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Large Dent Repair DIY?

If the bodyshop estimates run too high, you could consider getting a replacement fender from an aftermarket supplier, having it painted, and replacing it yourself. For me, way out on the east coast, the cost of shipping fenders drives the price way up, but they come in generally in CA, so if you’re out there it might not be so expensive.

Or you could search boneyards for a replacement fender. If you get really lucky you might even find one in the same color. :grin:

Good luck.

There’s no way in hell you’re going to massage that dent out with a set of paintless dent repair rods.

That’s why the OP was told to take it to a body shop.



I’ve had them do some pretty miraculous stuff. In fact we call one local guy Miracle Mike, not to be confused with Magic Mike who’s in a different line of work

The dent appears to be about 2" in diameter. Am I misinterpreting it?

I’m with Tester on this one! Fix it right or leave it alone.

Even this little dent can’t be repaired using paintless dent repair.


I agree. The paint is damaged so requires painting. Plus the metal is stretched, plus that crease makes it a body shop job. Hammer and dolly, fill, paint. Around here it’s $58 an hour plus a couple hundred for materials. What’s a fender cost, maybe $200 plus a couple hundred to paint and an hour to put it on. 6 of one half a dozen of the other.

I had much worse dent on rear quarter-panel from backing up into my daughter’s car, getting capped-in on the same line around tire. Her car was quite old, so I hammered it out myself, did not even want to fix much for 13-years old clunker.
On my newer Altima I wanted to make it like new and asked a paintless repair place to get it more or less into shape before doing bondo and painting myself, but they told they will make it right and after $300 it was really like new, would not tell it was ever dented.

I would ask around from other PDR places, as OP’ picture looks much more trivial than the one I had

A pro body shop would have no problem fixing that to like new condition. For a price. If a person’s insurance wouldn’t pay for the repair, and they were short on cash tho, it is probably possible as a low cost, admittedly imperfect work-a-round to pound it out from the backside with a peen hammer & possibly some kind dolly on the outside, as suggested by TT above. Best appearance, don’t quite pound it out the whole way, then fill in the remaining depression with body filler, and rattle can on some primer and touch up paint.

Unless the OP has done this before, it’d be easy to end up worse than he started with a hammer and dolly.


To really put a nice finish on a DIY repair you’ll want to paint it with a broom and then “slap dry it” with a burlap sack. It won’t look all that great (And you’ll get tired of explaining what happened!) , but, hey…

Or… consider having it professionally done. :wink:

How about this? OP goes to the junkyard and buys an old fender, not one to fit their car, but any old fender that happens to be laying around that is cheap. Then dent it thusly. Now OP can try out which diy’er method works best, not on their own car, but on the old fender.

One time I decided I was tired of plain walls, so decided I was going to skip-trowel my living room. Give it a little texture. After the first 3 hours of this the result was terrible. So I decided I had no idea what I was doing, so I scraped it all off before it completely dried. I went to the home store and bought a 4 x 8 drywall panel, and went about the process scientifically using the test panel. After a few goes at it, trial and error, I discovered a method that produced pretty good results.

It all depends on the type of dent, not necessarily the size. In a parking lot someone put a huge dent in my Olds quarter panel, probably at least a foot in diameter and 4-5 inches deep. When I got home I took the toilet plunger and pulled it out. You couldn’t tell. The difference was that it was a was a very slight crown, the metal was not stretched, and there were not paint scrapes. So a big dent or little dent can be easy or hard depending on the type of dent and the location.