Paintless Dent Repair, also called Paintless Dent Removal, or PDR is a repair technique that removes vehicle dents without needing filler or paint.
Why use PDR?
- Removing dents using PDR has the following advantages:
- Preserves the integrity of a vehicle’s original factory finish
- Faster than the traditional method of filling, sanding, and painting
- Cheaper than the alternative
Due to customer demand, the labor-intensive and costly fill/sand/paint method for dent repair is gradually being overtaken in popularity by PDR.
Which dents respond well to PDR?
PDR is best suited to repairing dents such as those caused by a car door being opened too quickly, or without due care, hitting an adjacent car.
The following are some additional examples of dents that respond equally well to PDR:
- damage from hailstones
- the impact of pucks, balls & other projectiles
- dents caused by car wash equipment
- collisions with stray shopping carts
Which dents do not respond well to PDR?
Unfortunately, PDR cannot be used on dents that are too deep. In fact, the deeper the dent, the less likely it is that PDR will work. As a general rule, if the dent has broken the paint surface, PDR cannot be used.
How can I identify damage that will respond to PDR?
Most people are surprised to learn that the effectiveness of PDR is NOT determined by the size of the dent. In fact, some very large dents respond extremely well to the technique.
Instead, the best way to identify suitable dents is to check that the painted finish on and around the dent has not been broken, cracked or stretched.
Modern automotive paint is made to be pliant, so most dents on newer vehicles are well-suited to PDR. Even large dents “disappear” completely when skilled technicians use the technique.
What is the procedure for PDR?
PDR requires special tools to gently push or tap out a dent from the underside of the vehicle panel. Generally, over 90 percent of auto body panels can be accessed from the back, and it is from behind the panel that the dent can best be evened out.
It’s a delicate procedure that takes patience, skill, and practice. The technician must be careful not to push the dent out too far, thereby turning a dent into a bump. Special care must also be taken to avoid damaging the painted surface during the repair.
Sometimes the surface is gently heated to improve the pliability of the paint. During the dent repair process, if the paint cracks, breaks or gets stretched too thin, the paintless option will have to be abandoned.
How is PDR impacting body shops and their customers?
More and more auto body shops are choosing to offer PDR services to their customers. As a result, more vehicle owners than ever are avoiding the hassle, inconvenience and expense of the fill/sand/paint method and choosing instead the simple, effective and inexpensive technique of paintless dent repair.