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Discussion Starter #1
Got 2 very small and not very deep door dings on the right rear door. Auto is a 2009 Altima but this should be the same for any car. Both dings are on the very flat surface.

What do you people do to fix yours? I noticed they sell a small slide hammer where you glue the little plastic piece that fits over the ding and they pull it out that way. This method would seem to work for my dings because they are so shallow.

This is the type of things I would like to tinker around with and fix myself. But on the other hand I want the job done right so is it best just to take it to a shop that does paintless dent repair? Have looked at YouTube videos and the PDR work that is done is quite impressive. Also over the years where a dealership had hail damage vehicles you would see these places pop up that fix hail damaged cars.

Have heard that one fix is to use heat and dry ice to level out small dents. Any truth to this method. So how do you people fix your door dings? Many thanks!
 

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I am an advocate of paintless dent repair. A friend who owns a body shop is certified in it. I did it myself on my 84 Daytona with a spoon and 3 hours of patience. It came out well for an amateur.

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Discussion Starter #3
I just checked and mine are around the size of a dime and not deep at all. So close that I tell myself I should be able to fix them myself. Bob did you just buy a spoon or borrow it? Your repair looks perfect.
 

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Dang, Bob, that is impressive! Too bad you didn't do a video. I'd love to see how that's done, because I can see it inevitably happening to my new 200. It's just a matter of time. Doesn't matter where you park, there's always somebody that will park next to you and ding it and then drive off.
 

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The photos look better than it really is. I did press one small point a little too far out, and if you look very closely, there is a tiny star-shaped crack in the paint. Other areas are not quite out all the way.

I just removed the interior panel of the hatchback and reached in with a regular teaspoon and started pressing and rubbing slowly. MANY strokes. Stopped often to look at it and decide where to work the metal next. Did it all at ambient 70-80F weather outside, no heat or cooling applied. Best of all, it was free. If I ever restore the car, I'll have a pro finish it, or have to use a light layer of filler.
 

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chuzz said:
Doesn't matter where you park, there's always somebody that will park next to you and ding it and then drive off.
Tell me about it. I can park my Ram out in the middle of nowhere in a parking lot and invariably someone will park right next to it. Like my Ram needs company........ Really? Are you kidding? :ph34r:

That said, the dings I do have were caused by my own family in my driveway........ :frusty:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So do you think PDR is the way to go? I swear on my dents if I removed the interior door panel all it would take is a very few "light" taps from the inside to bring the dings out. Problem is it's going to happen again and again. There is no ding protection but on doors anymore. This is why I will not buy a new car. It's not worth the headache and there is always some da out there that does not care.
 

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My Challenger is actually at a body shop for a door ding right now... someone doored me hard enough to leave a nickel-size dent on the body-side crease right by the driver's door handle, removing clearcoat and color coat. I could maybe have lived with it if the blankety-blank hadn't removed paint. I park far away whenever I can, but at work there are currently about 15 more parking-lot users than there are places to park these days.

I went back & forth on fixing it but finally decided I was going to get sick of looking at that spot every time I climb in. Plus I'm having them fix a scratch that I caused with the jack handle on the quarter panel, for only about 25% more $$ than the door repair alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ptschett, Will they have to spray paint to fix yours? I bought a 03 Mustang last year and it had quite a deep dent in the fender. It was about 2" big. I bought a slide hammer where you drill a small hole and insert the screw at the end and just took my time bringing the dent out. Had to use a little body filler but once I got it looking almost perfect I masked it off and painted it.
I rubbed and rubbed with 3M compound and was surprised how well it looked. It was on the lip of the fender so it was pretty hard to see. If it would have been located anywhere else I would have had a shop spray it right to blend it in.

I called the dealer today and they gave me the number and the name of the guy that does there pdr work. They said when hes done you can't even tell there was any damage. I guess thats how I will have to deal with dings in the future. People are just idiots in parking lots. Make sure you let us know how your repair turns out. Thanks!
 

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I was always reluctant to try body work. My first rusthole fill and paint work discouraged me, but I have to remember how my first circle and straight line looked. I took art class in school and some people have 'it' and some people don't. I could crash them, but I wouldn't even try to fix them.
I watched the sculptures and artists in the body shop and learned some things about sheetmetal and paint work. A dent will stretch the metal at the edges when it occurs and popping a large dent on a flat panel is easier than a small dent. A dent on a crease or curve is very difficult.
I always try to push out at the center of the dent with a blunt push to start. Tapping with hammers and dollies may come later to finesse the injury. The sheetmetal in the area around the dent will be distorted and wavy from the stretching. Some shrinking back into shape is the part that is difficult. Periodically stop work to look down the side of the car to see how you are doing and where to work on next. Heat guns will expand metal and dry-ice (use gloves) will shrink metal to help form it temporarily. Once it 'sets' and holds shape, see how it turns out. Suction cups and drilling slide hammer holes haven't worked for me as a sharp rap may stretch the metal the other way, but might be useful for some cases. A suction cup may help pull while you push.
Removing interior trim to assess and work on the other side of the situation is a good idea, although some crash-beam structures or double-wall construction may halt that.
Dings are usually deep, sharp dents but not that large. I watched the Ding Doctor at work on used cars at the dealer. He has a mobile service that comes around to prep used cars at dealers. He first uses bright lights beamed down the side of the vehicle to see where all the dings are and marks a circle around them. They will cast a shadow and become much easier to see. He can also watch his progress in removing them. He uses 'spoons' of many different shapes and sizes to match the ding shape to be pushed out from the inside. An 'anvil' on the other side of the ding gives the metal something to meet and stop against. He works slowly and methodically. Push, not hit is the first thing to try. After a rub-out and doll-up, the result is often amazing.
 

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@deltadart1, it did take paint for the repairs on my car. The @#($*&%&-inflicted doording and my self-inflicted scratch were both down to primer and/or base metal. They color painted the repaired areas and blended color paint onto adjacent panels where necessary, then sprayed clearcoat on the entire surface of panels that were either repaired or had to be blended.
 
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