The Simple Guide To DIY Car Repair

21 January 2015
 Categories: Automotive, Blog

Right now, millions of people are driving around with minor damage on their cars. Scratches and dents happen all too easily, and since they generally don't reduce a vehicle's functionality in any way, most people can't justify the price of having them fixed. Fortunately, some nifty DIY repair techniques exist that will have your car spick and span in no time!

Dent Repair

You can fix relatively minor, shallow dents quite easily – using science! The tools you will need are:

  • Blowdryer/hairdryer

  • Heavy duty gloves

  • Aluminium foil

  • Dry ice

Chances are you already have all of these items lying around somewhere (apart from the dry ice).

Firstly, thoroughly inspect all your car's doors. You may find that there are a lot more minor dents then you initially thought, as a lot of them can be near-invisible. Once all the dents have been discovered, choose which one you'd like to fix first and tape a square of aluminium foil over it. Ensure that the aluminium foil generously covers the dent, as the purpose of the foil is to protect the paint from any damage.

Holding the blowdryer around 20 cm from the dent, heat up the area for a few minutes. After 2-3 minutes, take the dry ice – with the heavy duty gloves! – and rub it over the area. The dent should pop out after 30-60 seconds.


Minor scratch repair can often be quite expensive, which is why so many people neglect having them professionally fixed. Luckily, it doesn't take too much effort to fix all but the most severe scratches.

First, give your doors a thorough clean. Wash them down with a sponge and some warm, soapy water. Following this, inspect the damage to make sure that the scratches are, in fact, scratches. Oftentimes, what looks like a scratch at a glance may actually be a residue mark. A residue mark lies on top of the car's paint coating, while a scratch goes into the paint. If you are dealing with a mark, it can often be washed away quite easily. For a more stubborn mark, use a cloth and acetone.

If it is a scratch, you need to determine how deep it is. Cars are painted in three layers – primer, colour, and clearcoat. In the case of a shallow, clearcoat scratch, you will need rubbing compound. Rubbing compound can be found in most automotive stores, and is an abrasive substance specifically designed to polish out scratches. Simply rub it onto the scratch with a cloth.

Deeper scratches that reach through the colour layer pose a bigger problem. For this, you will need a touch-up paint that matches your car's colour, an aerosol primer and clearcoat. Lay down the primer first, and then build the paint up in layers until it matches the surrounding area. Touch-up pens are particularly effective for this due to their accuracy. Once the paint is built up sufficiently, lay down a layer of clearcoat.

If your car needs more work than you can do alone, visit a repair specialist like Wollongong Auto Excellence.