What is Paintless Dent Repair?

Has your car collected a few dents recently? This is to be expected, what with free-swinging car doors, rogue shopping carts, and vindictive hailstorms waiting around every turn. Fortunately, with paintless dent repair, you don’t have to look at your car’s marred surface for long.

Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a method of repairing dents and dings without compromising the finish. It is widely considered the quickest, most affordable, and least invasive way to remove superficial dents. As long as the process is performed correctly, it will be difficult—if not impossible—to tell where the dent used to be. If you’re interested in paintless dent repair, learn more about how it works and what type of damage qualifies for this repair method.

What are the Benefits of Repairing Small Dents?

Cosmetic dents may not be pretty, but is it worth paying to have them repaired? After all, the damage doesn’t affect the function of your car, so your first instinct may be to disregard it. However, ignoring dents can have several unintended consequences:

  • Drop in resale value: If you plan to sell or trade-in your vehicle anytime soon, it’s important to have cosmetic dents removed first to maximize the car’s value. Otherwise, you won’t get paid what you deserve.
  • Increased risk of rust: Unattended dents could make your car vulnerable to corrosion. Once this process begins, rust will slowly spread, affecting the safety, appearance, and value of your car more than a dent alone. This is why it’s important not to delay fixing dents, even if they seem minor.
  • Damaged reputation: The condition of your car says a lot about you. If your job requires you to impress clients when you drive up to their house, having a clean, dent-free car helps you put your best foot forward.

How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?

Paintless dent repair is a specialized process that includes a series of crucial steps:

  • A technician analyzes the damage to determine if PDR is a viable option.
  • The technician removes the affected panel, if necessary, to gain access to the reverse side of the dent.
  • Slow, continuous pressure is applied to both sides of the dent to carefully work it out without overcorrecting.
  • If the panel can’t be removed and the dent isn’t accessible from the backside, it may be possible to bond a “tab” to the surface to gently treat the dent from the front.

Because no paint matching, part order, or additional repair processes are required, PDR is cheaper and quicker than traditional dent repair methods. As a result, paintless dent repair is rarely an expensive fix, and you can expect same-day service in most cases.

When is Paintless Dent Repair Used?

PDR is usually best suited for minor, low-impact dents. The smaller and more shallow the dent, the more likely paintless dent repair can be used. In short, if the paint isn’t chipped or cracked, it should be possible to work out the dent without affecting the finish.

Here are some examples of the types of damage paintless dent repair can treat:

  • Door dings
  • Light, localized hail damage
  • Minor fender benders
  • Impacts from baseballs, shopping carts, and other relatively low-force objects

What are the Limitations of Paintless Dent Repair?

PDR only works if the dent has not damaged the paint. An extensive dent that’s wider than your fist or more than one-half-inch deep is probably too severe to qualify for paintless dent repair. Even if the paint hasn’t cracked, the process of working out such a large dent will probably damage the finish.

Examples of dents that PDR probably can’t treat include:

  • Dents with cracked, scratched, or creased paint
  • Extensive or severe hail damage
  • Moderate to severe fender benders
  • Impacts with wildlife

Fortunately, other repair methods are available if PDR is ruled out as an option. After working out the dent, it’s possible to restore the finish in the surrounding area using computerized paint matching. This ensures an accurate color match so no one can tell damage ever occurred.

Visit B&L Automotive Repairs for Paintless Dent Repair

Paintless dent repair is one of the most requested services at B&L Automotive Repairs. Our trained technicians are experts in PDR, using the latest tools and techniques to repair the damage without affecting the original paint job. We also offer computerized paint matching and other bodywork services if it turns out you need to repair more extensive damage. Please stop by, call us at (773) 463-1622, or contact us online to schedule paintless dent repair with our family-owned and operated auto collision repair shop in Chicago.

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