Can Compressed Air Really Remove Dents On Your Car?

Do you have annoying dents on your car from a recent hail storm? Or does your car have battle scars from the local grocery store parking lot? Either way, those unsightly dents can put a frown on your face every time you look at your car. So why not repair it with a can of compressed air and a hair dryer?

How do you use a hair dryer and compressed air?

If you can’t afford to take your dented car to a body shop, then you can always pick up a can of compressed air and break out the hairdryer to remove the dents. The science behind it simple: The hairdryer heats up the sheet metal, which then becomes malleable, and the compressed air is used to cool the metal rapidly and pop out the dent.

The procedure for this method is just as simple:

  • Step 1: Heat the dent up with the hairdryer using the medium heat setting. Hold it between five and seven inches away and make sure to move the dryer all around the dent to make sure the whole area it hot.
  • Step 2: After about two minutes of heating the dent, assess its malleability by feeling (with gloves) around the dent to see if it’s hot enough to the touch, if not, keep heating it.
  • Step 3: Shake the can of compressed, hold it upside-down, and then spray the dent. Spray the dent until it pops back into place, which typically takes 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Step 4: Wipe the area with a clean cloth
Using compressed air on a dent
Using compressed air on a dent | YouTube

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Does the compressed air and hair dryer method really work?

In a word: No. And while you can run countless Google searches on the topic and, even better, look up hundreds of videos on Youtube that detail this very process, you’ll most likely be met with the same answer. Although, to be clear, there are some YouTube videos that show that it does work, and we won’t completely discredit those videos or label them as “fake,” however, this method has disproven time after time in recent years.

If you don’t believe us, then you can spend four minutes watching the video above of two guys trying the method, but to no avail.

Are there ways to get dents out yourself?

There are some paint-less dent removal kits that you can buy, which work much better than the compressed air method. Some of the kits consist of a simple crossbar with suction cups to pull out the dent, while others consist of a whole kit akin to what the professionals use. However, use them at your own risk as damage to your car’s paint or body panel can occur.

A simple cross-bar dent repair kit from Harbor Freight
A simple cross-bar dent repair kit from Harbor Freight | Harbor Freight

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Seek professional help

In the case that you don’t want to try and pop the dents out yourself, you can always get your car repaired at a local auto body shop. We suggest getting multiple quotes and seeing which shop works best for you in terms of your budget and work quality. But ultimately, any shop will likely do a much better job than any home repair kit, not to mention compressed air and a hairdryer.