Paintless dent repair, known for short as PDR, is an environmentally-friendly way of repairing a vehicle that has been in an accident. Essentially, it’s a method of restoring a vehicle’s body to a factory-like condition within a smaller time frame and at a fraction of the cost of full-on auto body repair.
Because it’s a much less invasive process for dent repair, it is designed for small to medium repair needs. Larger dents and issues will require auto body repair, panel removal, etc. Technicians skilled in PDR use state-of-the-art technologies to get beneath the vehicle’s “skin” and gently coax dented panels back into position without making scratches or compromising the paint job. It’s ideal for addressing damage caused by hail, dings, creases and small dents.
The PDR process involves the technician first assessing the damage, then gaining entry to the dent and taking a closer look. Finally, he or she will apply slow pressure to work the dent out.
How Does it Work?
Let’s go into more detail on the steps discussed above.
Damage assessment is the first step. This allows technicians to see the extent of the damage and determine if PDR is indeed the right way to go. Between 80 and 90 percent of all dents are able to be removed through PDR. Then, the technician will prepare the area around the dent before attempting the repair.
Next up, it’s necessary to gain entry to the dent, which is typically from the back side, necessitating the removal of body panels, tail lights and even interior panels in some cases. Essentially, the technician has to create a pathway to the dent area.
Your technician will use a special light to gain visual access to the area, which gives off a shadow. This helps the technician know precisely where the tools should be placed to massage the area back into its original position. This slow pressure takes some time and precision.
Most times, PDR can be done on the same day you bring your car in. Of course, the exact time frame will depend on the dent’s severity and how hard it is to access it.
Paintless Dent Repair vs. Traditional Dent Repair
Traditional dent repair involves filling dented areas with paint or body filler, to be matched to the rest of the exterior. This can make your car look like new, but it still doesn’t offer a sustainable, long-term solution. In addition, it’s more costly than paintless dent repair, more time-consuming, and negatively impacts the re-sale value of your vehicle.
With paintless dent repair, there is no need for fillers or sanding. For minor repairs, PDR is a quicker, more cost-effective alternative all the way around.