September 13, 2018
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:
- 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.