Hot Water Car Dent Repair Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

There has been a video circulating on the internet showing a man repairing his dented front bumper using nothing more than hot water and his bare hand. The video shows him pouring the water on the dent before placing his hand behind the bumper and pushing it forward. Beware, this hot water car dent repair is not all it’s cracked up to be.

If you’ve seen the video, you might think it looks pretty impressive. Alternatively, you might think the young man is crazy for playing with hot water and not protecting his hands. Whatever your impressions, there is a more important idea to discuss: the video is tremendously deceiving. We explain why below.

Plastic Bumpers Only

First and foremost, the hot water trick only works on plastic bumpers. It works because the hot water softens the plastic and makes it flexible enough to manipulate with your hands. That’s why the young man is able to push out the dent without any tools needed. The same trick will never work on a metal bumper.

Metal parts are much too strong to be softened by boiling water. You would need a blowtorch and a pulling tool to perform the same kind of dent repair seen in the video on a metal bumper. And that’s just not practical. In fact, that’s why professional car mechanics exist.

Not Applicable to Breaks or Cracks

The next thing to know is that the trick isn’t applicable to bumpers that are cracked or broken. All the hot water does is make the plastic flexible enough to temporarily manipulate. It will not do anything to put broken parts back together. For that, you’ll either need epoxy (to re-join pieces) and fibreglass fill or a new plastic bumper entirely.

The Repair Will Not Be Perfect

You can’t tell just by watching the video, but no hot water car dent repair will be perfect. You will never restore a bumper to factory condition simply by pushing a dent out from behind. You’ll still need to address small imperfections that could be anything from a scratch to a small crack to an uneven surface.

This last point is critically important if you’re talking about an expensive car. Any of your German imports would be perfect examples. Your Audi or BMW may sport a plastic bumper cover over the top of a traditional metal bumper, causing you to believe that you can use the hot water trick to take care of a dent. But because the repair will not restore the bumper to its original factory condition, you will still have to take the car to a professional if you want a good repair that doesn’t harm the value of your car.

The hot water car dent repair video demonstrates a nice little trick you can use on an inexpensive car with a bumper dent that doesn’t include broken plastic. For anything else, though, you’re still going to need a professional repair.


  1. Daily Mail –

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