Is Paintless Dent Repair an Option For You?
Whether it’s major or minor, auto body damage is definitely a major inconvenience. But a relatively new technique called paintless dent repair (PDR)
has dramatically reduced costs for many types of minor damage, including small dings, dents and hail damage. But how do you know if this technique is an option for you? In this article we’ll explore PDR
, how it’s done and what types of damage it can repair.
What Is PDR?
Unlike traditional collision repair, which relies on sanding, putty fillers and repainting, PDR
preserves the car’s original paint job, restructuring the damage by using special tools to artfully place pressure on the dent and push it back into its original shape. PDR works on most types of shallow dents in which the vehicle’s original paint has not been compromised. If the dent is shallow and the metal isn’t creased, paintless dent repair
can usually be employed, and it’s a much more affordable option than traditional body work. It also takes a lot less time, so you can expect a relatively fast turnaround on the work. PDR is a great solution for hail damage as long as the clear coat is not compromised. PDR is a quick and easy process compared to the expensive, time consuming work of matching paint, grinding, puttying and/or replacing parts.
PDR vs Other Methods
Previous methods included replacing parts or using suction cups to repair the dent. The problem with replacing parts is that it can become expensive (and aftermarket parts can lower the car’s resale value). Suction cup techniques leave traces of the repair and have to be repainted. Paint-matching, especially on older vehicles where UV damage has faded the color, can be challenging. But after PDR
, you drive away with same paint you drove in with; which maintains the value of the car over time.
How PDR works
PDR techniques push out the dent from behind—or occasionally, tap at the perimeter of the damage from the outside to “pop” the surface back into place. Technicians may also remove and reinstall door trim or headliners, so they can access pressure points. Rather than using suction cups, PDR sometimes employs glue pulling. Technicians use glue heated to a precise temperature to adhere tabs to the damaged area, then use a mini-lifter to raise the dent. Traditional suction cup methods raise the entire dent at once and can pull unevenly or too far, creating a raised area. PDR tabs can be strategically placed in the correct regions of the dent to return the surface to precise smoothness.
DIY PDR Gone Wrong
For the sake of discussion, let’s say you’re good with cars; you change your own oil, do your own tune-ups … awesome; very good skills to have. But none of that prepares you for the skillsets used in PDR, which amounts to basic metal-smithing
. It takes training and practice, and that PDR kit you’ve seen on Amazon will not give you the skills to do the job. Also, the tools in many of these kits are poor quality or poorly designed, which makes the job even more difficult.
A trained technician knows how to:
- Anticipate the behavior of the body when certain pressure points are used.
- Prevent over-pulling, which can lift the dent too far.
- Keep the paint finish intact. Many beginners accidentally chip the paint while attempting PDR, which makes the damage much more expensive to repair.
- Return dings and dents to a like-new finish, as if the damage never happened.
How Much Does PDR Cost?
On average, a door ding costs between $50 and $75, depending on the severity of the damage. The cost of a repair is dependent on dent size, depth, and location. Dent size is usually compared to coin sizes. You may hear a technician say, “dime sized damage
” or “quarter size damage
.” Dent depth is a factor, as well.Nothing Beats Your Original Auto Body Paint
Paintless dent repair keeps your original paint job intact, which preserves the vehicle’s resale value. It costs less and takes less time than traditional body work. Not all types of damage can be repaired with PDR, including creases or damaged paint, but when PDR is an option, it can a be a real time and money saver. Give us a call to learn more about PDR for your vehicle, or stop by the shop, and we’ll take a look at it.