How To Remove Dents From Car Door Panel

One of the best ways of repairing a dent in a car is by using paintless dent removal.

This method of removing dents and minor dings from a vehicle does not use any auto body filler or repainting at an auto body shop. This way your car is completed in less time and is still able to hold its value. This is because the dent repair process does not show any signs that there was previous damage to the car surface.

(You can watch this video to see how I repaired a door ding in a car door https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfRryLWuKVg )

Inspect The Door Ding Damage Before Repair

The first thing we need to do before we start to fix a dent in a car door is to inspect the total damaged area.
This is done so that we know what the cost of paintless dent repair will be, how we will be able to repair the door ding, and how long the repair may take to do.

Measure The Size of the Dent

First, we want to measure the overall size of the damage. This will be more than just the main impact point or what is normally seen as the door ding. This total damaged surface area is usually just slightly larger than the main dented area, but it can also extend out further than what the untrained person can see.

We will often use a special PDR light to see the entire dent. Here we take the size of the dent in inches. Most types of dents or door dings can range in size from 1 – 3 inches.

measure size of dent
measure depth of dent

Measure the Depth of the Dent

Next, we also want to measure the depth of the door ding. This is often done with a special dent depth gauge. It will measure the deepest part of the ding and give a reading in Millimeters.

  • Shallow dents will be under .25mm. This might not seem like much, but after this point, the medium dents will be more complex and take longer to fix.
  • A medium depth dent is in the .25mm to .74mm range. This is probably the most common dent depth of your average door ding in a car.
  • A deeper dent is classified in the deep depth category with a .75mm to 1mm range. This depth is a more complex dent to repair.
  • Anything deeper than 1mm is going to be in the extreme depth category. These deep dings will be the most difficult to repair for an experienced paintless dent repair technician.

Check Panel For Access to the Dent

One of the most understood areas of paintless dent removal is the access needed behind the damage. This is because most professional dent repair is done by pushing out the dents and dings from behind the panel. Using a hot glue gun and a dent puller to pull out the dings is only used when there is no access. It is most likely not possible to have the dent pop out.
For dings on a car door, we can often inspect the inside by looking in through the window opening.

The inside of a door panel is not wide open and it is designed with many internal safety features, like internal bracing and intrusion beams. There is also the window glass frame and hardware and some electronics for the door, window, and handle.

Calculating The Cost of Paintless Dent Repair

We use a worldwide dent removal industry-standard estimating app to properly and consistently calculate the time and dent removal costs needed to repair your dents.

Now that we have taken into account all the factors needed for a proper repair of the door ding, we can calculate a price for the door ding repair.

We will take the auto reconditioning application and enter all the information about your vehicle. Then we will enter the size, depth, and access for the dent. We will also factor additional time for the repair if the dent is on a body line and not just on a flat surface. Many other factors may be used depending on the specific make and model of your vehicle, along with the specific damage being estimated.

Once all the necessary information is entered, we will have an accurate estimate of the time and cost of dent repair.

see what paintless dent repair cost

Preparing the Panel For the Ding Repair

There are a few steps that are performed before the actual ding repair.

  1. Prep Panel by Cleaning and Buffing
  2. Inspect For Access Inside the Door Panel
  3. Position PDR Light for Best Repair
  4. Check Metal Panel Temperature

Prep Panel by Cleaning and Buffing

When paintless dent removal is performed, it is necessary to be able to clearly see the panel and dent being worked on. So cleaning the panel is needed. This can be done by wiping the area with a microfiber cloth and some detailing spray.

Often when the vehicle has a minor dent it may also have some paint damage, a small scuff, or paint transfer from another car. This will need to be buffed out with some mild rubbing compound and a microfiber cloth or small buffing pad.

Inspect For Access Inside the Door Panel

Gaining access behind the panel and to the back of the damaged area is need to be able to use the proper PDR Tools to push out the door ding.

Most average door dings are in the door of a car and can be accessed down through the window opening. We can use a special air wedge that is placed between the door and the window glass to provide a small gap. Once we have this opening, we can look inside the door to determine if there is any obstruction. These can be internal bracing, safety intrusion beams, window hardware, electrical wires, and the door handle assembly.

Other options for access to the inside of a door panel include going through the wire harness opening, removing any small plugs that cover a hole in the door frame, or by removing the internal panel.

steck easy air wedge

Position Paintless Dent Repair Light For Best Repair

A PDR Light is used to see the dent for a high-quality finish. These special lights allow us to see even the slightest detail in the paint finish.
Proper positioning of the light is needed to start the dent removal process. The special lights are designed to be placed at any position needed and to be able to move them throughout the repair process.

Check Metal Panel Temperature

There is an ideal panel operating temperature when repairing door dings in a car. This temperature can vary depending on what method of dent removal is used, the depth of the dent, and the type of panel material.
For an average shallow door ding, the working temp of a steel panel can be at a normal room temperature of 75-90 degrees. For a medium to sharp ding, a heat gun will often be used to keep a steady temperature of 100-150 degrees. This is the preferred method to properly and consistently heat the panel instead of using the hot water method.

repairing a dent in a car

Removing a Door Ding in a Car with Paintless Dent Removal

Now, it may seem that all of the above steps may have taken a long time to perform. Even before we start the professional repair process of just removing the door ding in the car. But, all of that prep work often only takes just a few minutes.

Most regular dents and door dings in a car door can be accessed through the window opening. This is done with a special air wedge to provide a small gap between the door and the window glass. A felt-lined plastic or metal window guard is also placed over the glass to protect it from the PDR tool touching it.

We then can take one of our PDR metal rods and go down through the window opening and access the back of the dent with these special tools.

The PDR dent remover tool is used to gently massage out the dent. This is done with very small and accurate pressure to the low parts of the dent. As this is done the ding will slowly be removed.

We then will use knockdown tools and a hammer to gently tap the outside of the panel. This is done to smooth out and shape the sheet metal into place. It is also used to tap down parts that have been either pushed up too far or were raised when the vehicle was damaged.

This process of pushing out the ding and knocking down will be repeated several times until the damaged area is back to its original shape.

Once the paintless ding repair is completed, then minor sanding and buffing may be used to smooth out the original paint surface.

Find a Professional Dent Repair Company Near Me

When you need a dent specialist to fix that door ding in your car, then you can choose the dent repair experts at Excel Dent Removal of Minnesota for excellent dent repair service. With over 20 years of experience, you will know you have chosen the right place to have your car repaired.

You can check out over 100 reviews where our excellent customers have shared about the service they received.

Be sure to check out all of our professional dent repair services that are available to remove a variety of dents in your car. From regular dents, minor dents, larger dents, and even hail damage dings.
For more information about How Paintless Dent Repair Works, check out this article https://www.exceldentremoval.com/how-is-paintless-dent-repair-done/
✅ Check out my list of recommended PDR tools on Amazon https://goo.gl/vVrHxQ

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Some links may be affiliate links. You won’t pay more for using them, but I may receive an affiliate commission for the referral.)

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