How to fix your car's dings and dents

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Unless you just drove it off the lot, chances are your car has a few dents and dings.

We've all seen the runaway shopping cart making its way across the parking lot on a mission. If it's headed towards your vehicle, it's usually mission accomplished.

If your car is in need of some cosmetic surgery, you might want to call the doctor. At Dr. Detail in The Woodlands, they've seen it all and can diagnose or cure most auto ailments that would usually require a lengthy stay at the hospital.

"We offer cosmetic procedures to all of your vehicles, auto detailing, windshield replacement, dent repair, windshield repair, headliner repair, and auto chips," Dr. Detail's David Starnes. "What we do is get that dent out. It's a lot cheaper than going to a body shop and it takes about an hour to do."

With the help of a hammer, we put the doctor to the test.

"What we do is we start pulling it out until it goes flat," Starnes said.

Within seconds, the dent disappeared for just a $65 co-pay.

There are several area businesses offering the quick fix service. Mobile professional Benny Gomez with Dent Champion also makes house calls. He has won twice in the last few years competing in what's known in the auto body world as the Dent Olympics.

"Most times I can do a repair as quick as an oil change," Gomez said.

When we paid Gomez a visit, he was fixing the dents on a four-door sedan. But not all dents are created equal. First, he has to see if he can fix the car, and then has to get access behind the dent. In some cases, that requires drilling a hole into the car door.

An hour later with some massaging and fine finessing, the dents were smoothed out. The estimate at an auto body shop was $955, but Gomez charged $300. There's also an added bonus for the car owner.

"Because your vehicle is not being repainted, it's stays factory finish, and it does not come out on Carfax," Gomez said.

Because no two dents are alike, not all can be fixed. It is important to send pictures and detailed information about the dent to a professional.

If you'd like to use either of the pros mentioned in this story, contact them at their websites:
- Dr. Detail in The Woodlands
- Dent Champion Paintless Dent Repair

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