Dent in 1998 Corolla



Hi. I own a '98 Toyota Corolla with about 185k miles on it. Recently, someone hit my car and there’s a dent in passenger-side rear bumper/behind the tire of the car. I don’t have collision on my car insurance anymore since my car is 12 years old. Should I fix the dent? Rust is potentially forming. Thoughts? Thanks.


Get a few estimates. In the meantime, you might sand the rust off and prime the area to eliminate rust. You can use primer in a spray can.


Get an estimate and ask for the cheapest way possible and then decide.

I personally do not like driving anything with dents whether brand new or 20 years old. Call it vanity but just who I am.

Some people could care less on a new car.

The rust forming will not compromise the car just the panel where the dent occured.


If it bothers you you can sand it to the metal and prime and touch it up with parts store touchup paint. Be advised though that unless the car is black the color difference will show.

If it’s truely in the bumper, I believe that car wraps the plastic cover from the rear bumper all the way around to the rear of the wheel wells. Check it with a magnet and you may find it’s crumpled plastic. You may not even need paint.

Whether you should actually fix it is a purely personal choice.


remove any rust and paint it with primer and paint. If the backside is accessible, coat it with rustproofing compound.


I’m not sure if you are talking about the quarter panel sometimes people call it a fender, or the rear bumper. If its the metal quarter panel, stick a plunger on it to try to pull it out to acceptable appearance levels or if access through the trunk, gently push or bump it out. Sometimes you can pop it back out without much noticable at all but I wouldn’t spend any money on it.

If its the plastic bumper cover on the back, heat is your friend. Heat the area up with a trouble light, heat lamp, hair dryer, etc. to get it pliable, then push the dent out from behind.