If your car has a dent in an aluminum body panel, you must understand how it is different from a steel counterpart. While steel naturally wants to return to the original shape after being damaged, aluminum does not have the same properties to it. Unfortunately, aluminum requires a bit of work to remove an unsightly dent. Here are some tips for dealing with dent damage.

Use Heat

Aluminum surfaces must be wiped off before you start fixing any damage, as you need to apply heat using a heat gun. It will target heat to a very specific area of your car, which works great for correcting dents. Heat will cause the metal to relax. It relieves stress that makes metal bind, holding the unsightly dent in its undesired shape.

Cool Down the Aluminum

After applying heat, the metal will need to be cooled. You can use compressed air to cool off the aluminum quickly, though a cold and wet rag is an option as well. After the aluminum cools, you can start grinding the paint off from the surface of the panel. A vacuum is recommended to remove dust from the air while you are sanding. It will keep debris away from the repair area.

Pull the Dent out with Metal Studs

After prepping the dent, apply metal studs around the dented area. They should be placed in the middle and perimeter of the area you want to repair. Loops can be threaded onto each stud to give you leverage for pulling.

Heat is needed once again to make the aluminum relax. Once you feel like the aluminum is pliable, you will pull on the loops to pull the aluminum outward.

The studs can be removed by cutting them off at the surface. Use a grinder to smooth the stud so that is blends in with the aluminum body panel

Finishing Work

Clean the smooth surface, and use a bonding agent to fill small holes that you can find. To smooth out the aluminum panel, you will need to use very fine sandpaper to smooth out the surface, and use a tack cloth to clean excess dust. Then you are ready to paint the aluminum panel. To give your car extra protection, a clear top coat can be applied to the painted surface as well.

If this all seems too complicated for you, take your car to a local body shop (such as Freeway Auto Body Ltd) that can handle all the labor-intensive work.