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How to Get a Dent Out of a Car Hood

September 21, 2021 4 min read

How to Get a Dent Out of a Car Hood

A dented car hood can be unsightly, but it’s possible to fix your dented hood. You can choose professional repair or DIY, sometimes with paintless dent repair, a mallet, or a plunger. For a professional job, expect to pay $150 to $500 to get a dent out of a car hood. 

Find out how car hoods get dented, how you can prevent damage, and what it takes to fix them.

How Car Hoods Get Dented

Whether an elephant sat on your car, or you got a nasty ding from a rock or hail, dents happen. With a large surface area, car hoods are more vulnerable to damage than many other parts of your vehicle. 

There are several ways a car hood can get dented or damaged: items fall inside your garage, a tree branch hits your hood, or a friend sits on your hood. Dents can even be caused by cats or other animals walking across your hood.

Preventing Damage to Your Car's Hood

If you already have damage on your hood, it's still a good idea to take precautions to protect your car's hood from further issues:

  • Do not allow anything to rest on your hood: That includes people, animals, and items. Avoid resting items like a coffee cup, groceries, or books on your hood regularly. Never store items on top of your car, even if it's stored in a garage.
  • Use a protective cover: Many dings and dents on hoods are caused by rocks and other debris on the freeway. You can protect your hood with a cover or a "bra" placed on the front of your hood.
  • Park inside your garage: Discourage animals, tree limbs, hail, and other hazards from coming into contact with your vehicle's hood by parking inside a garage.
  • Securely store items nearby: Avoid letting falling ladders, sports equipment, and other items in your garage damage your hood. Be sure that every item that could come into contact with your vehicle is stored securely.

Problems with Dented Car Hoods

If you have a dent on your car hood, don't wait to fix it. A dent on your hood can cause pooling when it rains or even lead to rust and other issues. A deep dent on your hood may cause mechanical problems if it’s low enough to touch or interfere with moving parts or required headspace.

Professional Repair for Dented Car Hoods

The cost of a professional repair for dented car hoods can range quite a bit. It's typically between $150 to $500, depending on the extent of the damage, particularly its size. It will also depend on whether you can repair the dent or if you’ll need to replace it with anew painted car hood.

Small-to-medium-sized dents may be fixed using paintless dent removal (PDR), which is typically inexpensive. However, a dent that has bent the paint beyond repair or caused paint chipping requires apainttouch-up job. Serious dents may be beyond repair, in which case the shop will replace your hood with a new one.

If the cost is high enough, you may want to claim the damage on your auto insurance. If the repair cost is at or near your deductible, it's probably best to avoid making a claim.

DIY: How to Fix a Dented Car Hood

There are a few DIY methods for fixing a dented car hood you can try at home before calling in a pro. Some are easier than others, and most come with a warning that you may end up causing more damage than you need to repair. 

These methods are popular DIY ways to fix dented car hoods:

  • Lightly pound the dent out with a mallet: Remove the hood, lay it upside down on a blanket, then lightly pound against the periphery of the dent. Work your way toward the center until it pops back into place. 
  • Pop the dent with a plunger:Some simple dents can be popped out using a household plunger or dent puller kit. This method is simple: just place the plunger over the dent, pump, and pull the plunger as hard as possible to get the dent out. This method is known as paintless dent removal (PDR) and is often utilized by dealerships and automotive detail professionals. Not all dents can be repaired with a dent removal kit, but it’s worth a try.
  • Use a heat gun: There is also a heat gun method to remove dents by heating the dent, but it doesn’t work on all types of dents. A heat gun only works on plastic car parts or plastic bumper covers, not metal car hoods.

Replacing Your Dented Hood

Though there are a few ways to fix a dented hood, sometimes the best fix is a complete replacement. Depending on the extent of the damage to your hood and the repairs needed, a new painted hood may be the simplest and lowest-cost solution.