If you landed here with the question above let me be the first to thank you for being able to ask such a question. It seems like most people have yet to even hear about this process called Paintless Dent Repair or PDR for short. Please find a short explanation as to what the process is and what damage could qualify for PDR below.
What is Paintless Dent Repair?
Paintless Dent Repair is simply the process whereby a skilled technician molds a damaged, dented, or warped vehicle panel back to its original shape using special hand tools and rods. Contrast that with what the conventional collision shop does to repair a dented car. A body shop has to either replace the panel with a new one or use traditional bodywork to rework it back to the original shape. This process involves sanding, welding, drilling, spreading on fillers on your vehicle. Once the bodyman has attained that factory shape, it is sent to the paint booth to be coated with paint and clear that is matched as best as possible to your original. Many times this paint process requires that the painter blend into the surrounding panels. The method can be very invasive, time-consuming, and expensive.
Various Types of Damage Can be Fixed with PDR
All sorts of damage can be repaired with Paintless Dent Repair. But certain criteria need to be met before a PDR technician will take on your repair. It’s always best to contact your area’s best technician and give him the details of your situation. They will know what the best repair method will be for your vehicle. But here are some basics that will help you understand the process:
What is the Condition of the Finish?
This is a very important question. The factory finish on most vehicles is very durable and strong. Quite often a vehicle can receive large damage to it’s panel and the paint finish will stretch with the metal and not break. This is the ideal scenario for paintless dent repair.
What is the Size and Shape of the Dent?
I tell people that every dent is different. For instance, many dents are round and some take very complicated shapes. Some dents have wide, smooth bottoms and others have very tight, pinched up ones. Some are shallow and some are very deep. The shape and complexity of the dent usually dictate what type of strategy the technician will use for the repair.
What is the Location of the Damage?
The location of the damage is important because of a few reasons. First, there are some panels and areas on those panels that the technician cannot gain access to the backside of. Since pushing the metal from the backside is 90% of what PDR technician does, access is key. Also, many vehicle’s panels have factory body lines or style lines pressed into them. Body line damage is very difficult to repair.
What is the Type of Vehicle?
Remember that every dent is different. Similarly, every make and model uses different materials. Every car make and even the models within the same brand of manufacturer will use different types of materials. For instance, some vehicles have a very thin metal and finish which makes things complicated for PDR. On the other end of the spectrum, there are vehicles that use high strength steel (HHS) or aluminum on their panels. To reshape HHS or aluminum is a very challenging task.
So, Will Paintless Dent Repair Work For My Vehicle, or Not?
In conclusion, Paintless Dent Repair may or may not be an option for your vehicle depending on the complexity of the damage and the materials in question. The best way of finding out is to get your vehicle in front of a Master PDR technician and let them evaluate the situation. Typically a PDR estimate is a very quick process. Even if you think the odds of the repair coming out with PDR, it is always good to check with a PDR technician to make sure.