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Repairing dents in a car

What is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless Dent Repair Might be All Your Car Needs

Paintless dent repair can remove minor dents from the body of your car without the cost of a paint job.

If your car has dents smaller than a few inches in diameter an experienced technician may be able to use paintless dent removal techniques to help your vehicle look like new. Is your car a candidate? Find out below.

What Is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless dent repair or removal (PDR) is a restorative process used to quickly remove minor dents from the body of a vehicle.

Why is it paintless? Traditional dent repair is used when a vehicle has had major collision damage. In the traditional process, body filler is placed in the dent cavity, which then has to be sanded and covered with a complete paint job to hide the repair. Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) works by applying pressure on the exterior of the dent to encourage it back to its pre-damage position, without the need for paint. It’s a more cost effective and a faster process, making it the best choice for small dents (under 4”, without paint damage) and dings.

Paintless Dent Repair Techniques

If the dent is small and easy to reach, technicians apply pressure with a metal rod at the bottom of the dent to move it back into place.

Hard-to-reach repairs, like roof dents, might use a special glue formula and paintless dent repair tabs. Technicians apply the material to pull up the dent from the topside of the body panel. Although these techniques get the bulk of the dent out, there may be some evidence of the damage that remains. A certified technician is trained to make sure that the repair is tapped down and evened out. By carefully tapping the area, the small high spots blend into the body as if the dent was never there. If too much pressure is applied, it might create high spots that damage the clear coat and possibly the paint, causing it to crack or chip after the procedure. It’s important to find a reputable body shop, with trained technicians who understand the process and pressure needed.

When Paintless Dent Repair Is a Good Idea

Paintless dent repair is a good idea when your car has one or more small dents that damage its value or ruin its aesthetic. PDR is ideal for cars with damage from:

  • Hail
  • Shopping carts
  • Door dings
  • Small dents (under 4″) without paint damage

PDR fixes the damage done to your car by simply driving it.

Major accidents or auto body work still require traditional dent repair, especially when paint damage occurs.

Things to Look Out For Before PDR

The premise of a paintless dent repair is to avoid an expensive paint job.

While high-quality technicians work carefully to avoid cracking or chipping the paint on most cars, some are more likely to see chipped or cracked paint after the procedure. If your car has already been repainted it is far more likely to crack than an if it had an original paint job. Heat reduces the likelihood of paint damage on all cars, but repainted surfaces still see a greater chance of damage.

If the area has repaired before, a more detailed repair may be in the cards to get the best results.

Can I Just Push the Dent Out Myself?

Paintless dent repair sounds simple in theory. While DIY dent removal may seem like a cheaper option, it may cost you more in the long run.

Applying too much pressure could send the dent in the opposite direction, or cause the dent to actually increase in size, making the situation worse and requiring more expensive work to be done to fix the new damage too.

Remember, PDR isn’t as simple as pushing the dent out. The technician takes the time to measure the dent, skillfully applying pressure at critical points and protecting the paint along the way. You are more likely to restore your car (and its value) when you use a professional paintless dent removal service.

Keep Your Car Looking New

Taking the car out of the garage means wear and tear. Dents show how many miles you drove and memories you made – or how many times you parked too close to the shopping cart bay at the grocery store.

Dents, scratches, and nicks are inevitable as long as you’re driving your car. If you’re curious how we work, check out our car repair process page to see a detailed infographic of our process, and to see a time-lapse video of a car repair in only 30 seconds.

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body shop repairs

Top 6 Most Common Body Shop Repairs

Nobody likes a damaged automobile.

While mechanical issues are everyone’s worst nightmare, body shop repairs are no fun either. From accidents to break-ins, to a nasty key scratch from an angry ex, there are a million reasons why you could be bringing your car in.

What’s the Difference Between Body Shop Repairs and Mechanical Repairs?

It’s not always an easy answer, but in general, body shops take care of the external parts of the car, from windows to frames to dents and scratches. Mechanics work on the running parts of the car.

Being knowledgeable on the most common types of body shop repairs can help calm your nerves about bringing your car in, and give you an idea of whether to bring your car to a mechanic, or a trusted body shop. Read below to find out about these repairs, and know what you’re in for before you bring your car.

Dent Removal                

Dent removal is one of the most common types of body shop repairs. Dents can occur due to weather, car doors, and many other random accidents. I once dented my dad’s car with a poorly kicked soccer ball.

Dent removal is also an extremely popular do it yourself repair, but isn’t always the best idea. Removing dents yourself can often lead to paint damage, which is often a more expensive repair.

