September 13, 2018
We all drive different makes and models, but two things remain the same. All our cars have miles and memories attached to them.
Unfortunately, all those miles often come with a few minor dents.
It’s not enough to warrant a new part or even a new paint job, but it bothers you all the same.
Paintless dent repair is a method of removing minor dents, like hail damage or door dings, from the body of your car without the cost of a paint job.
Do you need some autobody work done on dents smaller than a few inches in diameter? An experienced technician uses paintless dent removal techniques to help your vehicle look like new. Is your car a candidate? Keep reading to find out.
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.
Technicians apply PDR by using pressure on the exterior of the dent to encourage it back to its pre-damage position.
Why is it paintless? Traditional repair places a body filler in the dent cavity. Because the filler stands out so much, it requires sanding, paint matching, and finally a paint job to hide the repair.
Traditional dent repair works on large dents, but traditional bodywork is expensive. It also fails to address the dent itself. It fills it in rather than moving the body back into place.
Fillers don’t play a role in PDR. By eliminating that step, you also get to skip the sanding, paint matching, and ultimately painting thereby removing the time and expense from the project.
Paintless Dent Repair Techniques
Every auto body shop claims to have trade secrets for painless dent repair.
Most have their origins in the most common vehicle dent repair techniques.
Common dents suitable for removal are often repaired using metal rods on the body to push the dent back out. In this technique, the technician carefully uses the rod and applies pressure at the bottom of the dent to move it back into place.
The technique requires access to the underside of the body panel.
Hard-to-reach repairs like roof dents might use a special glue formula and paintless dent repair tabs. Technicians apply the materials to pull up the dent from the topside of the body panel.
These techniques get the bulk of the dent out, but some evidence of the damage often remains.
The key to refinding the just-off-the-lot look is to go a step further and tap down the repair to even out the area. By tapping carefully, the small high spots blend into the body as if there was never a dent at all. They might also use a tool called an orange peel to blend the paint.
Of course, these techniques require the user to find the exact amount of pressure.
Too much pressure creates high spots that damage the clear coat and even the pain. A technician takes some of the pressure off the paint by using heat to make the coat more malleable.
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:
- Shopping carts
- Door dings
- Small dents (under 4″) without paint damage
PDR is perfect for the damage done to your car simply by driving it.
Major accidents or autobody work still benefit from 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.
Has your car already been repainted? Repainted surfaces are far more likely to crack than existing paint. Heat reduces the likelihood of paint damage on all cars, but repainted surfaces still see a greater likelihood.
Is the paint on the area already scraped or damaged? A more detailed repair may be on the cards if you want the like-new look.
Can I Just Push the Dent Out Myself?
Paintless dent repair sounds simple in theory. While DIY dent removal is a cheaper option because the tools are cheaper to buy, you can’t buy the finesse of an experienced dentology expert.
Applying too much pressure could send the dent in the opposite direction and there’s little room for error before it happens. Reversing the dent costs more to fix than PDR in the first place.
In other words, you can try to push the dent out yourself. However, you may actually make the situation worse.
Remember, PDR isn’t as simple as pushing the dent out. The technician also evens out the area as require and uses techniques to protect the paint along the way. You are more likely to restore your car (and its value) when you use a professional service.
Get Brand New Look for Your Car
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. Restoring your car’s body isn’t costly. In fact, you can watch this car get repaired in only 30 seconds.
Does your car need repair? John Harris Body shops will remove the look of all those miles while leaving your memories intact. Contact us today.