How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?

Stop me if you've heard this one before. "I swear it wasn't my fault ... but there's a dent in my car. Can you fix it?" Small dents, damage from hail, or a quick brush up against a curb are bound to happen. And even large dents from a rogue shopping cart or a distracted driver could leave a vehicle with some serious damage. Luckily, if you are a technician or work at a body shop and you have a customer in need of dent repair, there is an easy solution! You can offer them a quick, reliable solution to get their car fixed and remain a loyal customer. It's called paintless dent repair (PDR), and the article below will walk you through all the questions you may have. What is paintless dent repair? How does paintless dent repair work? How much will it cost to do paintless dent repair? Woah. One thing a time. Read below for all the essential information on paintless dent repair.

What Is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a way to repair dents and hail damage when there is no damage to the paint on the car. With specialized tools, dents are repaired by applying pressure from the inside to remove the appearance of the dent. No paint is required — as the name suggests. Compared to traditional dent repair, paintless dent repair is faster, easier, and cheaper for the car owner and still profitable for you. It requires a skilled professional. If customers ask if they can complete the work at home, you should strongly suggest they do not.

How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?

In order to repair the dent, a technician will usually need to remove part of the interior of the car and use specific specialized tools to smooth out the metal from the inside out. When the metal on a car is dented, the metal is actually stretched. Therefore, to repair it the metal must be contracted to get it back to its original appearance. Generally, PDR is used for small to moderate-sized dents and damage from hail. For larger dents, another form of repair called "Push-to-Paint" (PTP) can be used. PTP requires a technician to sand down the area and then a paint technician can touch up the paint where necessary. This is a less expensive way to repair a large dent. You may also consider offering this to customers if you are able. You can request an estimation for PTP for your customers using the same type of estimator tool that you would use for PDR.

What Tools Are Required for Paintless Dent Repair?

Removing dents via PDR required some serious tools. Unless you have experience and training with paintless dent repair, you should not attempt to repair the dent. A specialized hammer, glue, lights, and other unique tools are used in PDR. Do your research on all the tools required before you offer customers this service.

Should I Offer Paintless Dent Repair Over Traditional Dent Repair?

If you find yourself trying to choose between offering traditional dent repair and paintless dent repair, here is a quick summary. PDR is generally faster than traditional dent repair. It could be several hours to just one day instead of several days to a week. You can get the car back into shape quickly and keep the customer happy. However, if there are many small dents, like the ones from hail, this could take a technician longer than one single dent. PDR is generally less expensive than traditional dent repair, but it means more money for you! The pricing of PDR will depend on a number of factors including the size and severity of the dent. Using this method requires less time and work but can increase your profit by offering this service. For a more accurate estimation of what PDR will cost for a certain car, try a PDR estimator service available online or via a PDR estimator app. This is a service for auto bodies to be able to estimate the cost of PDR for a customer within minutes. PDR doesn't work for all dents. Keep in mind that if the paint on the car is damaged when it is dented, then traditional PDR methods will not work. Also, if the dent is on an area of the car that is plastic, such as some bumpers, PDR will not repair the car.

How Much Does Paintless Dent Repair Cost?

The most accurate estimate for PDR can be found using a PDR estimate tool. This will allow you to take photos of the dent, answer a few simple questions about the damage, and instantly get an estimate for the PDR work to be done. Generally speaking, one dent that is less than an inch in diameter will cost between $75 and $125. Dents larger than one inch could cost anywhere between $150 and $350. And in some cases, the cost may be even higher. Again, the best way to get an estimate is to invest in a PDR estimation service. There are many useful features that can make the process of cost estimation accurate and painless.

Is Paintless Dent Repair Right For My Business?

After reading this article, you now know the answer to, "how does paintless dent repair work?". If you are a PDR technician or work at a body shop that does not currently offer PDR you should seriously consider it. If you already offer PDR as a service, you can make the estimation process a lot easier with an estimator tool. Try a free trial of the estimation service and see how life-changing it can be for your business.
Car experiencing damage from a hail storm.

Stuck in the Storm: What Hail Damage Can Do to Your Car

According to meteorology, the official first day of spring is March 1st. However, this can vary from year to year.

