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Old 05-17-2017, 03:27 AM   #1
NYC-SE's Avatar
Drives: 2014 Yaris SE
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: NYC
Posts: 842
My DIY door ding repair

Spoiler alert: There are no pictures. I tried taking some but I just couldn't get it to show up on camera. I'm sure a better photographer could have but I was fighting reflection in every shot and I didn't want to waste time on photography that I needed to spend on body work.

About 6 months after I bought my shiny new car I noticed a door ding in the rear drivers side door. Some oblivious moron in a parking lot inflicted Hüsker's first battle scar. She's had a few more since then. Scratches and paint chips mostly but thankfully no more dings. That first one is always the worst though. Everyday for the past 2 1/2 years I would see that ding and loose a little bit of faith in humanity. Something had to be done.

It was about a nickel sized ding, no paint damage. A couple of times over the years I had thought about taking it to a body shop or a paintless dent repair place but I never did. If this was a Mercedes it would have been in the shop the next day but this is a cheap car and I am a cheap bastard. I figured there would just be another one eventually and I didn't want to start a never ending cycle. Still it bothered me.

About a year ago I tried the hair dryer / compressed air can trick to no effect. (Gee it looked so good on YouTube.)

Recently I returned to YouTube and spent way too much time watching paintless dent repair videos, about half of which came with dire "don't try this at home" warnings. Understandable, but today I found myself with a free day at home and decided to try it. So off came the door card and the plastic sheeting. Thankfully the dent was in an easily accessible area. First I tried pushing it out with my finger. There was some movement but not much. Then I tried using a rounded off pencil eraser. Just pushing gently at first then a little more forcefully. Again some improvement but still very much a door ding. I moved on to a screwdriver handle and a Sharpie marker end (surprisingly pretty effective) before I came to the pièce de résistance, a marble inside a 15mm socket. I was able to work that around inside the door and almost totally eliminated the ding. There is still a very slight maybe 1/8" crease visible but you really have to look for it whereas before the ding was pretty obvious even from a casual glance. I would say at least 95% of the area of the door ding was returned to the proper contour. I am very pleased with the result, especially considering I don't have any experience with body work and I don't have any auto body repair tools. And free is good too.

So this is something that is doable for an average DIYer. It took me about 2 hours working very cautiously and slowly. I can see how it would be possible to screw this up if you get too aggressive, so be like the turtle. Slow and steady wins the race.

Next up: I'm going to try the boiling water trick to try and repair my rear bumper. Last week I noticed the horizontal flat surface (like where the hatch opens) had a slight upward bulge. Seems that moron #2 hit and deformed my bumper fascia while parallel parking. Ah, the joys of driving, and especially parking, in NYC.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:12 AM   #2
Drives: 2008 yaris
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Annapolis Md.
Posts: 24
Hey NYC you got some balls to try that, could of been 2or 3 dents yea. Good job. Anyway. Your so right about sometime slowing things down and TAKE YOUR TIME. Good luck with bumper, don't mess up that paint job.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:24 PM   #3
Kaotic Lazagna
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Drives: '14 GT86, '08 Vitz
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Central Valley, CA
Posts: 9,759
I bought a PDR rod and tap down kit. Pretty hard to use, and I somehow made the creased horizontal door ding into a shallow vertical dent. lol. I guess having a line board is important, cuz I was just going off of the reflection of my neighbors yard. At least I got the crease out, which I read is nearly impossible.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:25 AM   #4

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 560
Door that a new ring tone for a droid or a i phone?
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:20 PM   #5
Drives: 2010 Yaris Sedan
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 846
door ding or ding dong....i'm confused
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:32 AM   #6
Drives: Twin-charged rotary V8 w/nos
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 299
I've used a $30+ suction style body puller picked up on Craigslist back in 2012 on my 1999 Forester and removed much of visible crease/dent on my trunk. I'm a cheap bastard as well.
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