I have a 2012 VW Jetta. The other day I was pulling into my garage and hit the side of the car. There are several dents and paint scratches. What would be the cheapest and easiest way to get this damage fixed? Sorry if this question isn't fit for this stack exchange, first time posting here.

Here is a photo of the damage: enter image description here

Thank you!

  • 2
    The cheapest and easiest way would be to find a pick-a-part junk yard with the same model and color as yours, purchase the car door, and install it yourself. Then you'd need to buff out the paint along the bottom. Your ability and part availability are what is going to be the limiting factor here, though. Mar 13, 2015 at 11:10
  • @Paulster2 Any more practical ways that don't require as much work? Something in the range of $500 or less.
    – rshea0
    Mar 13, 2015 at 14:11
  • Any other method will require more work. This is as far as I know, the easiest and quickest method to get it done. Anything else involves taking it to the body shop or pounding it out yourself. If I were you, I'd take it to the body shop and see what they would charge to have it done ... it may surprise you. Mar 13, 2015 at 14:14
  • @PachowStudios Take the entire door off the car and bending it back into that resembling the original shape. You then sand the entire surface down so the bondo will stick. You then apply a coat of bondo. Wait for it to dry. Sand it almost all the way off. Do it again a dozen times. Make sure the contour is perfect. Sand down the whole area. Mask the windows up and start painting. Apply several coats of primer. Apply several coats of color match paint. Apply multiple coats of clearcoat Then realize the paint is slightly wrong and the door never quite matches. The new door will be far easier.
    – Cellivar
    Oct 20, 2015 at 23:58

4 Answers 4


There are a few ways to resolve this dent issue as the others have indicated.

Another Possible Method

glue these plastic ding tabs to the dents. You can find them by googling "plastic ding tab"

You will use a hot glue gun and hot glue them to your various dents.

enter image description here

Use a dent puller slide hammer. The tip should screw into the plastic ding pullers.

enter image description here

Pull the weight of the slide hammer to where the ding tabs are attached to the dent and give it a good pull. When the sliding weight hits the stop at the end of the hammer the transferred energy will pull onto the glued tab and pull the dent out.

You may need to repeat the operation a few times to get the result you are looking for.

  • FYI the dents don't appear to be in the gas tank. That may confuse the OP.
    – Bob Cross
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:30
  • yup. fixed it. Good looking out. TY Jan 8, 2016 at 14:32
  • Missed one more: "You will use a hot glue gun and hot glue them to your gas tank."
    – ethesx
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:39
  • 1
    eegads! I'm not on my 'A' game, that's for sure. Jan 8, 2016 at 14:44
  • I've seen Edd use the metal equivalent of this on Wheeler Dealers to pull out a ding on a BMW 840i. The fact that you don't have to grind off the paint down to bare metal makes this a very attractive option indeed!
    – Zaid
    Jan 9, 2016 at 17:57

The sheet metal on your door isn't terribly strong (which is why is is fairly easy to dent). Here's how I would approach the problem if I were looking for a "good enough" solution:

  1. Remove the door's inner panel. This will involve undoing a variety of car-specific screws (e.g., in the door handle), disconnecting some electrical hardware for the power windows, etc.
  2. Move the plastic vapor barrier (looks like a thick plastic bag) and any easily moved sound proofing.
  3. With a something strong but unlikely to pierce the metal, try pressing the debts out from the outside. I would suggest something like a soup spoon. Press with the center of the back of the bowl so you can push out a little bit at a time.
  4. After each little press, check your work on the outside. Don't get aggressive and stop before you think it's perfect (it's not going to be).
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 about ten million times.
  6. At this point, the dents will be better but the marks will remain. Now it's time for several coats of cleaner wax. This has a little bit of polish that will remove some of the extra paint and will soften the scratch edges.
  7. Repeat step 6 until "good enough".
  8. Reassemble the door and watch for rust (you may have gone through the paint). In that case, return with touch up paint later.

The result will be an imperfect door. However, you'll learn a lot about how your car is put together (at least in that one spot) and you won't have spent much other than the cost of a bottle of wax.

  • Sound approach, though in my experience with German sedans there's a lot of cross-bracing in the way
    – Zaid
    Jan 9, 2016 at 17:55

Fiberglass and Bondo. You will need lots of sand paper and strong arms if you don't have access to a compressor and air sanders.

  • is putting fiberglass on metal surface a good idea? @Jonathan Musso
    – Nilabja
    Aug 22, 2017 at 11:41

You may be able to utilize a can of compressed computer air, and a blow dryer to get the dents out. Modern sheetmetal is real thin and wants to go back into position. Fixing the paint would be trickier you may be able to sand it down and color match it using preval sprayers.

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