For many parts of the country, this means the end of snowstorms and cold weather. Unfortunately, a new threat may be moving in — hailstorms. Unfortunately, hail storms can cause a lot of issues, including car hail damage.

There are some parts of the US that are affected more than others, such as the “Hail Belt.” This includes people in the Great Plains and Midwest. The five states that are hit most by hailstorms include Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, and Missouri.

While this is true, hail doesn’t discriminate, and when it hits, serious damage can occur. Keep reading to learn about the damage that may occur to your vehicle here.

How Big Must Hail Be to Damage a Car?

To be considered hail, the pieces of ice have to be bigger than or equal to 0.2 inches. For a hailstorm to be considered “severe,” it must be at least one inch, or larger, and falling at a consistent rate.

Large and small hail can cause significant damage to vehicles, and impact the integrity of a vehicle.

Factors That May Impact the Severity of Hail Damage

One of the best ways to determine if hail damage is likely to occur is to consider a few factors. These factors are listed below.

Wind Speed

The speed the wind is blowing at can impact the damage caused by hail to your vehicle. For example, if hail is falling among 5 mph winds, it'll probably not do as much damage as hail falling with 70 mph winds.

When you add the wind speed to the hail size, this can cause some serious cosmetic damage to your vehicle if you have not taken the proper steps to prevent damage.

The Length of the Storm

The duration of a hailstorm will also determine the damage that occurs. A storm that is just passing through will move quickly and not cause as much damage. However, if the storm lasts for 15 minutes or more it's going to cause even more damage.

Types of Car Hail Damage

You've probably seen auto hail damage that was made up of round dents that covered a vehicle’s surface. However, what you may not realize is this isn’t the only type of damage that can occur. Hail comes in many forms. and so can the damage it causes.

It's important for you to know about the types of damage that may occur. Not only will this help you prepare, but it'll also help you find the right repair option.

Some of the most common types of car hail damage that may occur include:

Severe Damage With Cracked Paint

This is considered the most extreme type of damage that can occur. As a result, it’s going to cost you more to repair.

Dents with cracked paint are unable to be repaired using just paintless dent repair. This means you have to seek other means of repair such as body panel replacements and painting.

Severe Damage With Intact Paint

Cases of severe damage can affect the external features of your vehicle. If this happens, more extensive repairs may be necessary.

It is possible that when the hail is so severe that the panels can’t be totally repaired to 100% with PDR then PTP (Push To Paint) may be a viable solution. The panels can be pushed up to such a degree that replacement of the panel isn’t necessary but only painting will need to be done. This PTP process works extremely well on roofs.

Cosmetic Damage With No Paint Issues

The most common type of hail damage (which is cosmetic damage with no paint issues) usually consists of small, round dents on the metal panels of your vehicle. This damage doesn’t impact your paint or finish.

In most cases, cosmetic damage will only impact the surface of your vehicle. This damage is repairable 100% with PDR and no body filler and painting is necessary.

Making a Claim for Damages After a Hailstorm

If hail has caused damage to your vehicle, be sure to take photos of the damage. Let your insurance company know about the damages as soon as possible to make a claim. You'll also need to have your vehicle appraised for the problem to be fixed.

Your insurance company may have a specific service provider they prefer. However, you don’t have to use it. You can typically choose where you want to have your car repaired.

The amount of time it takes for your vehicle to be repaired after hail damage depends on the severity of the damages. Speak with the service technician to find out more.

Don’t Wait to Seek Hail Damage Repairs

If your vehicle's been damaged by hail, don’t wait to seek repairs. Most repairs can be done in 1 - 3 days unless really severe where painting is involved. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to get scheduled in for repairs.

To learn more about paintless dent repair, hail damage services, and how to find the best service provider in your area, contact us today. Our team can help ensure the damages present are fixed and that your vehicle is restored to pre-damage condition.

A technician performing paintless dent repair to a vehicle.

How Paintless Dent Repair Can Save Your Body Shop Time and Money

With the average American spending more than $2,000 a year on car repairs, much of that is in auto body work. That's one of the major reasons that people who love cars will consider opening up their own auto body shop. However, with the advent of paintless dent repair, you can offer some of the great services of an auto body shop with less hassle.

