Whether it’s hail from a thunderstorm, a shopping cart blowing in the parking lot, or a door slamming too hard, dents are never a good look on your vehicle.
Fortunately, most dents can be repaired at an affordable price and with little to no damage to your car’s paint job. Read on to learn how 80% to 90% of dents can be repaired using paintless dent repair (PDR).
Paintless Dent Repair
PDR (paintless dent repair) is a method of removing minor dents from sheet metal. It carefully manipulates the indented metal back to its original shape.
The exact method used depends on the size and amount of damage. Technicians use industry-grade reusable tools to manipulate the metal to its correct height and location.
Generally, the best results occur when technicians can access the area behind the dent and manipulate it to its original shape. However, if the dent is in a difficult-to-reach place or in an area where the metal can’t be separated from the interior, this limits the ability to repair it.
The process also works well on hail damage, but it can’t fix dents that are too large or have cracks in the paint. It is due to something called “Metal Memory” – a property of the metal that causes it to want to return to its original shape.
Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a unique service and alternative to conventional auto body damage repairs. This method of repairing small and medium-sized dents is much less expensive than traditional bodywork and painting solutions and is insurance approved.
Conventional body repair involves removing the damaged area of the panel, filling it, and reattaching it. A technician then sands and retouches the surface with a primer, base coat, and final coat of paint.
It can take weeks to complete, and the cost of sanding and body fillers can add up quickly.
PDR is a much less time-consuming and labor-intensive process than conventional bodywork. As a result, it works well on minor dings and creases caused by hail, people being careless with their doors or carts in parking lots, and other causes. However, it doesn’t work well with larger dents or dings that stretch the vehicle’s metal.
Repairing Creased Areas
Creased areas are a common form of dent that can emerge on the body of a vehicle. They can appear as a prolonged deformity in the curve above a wheel well or an angular depression in the side of a door.
Crease dents can be challenging to repair. It is because the creased area will be more difficult to reshape with PDR techniques.
In addition, a creased area may be more susceptible to environmental damage because of how quickly water can enter the crease and cause rusting on your car’s metal body.
A technician will use specialized tools to push the damaged metal back into place to repair a creased area. These include a tap-down tool, whale tails, fender rods, and pivot tips.
Dents are frustrating, but they can be easy to fix. So whether you’re in an accident or parked with a dent, getting it fixed as soon as possible is essential.
To repair dents, you need the right tools. These include a body pick or long metal rods called PDR tools to reach tiny gaps between panels and holes.
The technician then needs access to the back side of the damaged panel, which often involves removing pieces of interior or taillight paneling. Once they have this, they can use a special light board to see the dent from a more vantage point.
After this, they can start working on the dent, repeatedly pushing it upwards to stretch it back to its original shape. It may take several pushing repetitions to completely flatten the dent and align it with the surrounding panels.