DIY car body repair:

Got questions about auto body repairs? We have answers!

Keeping your vehicle dent-free is not always easy but, when accidents do happen, making a proper repair will help to restore your vehicle's clean look and a higher resale value.

What do I need to know before I begin a car body repair?

Before you start filling and sanding, start by evaluating the affected area. When getting started, you need to consider the size of the dent and/or scratch. The bigger the dent the more filler may be needed. Scratches do not require body filler. If you are dealing with a hole in the body, it must be patched before body filler is applied.

What type of car body filler should I use?

Bondo Ultimate car body filler is recommended for 1996 model year and newer vehicles.

Regular body filler is used by most people doing body work. The polyester resin hardens in minutes and can be used on almost any surface. This car body filler can be quite heavy when significant portions are used.

Fiberglass body filler is much lighter and a bit messier than regular body filler, but it also provides superior waterproofing qualities, so it's good on boats and cars made from fiberglass, metal and wood.

How much car body filler do I need?

Before starting, take note of the size of the dent and be sure to buy more body filler than you think you will need. Most car body filler is sold in pint, quart and gallon containers. You'll be surprised just how much you use.

What do I need to get the job done with auto body repairs?

Car body filler; options include:

Bondo Ultimate Body Filler: body filler, hardener (sold separately), primer and color-matched Duplicolor paint. For smaller repairs, pick up the complete kit, which includes filler and hardener.

Regular Body Filler: two-part body filler system with hardener included (sold in pints, quarts and gallons), the Professional Spot and Glazing Putty to cover the filler, primer and color-matched Duplicolor paint. Or purchase the complete kit, which includes everything but the paint.

Fiberglass Body Filler: you'll need fiberglass resin, fiberglass cloth and mat with clear liquid hardener. Clear liquid hardener is included with the resin, but you may want to purchase a little extra, just in case.

  • Larger auto body repairs need Bondo Glass, a filler with chopped fiberglass cloth. Then cover with regular filler.
  • Smaller auto body repairs, like rust holes can be fixed with Bondo Jelly, which contains short strands of fiberglass.
  • Penetrating holes larger than a half-dollar coin will need a Bondo Body Patch before the body filler is applied.


For a quick and easy fix for small scratches or small dents, try Bondo Quick Fix Autobody Dent Filler or Bondo Quick Fix Autobody Scratch and Ding Glaze. Both are easy-dispensing, sun-activated and fast-sanding, with no hardener needed.

In addition to the body filler materials, all DIY car body repair technicians will need a healthy supply of sandpaper (medium, fine and extra fine), a flat tool (like a putty knife) to apply the body filler, primer and color-matched paint to complete the job.

The right product makes all the difference. DIY car body repair is now easier than ever!

For more information on how to use the products you've selected, be sure to stop
by the Consumer Education display in the front of your Advance Auto Parts store.


Interested in DIY car body repair? Come to Advance Auto Parts for the tools and supplies you need, along with a full line of quality auto parts.