January 9, 2019

How Does Paintless Dent Removal Work?

Got a noticeable dent on your car? Did the paint chip off? If it didn’t, you’re in for a treat because it might cost a lot less to repair. How? Paintless Dent Removal/Repair or PDR will be your lifesaver. But, what exactly is it and how is it done? Let’s look at it in detail.

What is paintless dent removal?

Paintless dent removal (PDR) is the process of removing minor dents, dings, and creases from vehicles without having to redo the paint. This is done by manipulating the metal from behind the dent and slowly pushing it out to the original form. A typical PDR requires two things:
  1. Steady hands of a skilled repair technician
  2. Special tools that press the panel from behind and reshape it smoothly
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How is it done?

Well, any mechanical repair is as effective as the assessment done before it. So first, the technician will have a good look at the dent and let you know if it would be possible to perform PDR or not. If the damage looks easy enough for paintless dent removal, the technician will use one of the following techniques:
  1. Using metal rods and body picks to push out the dent from the underside of the vehicle body (the most common)
  2. Using glue and pull tabs to pull out the dent from the outside of the panel
  3. Combining both and doing the job in stages (if the dent is deep)
Technicians also use LEDs or fluorescent lights to illuminate the affected area, helping them see the progress of the work as they repair the dent. However, dents do not always fully restore easily and might require further fine-tuning. One of the most common scenarios is when certain small spots seem slightly bulged out. Such high spots are tapped down to match the actual height of the panel with the help of a PDR tap — one of the many essential paintless dent removal tools.

What are the benefits of paintless dent repair?

Paintless dent removal/repair is highly beneficial as compared to traditional denting. Here are some exciting benefits of the process:
  1. Quick & Easy Process

PDR is a quick process and can be completed within a few hours to 2 days (at max). On the other hand, the traditional denting process might take anywhere between three days to two weeks with all the painting and polishing work that’s required.
  1. No Repainting

As the name suggests, paintless dent repair does not require repainting of the vehicle and the original paint job remains intact. This is one of the most significant advantages of this dent removal method.
  1. Less Expensive

Even if you don’t have personal auto insurance, PDR won’t break your bank. It is a less expensive way to get rid of those unsightly dents and dings as there is no need for repainting.
  1. Maintains Vehicle Value

As PDR does not affect the original paint job, it helps maintain the vehicle’s resale value. This is why car owners are willing to generously pay skilled technicians to assess if their vehicle qualifies for a PDR or not.
  1. Environment-Friendly

PDR is an eco-friendly process as it doesn’t use any kind of chemicals or toxic paints. This is not the case with traditional denting, where such products are extensively used.
  1. No Risks

There are none-to-minimal health or safety risks involved with PDR. The process is entirely safe and doesn’t damage the surrounding area in any way. On the other hand, traditional denting involves hard-hitting, cutting, and spraying chemicals that threaten human safety. With that being said, let’s continue our discussion about PDR pre-qualification from benefit number 4 (explained above).

Are all car dents suitable for PDR?

Not all types of dents and dings can be removed with PDR. The process is only suitable for minor, shallow dents located on the metal body panels of a vehicle. However, even if your car has a minor dent, PDR might still not be possible in some cases. For example, PDR would not be possible if the dent is:
  • The dent has torn the metal or includes a sharp edge
  • The paint within the affected area is scratched
  • The dented area happens to be near the panel edge
  • The dent was previously handled unprofessionally
  • The dent is too old, causing it to be stiff
In addition, if your vehicle is heavily damaged, it might not even be repaired with traditional dent removal. In that case, it’s a good idea to learn about the things to consider before buying new automotive parts.