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    Thread: DIY: Dent repair with Dry Ice

    1. Member Orient Express's Avatar
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      06-27-2010 04:51 PM #1
      I had heard this urban legend that you can repair door dings and dents by rubbing dry ice over the dent and then heating it with a hair dryer or heat gun.


      It seemed simple enough, so I decided to try it on the wife's urban assault vehicle which has its fair share of door dings. I went over to our neighborhood grocery store and got 2 pounds of dry ice for $3. Here is the what the test door looked like before the test.



      Essentially the process is to take some dry ice (while wearing gloves, as it is very, very cold), and simply run the dry ice back and forth over the dent until the metal has cooled to the temperature of dry ice.



      This shrinks the sheet metal, and pulls in the dent. Next blow hot air onto the dented area using a hair drier or a heat gun making sure that you don't heat the sheet metal to over 195 ~ 200 degrees as you can damage the paint by heating any more than that. This will expand the metal and further smooth the dent. After you have the sheet metal hot, then run the dry ice over the dent again until the metal is cooled to the temperature of the dry ice again. It takes about 3-6 times of this hot-cold-hot-cold routine to get complete results, but you will start to see the dent go away after the 1st cycle. Repeat this process until the dent is gone to your satisfaction.


      Your end result should look like this:



      This trick works even better with aluminum panels, does not scratch, discolor or harm the paint because the face of the dry ice on the sheet metal has a thin layer of Carbon Dioxide gas that is boiling off from the frozen dry ice.

      I next tried this technique on another car of mine that has an aluminum body with a small ding on the left rear quarter panel, and it worked perfectly, and faster than a car with a steel body.

      So $3 worth of dry ice and about 30 minutes saved me several hundred dollars for a paintless dent repair guy to do essentially the same job.

      So never fear that your Golf or GTI will be marred with a door ding. Just fight back with a little Dry Ice and you are golden.
      Last edited by Orient Express; 06-27-2010 at 05:10 PM.

    2. Member SoCalMK6GTI's Avatar
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      06-27-2010 04:59 PM #2
      Wow, great DIY. I hope to never need this, but I know it's inevitable.

    3. Member Mr.Alex's Avatar
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      06-27-2010 05:01 PM #3
      Wow, thats actually preety incredible. hopefully Il never need to use it

    4. Member Orient Express's Avatar
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      06-27-2010 05:35 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Alex View Post
      Wow, thats actually preety incredible. hopefully Il never need to use it
      Dreamer, you will need it sooner than you think!

    5. Member evosky's Avatar
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      06-27-2010 07:04 PM #5
      great to see it actually work for someone.
      i had fixed a door ding with PDR 1 month after i got my car.
      i recently found another faint door ding, so i might try this technique soon.
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      Quote Originally Posted by MrSavvy View Post
      I'll break it down for you simple minded people. VWvortex. The VW stands for Volkswagen. And when you create a forum, admins can create sections within the forum. This forum has a section for general car chit-chat. The car lounge. So you see, even though it's a VW forum, you can still discuss other topics.

    6. Geriatric Member absoluteczech's Avatar
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      06-27-2010 07:50 PM #6
      nice

      can we lick the ice?

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      06-27-2010 09:02 PM #7
      YMMV. I got a ding in a shopping plaza parking lot and used this technique. It eventually reappeared a few days later. Upon more research, seems like the consensus is that the ding comes back.

      I'm still super pissed at the driver of the SUV that was parked next to me, I only had about 3k on the odometer at that point.

    8. Banner Advertiser VMRWheels's Avatar
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      06-28-2010 07:51 PM #8
      nice! keep us posted, hopefully it won't come back!

    9. Member evosky's Avatar
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      06-28-2010 08:40 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboPass View Post
      YMMV. I got a ding in a shopping plaza parking lot and used this technique. It eventually reappeared a few days later. Upon more research, seems like the consensus is that the ding comes back.

