Accidents happen, whether somebody lets their concentration slip at a crucial moment, misjudges the distance between their door and a stationary car, doesn’t quite get the angles right while parallel parking, or allows a shopping trolley to go a little wayward. For the most part these missteps can cause only a slight amount of damage to your vehicle. So what do you do? Does the level of work require you to bring it to a professional auto body shop, or will you learn to live with that little imperfection on your vehicle? Thankfully there is a technique out there that professionals use everyday to get these minor imperfections out of your car with little cost or time to you.
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)
Also known as Paintless Dent Removal, this technique is fast, usually cost efficient, risk free, and requires less work and materials, depending on the severity of the dent in your car. So what is PDR, and why should you go with that option?
What Is PDR?
PDR is the technique of pushing out and massaging the bodywork back to its former shape. They use metal rods and body picks that massage out from the underside of the body panel. How the severity of the dent is detected to the most intricate of levels is by using a PDR reading instrument, such as a reflection board or a PDR lamp. This will allow the technician to see how much of the bodywork has to be reshaped, and when that perfect finish has been attained.
There is also a glue pulling technique for PDR. This is usually involved if the dents are small, or the technician does not have unobstructed access to the underside of the panel. It involves applying hot glue to the damaged area, sticking glue pulling tabs directly onto it and using a T-Hand Puller to get them out. This can take multiple times before you get the perfect finish, but can also result in going too far resulting in a bump. A technician can gently tap this back in. Here is a look at the tools used for this technique.
So Why Choose PDR?
For minor damages to your vehicle here is a just a few reasons why the Paintless Dent Repair technique is the preferred method by auto body shops, insurance companies, and consumers.
- Time – PDR is a quick process. After the extent of the damage is fully examined, and no internal issues have arisen, the body repair technicians can get to work. Depending on the availability of technicians, this would not be a job that requires you to leave your vehicle in for 48+ hours.
- Cost – This will greatly depend on the extent of the damage again and we have explained that no two dents are alike, but the process involves the use of fewer materials, along with less labor hours, and less chance of other damages occurring. This will greatly reflect in the final cost to you, the consumer.
- Aesthetics – With the consistent high level of technicians we have at Sudden Impact Auto Body, you won’t notice the area of damage that we have worked on upon completion as we have over 35 years of experience in dealing with auto collision repairs. As there are no parts being replaced or repainted, the aesthetic look of the vehicle will be like it was before the accident occurred.
- Warranty – As there are no parts being replaced and the vehicle is not being repainted, your warranty will not be void. Most manufacturers have VIN number coding on the panels, PDR allows you to save that, further not decreasing your vehicles value as the OEM parts are still in tact.
- Environmentally Friendly – There is no filler or paint used in this method
- Insurance Claim – Insurance companies prefer when PDR is available as a solution as it is quick, cheap, and there is no substitute of parts. If you are unsure if going to an insurance provided repair center is the best option for you, why not read our article on why going independent makes more sense here.
What Tools Are Used For PDR?
We have already mentioned and seen the Glue PDR technique tools mentioned above. No dent is the same in any vehicle, so therefore there is not one universal paintless dent repair tool on the marketplace. We have mentioned above that metal rods and body picks (seen below) are used to massage out the imperfection from the inside. They come in all different shapes to better fit with the level of work needed. Extreme caution is always taken when dealing with dents. If not done at the hands of a professional, it is quite easy stretch the paint or panel by being too enthusiastic with your movement. It is always better to go slow, maneuver smaller areas gently and always begin from the deepest point in the dent. Patience is key.
When Can You Not Choose PDR?
The Paintless Dent Repair technique can only be used for minor collisions and dents. The main thing to consider is if the paintwork on the vehicle is damaged. If so, PDR is not the correct technique to use, the more traditional dent repair is preferred. PDR is also not suitable if the panel with the dent has become stretched or torn. It might also become apparent that the dent is beyond repair from both paintless and traditional methods. In this case the entire panel will have to be removed and replaced. If this is the predicament you find yourself in head on over to our article on OEM parts for more information. Not only will having to replace the panel add time and money to your repair cost, but also the new panel will have to be repainted.
Have you been involved in a minor collision? Can you see if there is minimal damage done yet want it fixed ASAP with as little inconvenience to you as possible. Why not give us a quick call on (702) 457-3002 to set up an appointment. You can also find our contact information here.