Your best option for dent removal is to take it to a body shop. Since dents are one of the most common issues with a car, they’re often one of the cheapest to fix as well.

Auto Body Painting

Auto body painting is another extremely common body shop repair. This repair can be for protecting the exterior of the car from weathering, or simply for cosmetic reasons. Let’s start with the important stuff, painting to protect your car.

You could need a paint job due to direct damage, such as an accident or a deep scratch on the exterior. While the damage may seem purely cosmetic, oftentimes scratches and chips could open your exterior to increased paint damage, cracking, and rust issues.

If you aren’t sure whether you need a paint job to protect your car, check out this handy guide.

Sometimes, you don’t need a paint job, you just want your car to look good, and there’s nothing wrong with that! From flashy colors to elaborate designs, there are endless ideas to make your car stand out.

Collision Repair

Collision repair is one of the most common body shop repairs, and also one of the most important. Collision repair can involve multiple fixes and is often vital to the life of your automobile.

Auto collisions happen all the time, and often it’s easy to brush the damage off as simply cosmetic in order to save time and money repairing your car. However, it’s incredibly important to have an auto body repair shop examine your car after a collision to make sure the damage won’t have a long-term effect on the life of your car.

In the case of a collision, oftentimes the repairs can be covered by insurance, so there’s no excuse not to get the damage checked out. Even if the exterior looks fine, there could be damage to the frame, which could lead to huge problems.

Window Replacement and Repair

We’ve all suffered through window damage. It can come in all shapes and sizes, and for a variety of reasons. Within 6 months I had to have my windshield repaired due to a dust storm in the California desert, and had one of my side windows replaced after a break in.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a chip or crack can be repaired, ignored, or completely replaced. You should always bring your car into an auto body shop to find out from a professional. Remember, most body shops will give you a free estimate on the repairs.

There are also cosmetic reasons to replace your windows as well, such as tinting. Window tinting laws vary by state, but your local auto body repair shop should be well versed in the regulations.

Frame Repair and Alignment

Frame repair can often go overlooked because it’s not immediately noticeable, but it’s vitally important for the health of your car. If you notice that your car pulls to the left or right, or if it shakes while driving, this could be a sign that you need an alignment or frame repair.

While frame repair may seem like a job for a mechanic, it’s actually an example of body shop repairs and is often done in conjunction with collision repair. Whether you’ve been in an accident, or you simply notice that your car isn’t driving like it should, bring it to a professional to check if your frame needs repair.

Car Detailing

Not all body shop repairs have to be necessary for the health of the car. Sometimes, you just need to feel good about yourself, and a great way to do that is by detailing your automobile!

From touching up the paint to cleaning the interior, to polishing the headlights and taillights, car detailing takes care of all the small details that can really make your vehicle stand out.

Car detailing can also have value beyond simply making your car look good. Detailing is a great way to increase the resale value of your car.

Finding the Right Body Shop

Now that you know the most common body shop repairs, the next step is finding the right body shop to do the work. As with mechanics, having the right people working on your car can make all the difference.

Listen to your friends and colleagues when choosing a body shop. The best way to find out about a shop is from someone who’s already been there.

Get estimates from multiple shops. Many shops will provide free estimates, sometimes even from the comfort of your home!

If you need more advice on body shop repairs, John Harris Body Shop has the expert staff and advice you need, along with free estimates from wherever you find yourself. Don’t ignore body damage just because it doesn’t seem to directly affect the way your vehicle drives. Get it checked out, and get it fixed.

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auto body painting

5 Signs You Need Auto Body Painting Services

Lots of car owners go years without considering a new paint job for their car. Some owners find themselves needing to get their car repainted just a few months after driving off the lot. There’s no telling when you’re going to need an auto body painting service for your car.

Your car could be asking for a new paint job without you realizing. Your paint job doesn’t just keep your car looking good. It has an effect on how long your car will last.

While you may think that you can let your car go without a paint job for a number of years, you could be watching your car deteriorate without a retouch. If you get any kinds of repairs or have any issues with the exterior of your car, you could be up for a retouch.

Look for these 5 signs that you look for auto body painting services.

1. Accidents

Having any kind of accident can be a perfectly good reason to examine the exterior of your car. Any sort of ding or scratch from a minor bump to a full-on collision could open your car up to serious issues.

While it may drive just fine, an exterior with paint chipping or bubbling off could open your body up to rust.

A major freeway wreck will ruin your car so irreparably that you might need to replace whole parts of the body. But one that left your car’s body intact might with just a few scratches and dings might be more trouble than you notice at first.

If you want to get your car looking like new, have an auto body painting specialist look at your car. Waiting could result in an exterior that chips, cracks, and leaves your whole exterior up for massive deterioration.

