Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Fix dents with a dent puller?

Can you use a plunger as a dent puller?

Not really.

I often see auto forum posters ask if they can use a plunger to remove a car dent. Or they see the TV commercial for Pops-a-dent and want to know if it works. Well here’s the scoop.

Dent pullers can work in some cases. First, the dent must be small. Second, the dent cannot have a sharp edge around the perimeter. If it does, you may be able to pull out the dented part, but you’ll still have a sharp line. Third, the vehicle can’t be more than 10-years old. After that the paint has lost its elasticity and will most likely crack as you use the dent puller or plunger.

Suction dent pullers are the least effective. They usually cover too large an area. In fact, if the dent is large enough for a plunger to fit, it’s probably too big to be fixed in this way. The best dent removal tool is the kind that uses glue on pullers and a pulling jig like the ones shown here.

using a professional dent puller to fix dents

This is a Wcaro Auto Dent Remover bridge puller. Glue on the tips, load into the puller and apply pressure to the handles. You must use this in several places around the dent to pull it out in small sections.

remove dents with a dent puller tool

This puller uses a slide hammer and glue on tips to coax the dent out.

How to use a dent puller

Clean the painted area with wax remover. Use the recommended hot glue and tip per directions. Apply the glue and the pulling tip to the dent and let the glue cool completely. Pulling while the glue is still warm is the biggest mistake DIYers make. Then apply pulling force gently in small strokes. Don’t try to “pop” the entire dent out in one stroke. You may have to apply the dent puller tips in several places and ease it out by going around the edges and working your way in towards the center of the dent. Don’t worry about leaving glue marks on the paint, you can remove those later.

©, 2015 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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