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How To Make Basic Auto Body Repairs

Many people are afraid of making repairs to their own car. However, if your car has small dings, scratches or chips in the paint, you can make basic repairs even if you are not an automobile repair expert. This article will explain the tools you will need to make these basic repairs to your own car.

Preparing the Car Surface

The first thing you need to do is prepare the area. This means you need to sand it down and make the surface as smooth as possible. If the surface is smoother, the auto body filler will stick better to the surface. If the surface is left rough, the filler is more likely to chip away over time. To smooth the surface you need sandpaper, but not normal wood sandpaper. You need extra fine paper with very high grit. Look for paper with grit over 1000. Sand down any rough patches or sharp edges on the paint chip. Then, you will need to use wet sandpaper to make the surface paint-ready. Wet sandpaper is just like normal sandpaper except the grit is even higher: usually over 2000. Also, the paper has to be soaked in water so it creates an even smoother finish.

Applying the Auto Body Filler

Once the surface is prepared, you can start to apply the auto body filler. If you have never worked with auto body filler, you will want to practice. Most body filler is sold in two parts: the putty and the hardener. Once the hardener is mixed into the putty you only have a few minutes before it dries. This is why you should practice spreading the filler. You can just do it on a piece of wood or cardboard so you can get an idea of how long it takes for the filler to dry.

When you actually apply the filler to your car surface, you will want to work quickly. Scrape away as much excess filler before it dries. After the filler dries you need to sand it down again. First use the 1000 sandpaper to knockoff any excess filler. Then, you can use wet sandpaper or an electric buffer to smooth the surface out. This will help make the area smooth and shiny, so it should blend in with the rest of the car.

In the end, making these repairs is actually quite easy. After making a few repairs you will become better at it and you will be able to make even more repairs on your own.