With the help of dent repair estimation software and a knowledge of how to perform paintless dent repair, you could have a lean body shop with massive profits.

Understanding Paintless Dent Repair

Paintless dent repair is a low-cost way to manage repairs to a vehicle and an alternative to the intensive body repairs that can change the way a car looks. Paintless repairs can be just as high-quality as more serious body repairs but can quickly and effectively deal with dings and dents or replacing body panels.

By taking them on from the underside of the panel that's dented, none of the original paint is harmed. With glue pulling tools, it's even possible to manage dents and dings from the outside.

Drivers who have suffered dents and dings may be turned off by the cost and time-consuming needs for body shops. If they're just dealing with small or large-sized dents, PDR is a good choice over standard auto bodywork. Dents and dings can be managed for less and with less of an intense effort.

How It's Done

Paintless dent repair is a way to mitigate the constant damage that a car can suffer. While careless drivers might accidentally nudge something in a parking lot, the most careful driver's car is susceptible to damage and blemishes. A bad hail storm or a stray baseball from the neighbor's yard can leave unfortunate dents on a vehicle.

Usually, you have to use a filler or replacement panels and then paint to match the color of the vehicle. Paintless repair eches this filler and paint approach. Using tools to push or pull the dent from the body, it can be restored to normal without having to leave a car for days at a time.

The most common effort for dent repair includes specialized tools. Gently pushing the dent from the back of the panel can slowly and carefully return it to like-new condition.

Technicians will carefully repair panels with the PDR technique that need to be fixed and then replacement or body work is not necessary. Once technicians learn this process, implementing it is a breeze. Your customers will appreciate the time and money savings.

It can also save the same for you.

Save Time

PDR has become so popular in recent years because it saves a lot of time. The number of cars you constantly see outside the average body shop should be an indication of the slow speed of repair. You might even have the issue at your own shop.

Most auto shops that implement this process can get a car back to the customers on the same day. Rather than the standard week-long turnaround for a traditional repair and painting process, skipping the painting means that time is cut down significantly. Using PDR to save panels from being replaced also makes for a quicker repair because parts don’t have to be ordered and wait days or weeks to receive. You can quickly estimate with paintless dent repair estimation software and come up with a fair cost quickly.

Your shop will also be able to cut down on the rental vehicle time as your customers won't be without a vehicle for days on end.

Improved Resale Value

While it might seem like this is a benefit just for your customers, it's a great sales point. If you never have to do anything to the car's original paint job, you won't have to match strange paint. You also won't have to risk any mistakes.

When trying to match strange or obscure colors, those costs can end up hitting your shop's bottom line. Also, when a car is damaged in an accident or by hail it is reported to Carfax as a permanent record. Using PDR as a repair helps keep the value of the vehicle higher which keeps the resale value higher. This helps the customer and automotive dealerships sell their vehicles in original condition as far as the exterior cosmetics of the vehicle are concerned.

Tell your customers that the history and the condition of the car are preserved with paintless repairs. With fewer accidents and less damage listed, the resale value of the car floats much higher.

Some customers might bristle at the fact that their repairs end up on a permanent record for their vehicle. When you offer them paintless repair, watch their eyes light up.

Paintless Repair is Non-Toxic

One of the major benefits of paintless repair is that it's a non-toxic process. This is a benefit that your customers will appreciate and your staff as you won't be filling the air with noxious chemicals. This keeps everyone safe and happy during the workday.

This helps to save time and money that you'd otherwise spend on paying for the paint and also paying for disposal. You can't just dump toxic solvents, chemicals, and primers wherever you want. Often it's a forgotten expense of running a body shop.

While your customers will have to turn somewhere else for a peeling paint job, they'll be able to come to you to avoid taking the toxic leap. You'll also save masks, ventilation, and other systems required by OSHA. Installing a ventilation system can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so with PDR, you're saving in a major way.

Paintless Dent Repair Will Make Your Shop Even Better

By adding paintless dent repair to your shop, you could tidy up your current auto body shop. If you're considering adding a body man to your shop, adding paintless dent repair is a cheap and easy way to serve your customers better.

Quicker repairs by saving panel replacements and complete repairs without painting would be a much better way of making your shop better.

Take a test drive of our large dent repair tool to see how you could save time and money at your shop.