Paint Chip: Five Auto Body Fixes You can Do Yourself

What do you do after you’ve been involved in a car accident? Besides hiring a good car accident lawyer in Austin, you have to think about getting your car fixed. Not all car accidents are catastrophic, and small crashes don’t typically cause a lot of mechanical harm to your car. However, body damage is probably unavoidable, and having a professional take a look at it can be costly.

To make matters worse, if you’re one of the people out there who has a high deductible on your auto insurance, you may be paying for body work out of pocket. Thankfully, there are several kinds of auto body fixes you can do yourself with just a little cost. This is made possible thanks to the great touch-up kits now available, and a little bit of know-how. Here are five auto body fixes you can do at home!

Dent Repair

Whether it’s a fender bender or a car door bump, dents are some of the most common auto body problems. Fortunately, this is something you can fix with the right tools. To fix an auto body dent, you will need: automotive primer, sandpaper, body filler, spot putty, ridge and flexible plastic spreaders, and a bit of patience.

Start by using your sandpaper to remove loose paint since body filler doesn’t stick well to paint. Now, apply your body filler, following the instructions on the container and using the spreaders to smooth it out. Once dry, take off the rough edges using sandpaper. Afterward, apply the soft putty, and sandpaper it smooth once it dries. Last but not least, apply the automotive primer in light coats. Now it’s ready paint!

Scratch Repair

If you have a light scratch on your car, there’s no need to take it to a professional. There are numerous easy-to-use, touch-up pens that stores sell for all kinds of automobiles. While some of the cheaper ones don’t work great, mid- to high-quality scratch removers do a great job of matching your automotive paint. Keep in mind that these pens generally don’t work on deep scratches. A scratch that shows the underlying metal is a deep scratch. Try running your fingernail over the scratch, if it catches, it’s probably too deep for a do-it-yourself paint job.

Broken Light Replacement

Two areas of the car that typically break during accidents are the headlight and taillight covers. Replacing a broken light cover is easier than you think, and can be done in just a few minutes. All you need to do is find a replacement cover from an auto supply store, junk yard, or online store. These covers are typically screwed on and can be easily removed by opening the hood or trunk of your car to gain access to the screws. Just be sure to remove the cover with caution because there could be sharp pieces that could cut you.

Trim Removal

In the event that you have to take your car into an automotive shop for repair, remember you can still save money by doing some of the work yourself. One of the biggest things that auto body shops charge for is the removal and re-installation of body trim. Removing things like bumpers, door handles, and mirrors is easy. Just check that removing some of the trim doesn’t violate any local laws first. You can find replacements at scrap yards and simply install new ones that fit.

Rust Removal

While not typically caused by car accidents, rust removal is still an auto body fix you can do yourself. Stores sell products that can help remove rust, but you can also make your own rust remover by using salt and lime juice. Sometimes even baking soda and water removes rust from cars. Simply apply to the end of a toothbrush and start scrubbing.

Any auto body work you can do yourself is a good thing. Keep in mind that some work is simply too in-depth to be considered for a DIY project. If you don’t feel confident you can do the work yourself, contact a local repair shop to get an estimate. Most auto centers will provide a free estimate if you bring in your car.

Carsurfer Admin

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