Items Needed

In this module, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Practice Vehicle

  • Dent Light 

  • S-Hook or Panel Lever

  • Dent Hammer and Knockdown Tool

  • Various Hand Tools

  • Various Dent Rods

  • Trim Tool/ Clip Remover

  • China Marker

  • Tennis Ball

  • Large Screwdriver

  • Duct Tape

Fenders and their Access Points

Every vehicle has a right and left fender. These are the panels that are in front of the doors and attach to the bumper and hood compartment. Damage that occurs here can be both minor and extreme. Any dent that occurs within 1 ½ inches of an edge of a fender is considered an advanced dent removal.

There are two ways to access fenders:

The easiest and most common access is through the fender liner. The fender liner is a thin piece of molded plastic (some vehicles may have welded steel in place of the plastic liner) that prevents water, rocks and debris from getting up in the fender area. 

  1. To gain access to this area, check to see if there are any fasteners. If there are, remove these prior to attempting to remove or bend back the liner. 
  2. Once you have checked or removed any fasteners, grab your trim tool and carefully insert the tool in between the fender lip and the fender liner. 
  3. Now carefully bend back the plastic liner and it will slip out of the area it was fitted into allowing you to insert a tool to work the panel.

The second way to access fenders is by removing the head light assembly. Every vehicle is different. For this reason, we cannot go into detailed description for every vehicle. Just know some are very easy, some are much more complicated, and some require the front bumper to be removed.  A quick google search of the Year, Make, and Model “Headlight Removal” should result in a video how-to.  

Once removed, this will allow you excellent access and leverage to any dent that is located from the middle of the wheel forward to the light assembly. Do keep in-mind that some fenders on later model vehicles have areas that are double walled meaning they could be glue pull only areas.

Common Damage Types

Now that we have moved from the hood and are now actually working on side panels, you will notice that all the dents going forward are no longer round. It will be rare for you to find in an actual real-world situation where dents are perfectly round. In fact, most dents you encounter will be linear and caused by doors or objects falling on to the side panels. Even hail damage on side panels can result in linear damage due to a glancing blow to a side panel. 

Let’s discuss some of the more common damage types and how to remove them!

This dent is caused by doors being opened onto another car. These dents, at first glance, appear to be round but in fact can be linear and often rather sharp. 

  1. When you check the dent with the dent light, you will first look to see (read) the shape of the dent and where the lowest areas are. 
  2. Now, just like other dents, start with the deepest point and watch very carefully in the light paying attention to see which low spot to go to next. 
  3. Follow the pattern that the dent shows you based on your previous pushes. Continue to push any low spots, a little at a time, to gently move the entire area slightly high. At this time, lightly tap the area down flush.

Large dents are easy from a technical standpoint but are very tedious in nature. These dents generally occur in quarter panels but can occur anywhere on the vehicle. Never attempt to push out the dent using your hand on the inside or a suction cup on the outside. Large dented areas are usually held by pressure points (crown, smiles, or eyebrows). These pressure points need to be tapped and released first. As you begin to tap and smooth out the pressure points, it is possible a large portion of the dent will start to shrink. 

DO NOT BEGIN PUSHING UNTIL THE PRESSURE IS RELIEVED! Once you are ready to push, select the tool that gives you the best leverage. Again, find your lowest/deepest point. Hopefully this spot will be toward the center, because you are dealing with a “larger” dent, you may also be dealing with a much deeper dent as well. This can cause you an issue with the Dent Light.  What can happen in a deeper dent situation is, if you have your light at the correct normal placement, you might not be able to see the very bottom of the dent correctly. This is one of the few times we will tell you to bring your light in a little closer. By doing so, it will allow you to get a better view of the bottom of the dent. However, as you get the dent moving, don’t forget to move your light back again to get that better fade for finishing the dent.

Linear crease dents are the most challenging dents that a dent technician will repair. These dents must be worked with your light parallel to the dent and your eyesight perpendicular to the dent. In other words, you need to always be looking across the crease into your light. Not down the length of the crease. When working crease dents, you must start at one end of the crease and work from one end to another. DO NOT START YOUR REPAIR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CREASE! As always, check the behavior of the metal when you push on it with your tool.  
A Crown, a Smile, and an Eyebrow are three different terms used to explain the position of the high area according to the technician’s viewpoint. If you envision your dent in the shape of a person’s round head, the crown is worn on the top of the head, eyebrows are located on the top of the face, and the smile at the bottom. These types of dents are considered advanced Paintless Dent Repairs. Follow these steps to determine if your dent has a crown or smile:
  1. Set your dent light up in the proper manor for the panel you are working on. As you examine and dissect the dent, you will notice that at the top of the dent there appears to be a smile or crown that sticks out and beyond the original surface plane.
  2. You will relieve the pressure by tapping down directly on the crown until it literally disappears. When this step is complete you may proceed with the repair as normal. If you do not relieve the pressure and remove the crown, the dent may never look 100% complete.
Example: Imagine an area of smooth, level, even sand. Now imagine taking your hand and chopping into the sand. Two things will happen: 1. You will create a low area. 2. The displaced sand will be pushed out of the center and up onto the outer edges, resulting in a high area. The displaced high area is your crown, smile or eyebrow.  

Closing Thoughts

Congrats! You are about halfway through the course. It’s never too early to start looking for a job related to your new skill set on Career BuilderMonster, or Indeed. Watch the video below to learn some tips from founder and president, Todd Sudeck.

Essential Skills

Great work in this module! We just heard Todd talk about demonstrating your abilities. That’s critical in an interview, but it’s also critical to getting that interview. Similar to applications, there’s some additional legwork you often have to complete before the coveted interview.

A resume is essentially you demonstrating your skills and value on paper! It’s a document that typically highlights your education, experience, and skills. All of this must be done succinctly! You’re typically limited to page or two. You may also have a page for references– people who can vouch for your work ethic, craftsmanship, and value!

The following PDF is a sample resume. Feel free to use it as a model as you create your own. Consider every word carefully, and definitely and have someone proofread your final draft!

Please Complete the Lessons Below in Order to Proceed

Click on ‘Show What You Know!’ and  ‘Knowledge Check’ below then mark each complete in order to proceed in the training.