All Your Paintless Dent Repair Questions Answered
Most motorists think experts can't repair dents in their motor vehicle without a paint filler. But there is an alternative form of repair called paintless dent repair.
With paintless dent repair, a mechanic can restore the body of your car in a few quick steps. Read on to learn about paintless dent repair, how it works, and the reasons to consider it for your next ding or dent.
What is Paintless Dent Repair?
Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a technique that removes minor dents from the body of your vehicle without damaging the paint job. The process of PDR involves a qualified mechanic using specialized tools to push the dent out, thus reshaping your vehicle's body.
Since a mechanic can complete the repair without causing surface damage, the dent repair technique ensures that your vehicle maintains its original paint. A consumer should consider this method if they need a non-invasive technique that is quick and affordable.
You may also know PDR as paintless dent removal or hear it called "push to prep" when this technique is used to prepare a damaged panel for repainting.
When Can You Use Paintless Dent Repair?
Automobile technicians can use paintless dent repair (PDR) to fix damage more often than you might think! It turns out, as much as 80%-90% of dents are repairable using this method. A technician can use PDR in many locations, including the body line, roof, and bumper.
PDR is best for minor dents without paint damage. PDR can repair damages a few inches in diameter caused by:
- Road debris
- Shopping carts
- Door dings
- Golf balls
- Falling objects
- Fender benders
- Parking accidents
When is Paintless Dent Repair Not an Option?
If the dent is severe or too large, PDR will not be an option. The dented area must also not be near panel edges or have:
- Torn metal
- Sharp edges
- Previous bodywork done, or
- Scratched, chipped, or cracked paint A combined restoration option that involves both PDR and bodywork will be more realistic.
What Happens During a Paintless Dent Repair?
A mechanic undertakes the PDR repair process with care and by adhering to the following three steps.
The automobile technician will evaluate the damage to decide if PDR is an appropriate means of repair and give you a cost estimation. They will consider the dent's size, how shallow it is, how far the metal has stretched, and accessibility.
2. Dent Access
PDR requires the technician to access the backside of the dent. Gaining access often involves carefully removing various parts such as panels and lights. A technician knows which parts to remove for quick access to the dent.
To start the repair process, the technician will select tools unique to your vehicle's year, make, and model. With the application of gentle pressure, the mechanic massages and pushes the dent out until the car's exterior matches its original shape. The technician will also use special lights and reflecting boards to ensure the repair is complete.
What Types of Tools do Mechanics use for Paintless Dent Repair?
A technician will use a distinct combination of tools for each paintless dent repair job. Examples of the specialized tools used include:
- PDR blending hammer
- Rubber hammers
- Knock down paddle
- PDR glue
- Glue pulling tools
- Whale tails
- Brace tools
- Pivot tips
- Fender rods
Is Paintless Dent Repair Expensive?
PDR is significantly cheaper than other repair options because it is not labor intensive. Repair costs will vary depending on the extent of the damage, dent size, and dent location.
The cost of a basic PDR repair is often less than your insurance deductible. If the repairs don't extend beyond multiple sections or panels of your vehicle's body, you may be able to cover the repairs without involving your insurance. Paying out-of-pocket can prevent your insurance premiums from rising.
Having your PDR work done at Dent Mechanic Group also saves you money. Our benefits include:
- A lifetime warranty on paintless dent repair
- Discounts for the armed services, teachers, and public servants
- Free 2 Year Maintenance Plan, valued at $980, authorized at the time of your repair
- A referral system providing $100 for each person you refer
- Deductible coverage of up to $500
- Free rental car if your insurance does not provide one
Can Insurance Cover Paintless Dent Repair?
In short, yes. Although you can easily cover minor repairs out-of-pocket, check with your insurance to see if your policy covers such repairs. Major repairs or an instance where another party is at fault may require insurance involvement. Comprehensive car insurance policies and collision insurance policies commonly cover the paintless dent repair (PDR) method. For example, Progressive insurance recommends PDR on their website, especially for damages after a hailstorm.
At Dent Mechanic Group, we work closely with your insurance for all your dent repair needs. We also offer a discounted deductible to help reduce your repair bill.
How Long Does Paintless Dent Repair Take?
If the dent is minor, same-day repairs are possible. The severity of the damage will dictate the repair time. At Dent Mechanic Group, we ensure a one to five-day repair period once your vehicle's insurance approves PDR.
Additional Benefits of Paintless Dent Repair
Not only is paintless dent repair (PDR) cost-effective and fast, but it is also a non-invasive method and versatile enough for different materials. Whether your vehicle is aluminum or steel, PDR is an effective method for repairs. This means that even more car owners can count on PDR to fix any damage.
When your vehicle has multiple small dents that ruin its value or aesthetics, using PDR can also smooth out the imperfections and prevent unnecessary devaluation. A trained technician will repair the dent in a way that keeps the original paint on your vehicle. Original paint can maintain car value if you choose to sell it later. The PDR method makes it hard, or even impossible, to tell where the dents were at all. Since the method doesn't ruin your original paint color, you won't need to repaint your car. So, there's no risk of having an inaccurate color match.
How Does Paintless Dent Repair Compare to Traditional Methods?
PDR is faster and more affordable than traditional methods.
Traditional replacement or repair methods involving bodywork require a technician to order factory paints or parts. Traditional methods involve a technician filling the body with paint, sanding, and repainting. These additional steps increase costs and wait time. Mechanics also report bodywork repairs to CARFAX, which can lower the trade-in and resale value of your vehicle.
Is it Possible to Do Paintless Dent Repair Myself?
Although most people enjoy do-it-yourself projects, accomplishing a paintless dent repair (PDR) will need tools, patience, and practice. Expert-level knowledge on how to use the required tools and the ability to dismantle vehicles when accessing the back of the dent is also essential. For these reasons, the recommendation is to seek help from a professional so that you don't accidentally overcorrect the dent.
Over-correcting the dent occurs when you place too much pressure on the car, and the dent pops out beyond the shape of the original body. Overcorrections can create high spots, stretch the metal, cause
paint damage, and cannot be reversed. Expert technicians not only know how to access the back of the dent properly but know techniques to fine-tune the repair with various tools, ensuring the repair is correct.
Let Dent Mechanic Group Help
The expert technicians at Dent Mechanic Group are incredibly skilled in various methods of dent repair. We also understand that any vehicle repair is urgent because no one likes to be without their car. We work hard to get any dent repair job done well and in good time.
Our service areas include:
- And surrounding areas