_engineer

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2015, 07:40:24 PM »
Thanks for the replies. Not sure if this will work, but I've attached a photo of the dent. It's pretty danged big - I backed right into someone's spare tire with protruding bolts.

The paint on the door is broken through / cracked / missing in several places. If you don't fix the dent, at least put some paint over the spots where the original paint is broken through. Unprotected steel WILL rust, cause more paint to peel, rinse and repeat.

ender

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Re: car dent repair
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2015, 10:19:10 AM »
My car has all sorts of cosmetic damage at this point.

It would cost me many thousands to fix all the misc damage, between dents, rust, animal impacts, etc.

It's only worth a few thousand anyways...