Your vehicle might be a road accident survivor but the daunting dents and dreadful damages will always remind you of that dreaded day, unless you have your car body panels replaced. Repairs and replacements used to be stressful and expensive. But with the arrival of hundreds of companies that sell car-specific body panels, gone are the days when you still have to bring your vehicle to wallet-emptying body shops. Whether you want to get rid of an unattractive dent or you just want to change a rust-infested part, a hassle-free replacement is now possible in the comfort of your own home.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- New body panel
- Ratchet and socket set
- Lubricant spray with rust inhibitor
Step 1: Remove the plastic skirting of the old body panel using the screwdriver. You may need to reach under your car to completely take out the protective skirting.
Step 2: Reach for the metal tabs behind the panel and remove the nuts and bolts that attach the panel to the vehicle. Spray a small amount of lubricant if the bolts are too tight. Remove the old body panel.
Note: The lubricant spray will also help clean the rust that accumulated around the bolts. If the bolts are gravely damaged by rust and are already beyond repair, replace them with new ones.
Step 3: Position the replacement body panel on your car and compare the location of the bolt holes. Re-install the bolts through the tabs but leave the nuts loose. Check all the sides of the panel and make sure that all the gaps are even.
Step 4: Tighten all the nuts to secure the new body panel in place. Re-install the protective skirting under your vehicle.
The installation process can be done by one person. But it is advisable to ask for someone's help in carrying the replacement body panel. The entire process can take a few hours even for expert DIYers.