Tips For Using Auto Body Filler

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Fixing the Cruise Control

Ever since I begin driving at the age of sixteen, I’ve always enjoyed using the cruise control feature in my vehicles. Regardless of whether I’m driving down a country road or on a major interstate, I utilize my automobile’s cruise control. Unfortunately, this convenient feature suddenly stopped working in my car a few months ago. Because I don’t know anything about vehicles, I didn’t have a clue as to what was wrong with my car. Therefore, I had an expert look at it. This individual determined that I needed to replace a certain type of sensor. After obtaining a new sensor, my cruise control has worked perfectly again. On this blog, you will discover the types of automotive issues that can cause the cruise control in your vehicle to malfunction.


Tips For Using Auto Body Filler

27 January 2016
 Categories: Automotive, Articles

If you are in a fender bender and a part of the body of your vehicle becomes damaged, then you may need to seek out a replacement body piece with the assistance of your local repair shop. However, if you can avoid this, you should. A single door, hood, or bumper can cost thousands of dollars to replace. You can tack on up to $1,000 onto the cost for damage painting. Most body panels cost a small fortune themselves due to the specialized way the steel is formed for every different make and model of car. This means that you should take a few minutes to think about whether or not you want to spend some time trying to fill both small and large dents before speaking with a mechanic about professional repairs and body piece replacements. If so, you will need to work with a body filling putty. Keep reading to learn about some tips on how to use this material effectively.

Prepare The Dent Properly

Pull Out The Dent

Before you can even start to think about using putty to fill in a dent, you will need to prepare the damaged area first. Start the preparation by pulling out the dent as much as possible. While polyester body fillers can be added in thick layers to rebuild a body, it is not wise to create a repair that is more than one-quarter inch thick. The filler material is prone to shrinking and cracking when it is thick. This will result in a repair that does not last long.

You can use several methods to pull out a dent. Using a suction cup dent puller to release the dent is the simplest method. Place the suction cup against the dent and squeeze the handles of the device together or use the suction cup pump to create a tight seal between the car and the cup. Afterwards, pull on the handle. It may take quite a bit of pressure to release the dent. If the device works properly, then the dent may still be quite wide, but it will not be nearly as deep. You should use a ruler to measure the depth, though, to make sure it is about one-quarter inch deep.

Sand The Area

Afterwards, you will need to sand the dent to remove both the primer and the paint from the area. You will also need to remove any rust that you see. Polyester filler materials will not adhere properly to loose rust or smoothly painted surfaces. Securing the material directly to the textured steel body is best. Start with a coarse grit of sandpaper first to remove as much of the paint as you can. A piece of 40 or 60 grit sandpaper will work well. Use a piece of 80 or 100 grit paper afterwards to remove any leftover bits of paint, and smooth the area with a piece of 360 grit sandpaper to finish up the job. 

Once the sanding is done, use a damp rag to remove dust. If you think there may be grease or oil on the area, gently wash the dent with dish soap and water, then dry it before applying the body filler.

Mix The Right Amount

You will need to mix body filler putty before you can apply it to the dent of the vehicle. Your package of putty will come with the polyester material and a hardening agent. You should mix these two materials together in a 1 to 1 ratio, but you will first need to figure out exactly how much putty to use first. While you can layer the body filler, it is wise to fill in the majority of the dent with as much of a single mixture as you can. Since mixing the filler is not an exact science, this will prevent you from placing two differently mixed putties next to one another that may dry at different rates or shrink differently over time. To see how much putty you need, roll up a ball of aluminum foil and place it in the dent. Add more foil until the dent is slightly overfilled. Place the foil on top of your plastic or metal mixing board. 

Remove the filler from its packaging and squeeze out the filler so it is the same volume as half the foil ball. Do the same thing with the hardener. Quickly but gently use a plastic spreader tool to mix the two ingredients together until the mixture is a uniform color. Use the same plastic spreader to scoop up as much of the filler as you can and spread it across the dent. You will have about 10 minutes to work until the putty starts to harden, so make sure the putty is slightly raised in the dent so it can be smoothed out with sandpaper. 

For help with bigger dents or more information about fixing your car's body, pop over to this site.