2. Paint Is Fading

If your paint job is noticeably fading, it means its beginning to wear. This is probably the number one reason people talk to an auto body painting expert.

There are lots of that your paint job might not look as new as it used to. If you’ve left your car out in the sun, it could lead to fading. If you’re considering buying a new car, you might want to find a place to store it.

The same issue can happen if you leave your car out in the snow. The temperature could adverse effects on your car’s exterior.

If you fail to wash your car enough, dirt and grime could leave an uneven film that leads to damage to your paint job. Additionally, if you don’t wax your car enough, you could find your car needs to be repainted sooner than if you do more upkeep.

Your paint can even just fade over time. If your car still drives like a dream but is missing the shine that it had when you bought it, consider talking to an auto body painting service.

3. The Clear Coat Is Peeling Back

Your first line of defense against your paint starting to chip off is your clear coat. Once you lose that, your car is vulnerable to the elements and anything else that life throws at it.

If you think you’re seeing paint peeling from your car, it’s probably just the clear coat separating from the base coat. But once that clear coat is gone, the base coat could lift from the body and expose your car to all kinds of damage.

Bubbles and discolored areas on the body of your car are one of the first signs of clear coat failure.

Bring it to a pro and see what they recommend. Your auto body painting service will likely call you with some options on how to keep your car looking fresh and new.

4. Deep Scratches

If you get sideswiped on the highway, scratched up in a parking lot, or ended up having someone key your car, your paint job is going to need to be treated. Have a pro take a look at any scratches and see what they recommend. An auto body professional will take you through their process and talk through the options.

Some scratches can be buffed out. Some can be buffed out in a DIY manner. Others need a little more work.

If you end up needing to repaint your car, an auto body painting professional can help figure out what you need.

Always drive carefully, whether in your grocery store parking lot or pulling into your garage. When backing out of a tight space, always check behind you. And double check those mirrors when you’re merging into another lane.

5. Rust Issues

If you live in a colder climate, you know there are lots of things that can attack your car through the winter.

If your car survived a tough winter, you’ve still got some work to do. Always be sure you get the underside of your car wiped of any salt that can eat away at your car. Once winter’s over, you might have some scratches or rust that’s accrued.

That can lead to quick deterioration and worse, holes. Have your paint job examined if this is the case.

If winter is coming, have your paint job added to your overall winterization to-do list. Any problems with the exterior could lead to rust which will quickly be accelerated by salt and low-temperature damage.

Living in a humid climate comes with its own set of issues. Humidity can lead to paint bubbling. This will lead to exposed body parts and end up leading to rust.

Rust will bring a whole lot more headaches than having your car repainted.

Auto Body Painting Brings Lots Of Benefits

Along with the overall health and longevity of your car, a car with a fresh and shiny paint job will make you confident in your car, no matter the age.

If you’re wondering whether or not you should get your car repainted, contact us to see what can be done to get your car’s body looking fresh again.

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John Harris Body Shop exterior sign

Are Your Headlights in Good Shape?

Surely you’ve noticed that our days are getting shorter and nights are getting longer. If not all, many of us are driving more in the dark/at dawn. Whether it’s to and from work or to the store, it’s virtually unavoidable. This is why it’s crucial that your headlights are dirt and grime free! Having them cleaned is critical to safe driving.

headlight cleaning

The Best Way to Get Headlights Clean

There are several DIY ways to clean them, but that can lead to possible scratches. Cleaning your headlights will not only allow you see the road more clearly, but it will also prolong the life of your vehicle’s exterior lighting system! You may want to have the alignment of your headlights checked as well. You certainly want them pointing in the right direction.

Therefore, all of us at John Harris Body Shop suggest you come see us to make sure you can see everything on the road during your drive. You can find out which John Harris Body Shop is closest to you here or just give us a call!


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The easiest and most convenient way to pay for your portion of the repairs to your vehicle is to endorse your insurance claim check and submit it to the shop. Of course, cash and checks are always welcome. Credit cards may also be used. We accept Visa, Master Card and Discover. For more information, please see our Payment Policy.

If your deductible is not waived, it will be your responsibility to pay us when you pick up your vehicle. If you aren’t sure about your deductible, you can call your agent and he can tell you whether your insurance company has waived your deductible or whether it will be your responsibility.

Claim numbers are issued by your insurance company at the time you report your accident. Just jot it down and bring it in with you when you come in to begin the repair process, we will do the rest.

You will be notified by phone when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. You can also check this website. You will see a message next to the last picture of your vehicle telling you that your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your advisor during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.

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