Most of us who have been driving for any length of time, through our own fault or through that of others, have dented our car. Maybe you didn’t see that mailbox until it was too late, or the car parked next to you thought you were just a little bit further away. Whatever the reason, these dings and dents tend to happen. So what can you do about them? Body shop sanding and repainting means more time and money. Instead, paintless dent repair (PDR) is a great way to get rid of these little eyesores on your car, so that it looks good as new!
What Is Paintless Dent Repair?
Paintless dent repair (also known as paintless dent removal) is a way of repairing minor dents and dings on your car without a huge hassle. It can be utilized as long as the paint surface is intact, and the shallower the dent, the more likely the repair will be successful.
How Does It Work?
Paintless dent repair, as stated above, can only be an option if the paint is intact, meaning it isn’t scratched, chipped nor cracked. If the paint has been breached, it will require repainting in a body shop. PDR technicians go from behind the panel or through the inner doorframe to access the damage, and push the dents out that way. Most basic dents can be taken care of with minimal effort.
What Are the Advantages?
- Paint: While sanding and repainting requires the body shop to find the exact paint color and type used on your car, paintless dent removal keeps the factory paint job intact, so you don’t have to worry about a bad paint job or an unfortunate mismatched color with the rest of your car.
- Insurance: Insurance companies like paintless dent repair, and, in fact, many insurers now have a list of recommendations for direct repair shops if you don’t have one in mind already. Additionally, paintless dent repairs usually cost less than your car’s insurance deductible, which means that you can pay them in cash. By doing this, many don’t report these damages to the insurance company, so they can keep their insurance bills lower.
- Cost: Traditional dent repair requires sanding, priming, and painting, in addition to a multitude of other procedures. Since paintless dent repair doesn’t require any of these methods, and is just generally a quick and easy fix, it is usually less than half the price of a normal dent repair.
- Less Time: Spending time without a car is problematic, and no one wants to wait around at a body shop for work to be done. Instead of wasting valuable time or inconveniencing yourself with no mode of transport, paintless dent removal can be done in a matter of minutes to a matter of hours (depending on the extent of the damage).
- Convenience: An even bigger upside, many paintless dent removal companies will come to your place of work or home to fix your car, so you can plan it around your schedule.
- More Permanent: Traditional body repair methods consist of removing the panel and hammering out the damage to make it as close to it’s original shape as possible. From there, they may weld and grind it, which is a much more permanent solution, though costly. However, many people go for the cheaper option, which consists of using body filler putty, a temporary solution. It has a lifespan from as little as a few months to a few years. Paintless dent removal, on the other hand, has a much longer lifespan, as the integrity of the car remains intact.
- Quality: Since there are so many steps to standard dent fixes, there are a lot of ways that it can go wrong, and a botched dent repair is not cheap to fix. With paintless dent repair, it’s a simple process with little to no margin of error.
- Environmentally Friendly: Traditional repairs must use non-environmentally friendly products in order to have an effective repair. Paintless dent repair does not require the use of paint or solvents of any kind, so there is no release of toxic chemicals.
Challenges of Paintless Dent Repair
While paintless dent repair is generally the best way to go if it’s an available option, much like anything, there are some challenges to the process:
- Area Specific: PDR can get out most dents, but close to the car’s roof rails or the edges of doors are almost impossible to make smooth.
- Materials: Different materials may make it more difficult to access and repair the dents, and as materials evolve, new techniques must be developed to repair them.
Whether you want to sell your car, or just make it look a little nicer, find out if paintless dent removal is an option for you. Your car and your wallet will be grateful you did.
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com
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