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Auto Body Tips

Posted by on 5/19/2014 to Auto Body

When it comes to do-it-yourself auto body repair, it's always good to have an expert nearby. That's where this beginner DIY repair guide comes in handy.

We will discuss the most well-known auto body repair tips for the home garage, the types of projects that can be done without too much training and the tools you'll need for the job

Do It Yourself Auto Body Repair Tools

There are some tools that you'll need no matter what kind of job you are working on. Every shop should have the basic protective gear, including glasses, masks and gloves. When you weld, it's important to have eye protection beyond standard safety glasses.

You'll also need a selection of sandpapers. Metal body repair requires 150- to 220-grit sandpaper. Fiberglass can use a range of grits, between 80 and 600, depending on the job. Here is a list of other important tools, based on job type.

For Metal Body Repair

  • Wrench set
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers

For Fiberglass Repair

  • Fiber cloth
  • Poly resin
  • Poly hardener
  • Mixing bowl
  • Putty knife

At-Home Auto Body Repair Tips and Guide

Here are a few basic do-it-yourself auto body repair projects that anyone can learn with a little practice. As always, if the project seems too complex, it's always helpful to have a professional review the project before and after. These simple auto body repair techniques address some basic opportunities commonly found in most used cars.

Removing Rust

Rust removal is one of the easiest processes in the garage. There are two basic products that help along the way. Pick up a rust removal product at your local auto parts store—they can help ease the process immensely. Apply according to the instructions.

  • Use 80- to 100-grit sandpaper to sand down the rusted area.
  • Do this until you see bare metal or primer. 
  • Use an epoxy primer over the area, once the rust has been removed.

It's that simple. If you find holes through the metal, or that it is too thin beneath the rust, take it to a professional for further repair.

Filling Trim Holes

For holes 3/8 of an inch in size or smaller, you can pretty easily complete basic auto body repair with a basic welding technique. If the holes are larger, you may want professional advice before moving forward. 

  • Start by removing paint and primer from the affected area. 
  • Use a copper plug to back the area. 
  • Weld in circles starting from the outside and slowly moving in. 
  • The heated metal of the area should close the gap, without adding any additional material.
  • Once the hole is sealed, fill any imperfections with primer.

Due to the size of the hole, it should be a quick fix. Welding is one of the easiest auto body repair techniques to pick up. Just make sure to always wear protective gear during the process. 

Small Dent Removal

Small dents, those found in the center of a panel and away from creases, should be another quick fix. This is one of the simplest auto body repair tips you can learn. Use it to complete quick-and-easy repairs that would otherwise require a trip to the body repair shop.

  • Use aluminum foil to cover the area and protect the paint from damage.
  • Use a hair dryer to heat the affected area.
  • Once the area is heated, use an inverted can of compressed air to quickly cool the area.
  • If the dent is small enough, it will snap back into place with a sharp popping sound.

When done correctly, this is one of the greatest do-it-yourself auto body repair tips. The loud pop affirms a job well done and, best of all, the dented area looks as good as new.


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