If you're stuck at home, here's how to fix a dent or scrape on your car using a cheap roll of tape


RAV4 Repair

  • Last year, I had to fix a small dent and some scrapes on my Toyota RAV4.
  • I took a pass on the dent, but I handled the scrapes and a slightly more serious problem using a $6 roll of tape.
  • Minor vehicle repairs such as this are easy and can buy you some time before dealing with a costly trip to the body shop.
  • If you’re stuck at home and don’t want to take your vehicle to a body shop, this technique can provide a quick fix.
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Last year, my Toyota RAV4 hybrid endured an indignity. A very low-speed collision put a dent and a scrape in its rear bumper.

Nothing to panic about. Minor impacts are pretty common, and the damage was minimal. 

But it was still noticeable, and the bumper panel was slightly detached from the rest of the body, as well as being scraped. So I decided that although I didn’t really want to fully repair the damage — a new bumper would be required, and with paint and body work I was looking at a few hundred bucks minimum — I wanted to tidy up the impact.

Minor repairs such as these are easy and worthwhile, as I’ve already demonstrated by fixing a few scratches on my beloved Toyota Prius.

Here’s how I used a $6 roll of tape to solve my problem:

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Dang! That’s a decent little dent in the rear bumper of my Toyota RAV4 hybrid.

As you can see, I have a dent, a slight crack, some scuffs, and a section of the bumper that’s detaching.

Not to worry. I’ve fixed scratches on my other car, a Prius. That time, I matched the paint. But because the damage is worse on my RAV4, and the vehicle is black, I could use another technique.

Read all about how I fixed blemishes on the Prius.

Gorilla Tape to the rescue!

A roll cost me $6 at AutoZone. Gorilla Tape is stickier than duct tape, which I’ve used before to fix my cars.

This isn’t going to be a serious repair — just enough to hold by bumper together for a few months. I also have to deal with that damage to the trim down by the exhaust pipe. And I’m not going to worry about that dent.

Step 1: I cleaned the area so that the tape can stick well to the surface.

Step 2: I secured the problem area so that I could pull it flush with a second layer of tape.

I continued to the area above the dent.

Step 3: I applied larger pieces of tape in sections, so I could get a good, tight seal.

Mission accomplished! The bumper should now remain attached.

Step 4: Cover the scuffs and scrapes.

Now I’ll deal with this tricky bit. I don’t think the tape is going to adhere to the finish all that well, but I’m gonna do my best.

Repair complete!

It’s far from perfect, but at least the damage won’t get any worse!

Don’t be afraid to tackle these minor repair jobs! They’re simple, cheap, and they can help you keep your car on the road when damage is minor. And the repair has held up for several months now!