      I'm still super pissed at the driver of the SUV that was parked next to me, I only had about 3k on the odometer at that point.
      i hear you man. i got my first door ding with under 1K on the odo at a strip mall.
      got that PDR'd out.

      found a slight new one last week at 4K.
      people just aren't as careful these days.
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      Quote Originally Posted by MrSavvy View Post
      I'll break it down for you simple minded people. VWvortex. The VW stands for Volkswagen. And when you create a forum, admins can create sections within the forum. This forum has a section for general car chit-chat. The car lounge. So you see, even though it's a VW forum, you can still discuss other topics.

    10. Junior Member trainyourhuman's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 02:59 PM #10
      My car is basically new, and has a ding that was on the car when I bought it. I hope this will work.

    11. 03-29-2012 03:02 PM #11
      You know, I was just looking in to this last week after someone dinged my GTI because they couldn't park their Mercedes SUV in their own spot... good to know that it seems legitimate

    12. 03-29-2012 03:06 PM #12
      Does this work for actual dings? I stupidly propped my bike against the car for a second and it fell and the shifter put a nice tiny pin sized dent in the rear quarter. I know it will work for larger ones, but since this one is so compact I wasn't sure if it would do the trick or not.
      Quote Originally Posted by TechEd View Post
      Long-story-short: Outie5000 is right on all accounts.

    13. Member StL2.5's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 03:22 PM #13
      Does anyone think it would work on small hail dents?

    14. Member intoflatlines's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 03:26 PM #14

    15. Member Elcroato's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 03:59 PM #15
      Will this work on plastic, e.g., the bumper. Also, let us know if it comes back.
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    16. Member DRH's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 04:08 PM #16
      JUST TRY IT!

      It takes like 20 minutes to do. lol
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    17. Geriatric Member absoluteczech's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 04:22 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Elcroato View Post
      Will this work on plastic

    18. Member roger2050's Avatar
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      03-29-2012 04:38 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Elcroato View Post
      Will this work on plastic, e.g., the bumper. Also, let us know if it comes back.
      Not sure if serious.


      Try it and post results. Make sure heat gun is on highest setting.

    19. Member jerms's Avatar
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      03-30-2012 09:36 AM #19
      you can also use a computer keyboard dust removal spray

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0UAUBE-Hmg

    20. Member Seki's Avatar
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      03-30-2012 10:10 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Elcroato View Post
      Will this work on plastic, e.g., the bumper. Also, let us know if it comes back.
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    21. 03-30-2012 11:55 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by jerms View Post
      you can also use a computer keyboard dust removal spray

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0UAUBE-Hmg
      I think the dry ice method is probably way colder. I've tried with the duster can held upside down, didn't really work for me.

    22. 04-08-2012 02:19 PM #22
      Hey...

      I'm looking to try this but can't find a place that sells dry ice. I tried my local Walmart but they didn't have it.

      Any suggestions?

    23. 04-10-2012 10:32 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by JVDMN View Post
      Hey...

      I'm looking to try this but can't find a place that sells dry ice. I tried my local Walmart but they didn't have it.

      Any suggestions?
      If there is a Meijer near you they usually do. Or try to look up Ice houses near you.

    24. 07-29-2014 11:43 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by JVDMN View Post
      Hey...

      I'm looking to try this but can't find a place that sells dry ice. I tried my local Walmart but they didn't have it.

      Any suggestions?
      Tip a compressed air can upside down and spray it on the dent. Will freeze it.

    25. Member mark6kevin's Avatar
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      07-29-2014 11:20 PM #25
      work hard. drink harder.


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      07-30-2014 10:50 AM #26
      Very interesting. I have a mild dent that this may be perfect for!

      Where do you buy dry ice? I'm kind of worried about scratching the paint.

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      07-30-2014 12:27 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by lilfleck View Post
      Very interesting. I have a mild dent that this may be perfect for!

      Where do you buy dry ice? I'm kind of worried about scratching the paint.
      you can get it at a lot of grocery stores, they have it at a kroger next to me.

      if you can't find it in a grocery store try a party supply store, you will definitely be able to find it in either of these stores around halloween.

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