The limitations of Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) are few but there are situations where PDR may not be a viable option to repair your vehicle. To understand the limitations of paintless dent repair, knowing what it is and how it works is necessary.
A vehicle’s paint is one of the most expensive things to replace on a vehicle and should be preserved whenever possible. The paint and finish play a key role when determining a vehicle’s value at trade-in time. Paintless dent repair, paintless dent removal and PDR are the same thing and refer to a method of dent removal. Unlike a traditional auto body shop, paintless dent repair does not require body fillers (AKA Bondo), sanding or panel replacement/repainting to remove dents. Instead, dents are gently reset back to their natural state using specialized tools by our highly trained technicians. Your vehicle stays 100% original and most importantly, repainting after dent repair is not needed.
Besides being the best way to remove hail dents, the typical paintless dent repair cost is in most cases less than a body shop would charge. It is also faster as no body parts have to be ordered, prepped and painted. Since the vehicle is returned its prior condition, the full value is maintained.
While it may seem like the perfect solution for most vehicle damage, some damage will exceed the limitations of paintless dent repair. In those cases, traditional auto body repair methods must be used.
Limitations of Paintless Dent Repair (PDR):
Any chipped, cracked, or severely damaged paint will exceed the limitations of paintless dent repair and can’t be repaired using PDR alone. A good example of this would be if a hail dent breaks the surface of the paint and exposes the metal. In this case, the dent would be repaired using PDR but repainting the affected area would be necessary.
Extent of Damage
When the body panel is so damaged, it may make more sense to replace it rather than use paintless dent repair. This is more typical of a collision or heavy hail damage. The body panel is so dented, warped or just stretched to a point where replacement and repainting is the only option.
Aluminum Dent Repair
Aluminum body parts are lightweight, more flexible and a lot harder to remove dents in than steel. Since aluminum is more lightweight than steel, more bracing is required so access may be compromised. Aluminum stretches more easily and has a higher chance of cracking the paint if done by an inexperienced PDR technician. Some PDR companies will not repair dents in aluminum because of this. We are very experienced in aluminum dent removal. They take a little more time and special care but the result will be the same. It will look like it did before we repaired it.
The dent must be accessible. The PDR Technician has a variety of tools at his/her disposal to repair most dents. Some PDR tools are designed to push while others, like glue sticks, pull a dent out. If the dent cannot be accessed, it cannot be repaired using paintless dent repair. These rare cases will require additional measures to repair.
PDR only works on metal body parts. Plastic bumpers, fenders and other non-metal parts exceed the limitations of paintless dent repair and have to be replaced or repaired by traditional auto body repair methods.
Extensive collision damage may not be a good fit for paintless dent repair. Light collision and “Fender benders” are perfect candidates for PDR. This is especially true for dent companies who also operate a full-service auto body shop as we do. The PDR technicians can work on the parts they need to while the body shop can repair the rest. It is a more cost-effective repair done in less time with the minimum impact on the vehicle.
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is safe:
You may see some negative stories floating around the web with reasons not to use paintless dent repair. Most of them are just stories made up by competitors that do not use PDR. In the right hands, by an experienced PDR technician, paintless dent repair is completely safe and preferable over a traditional body shop for most dent repairs. The repair is quicker, the paint is preserved and the car stays original. As long as the damage does not exceed the limitations of paintless dent repair then you will be fine. It is important to have your PDR work done by a qualified PDR shop with experienced PDR technicians. If you are in doubt whether or not PDR can repair your vehicle, just stop by one of our locations. Our estimates are always free and we will be able to determine if your vehicle’s damage will benefit from PDR.
Leave Paintless Dent Repair to the Experts
It may be tempting to attempt to fix that dent by yourself with the many DIY PDR kits and YouTube videos out there. We see our share of vehicles that have been damaged more by people who wanted to save a few bucks. Our PDR technicians are highly trained and do this every day. A small to medium dent probably can cost less than a couple hundred dollars. Repairing a paint job will cost a LOT more and it will never be as good as the factory paint.
The Dent Company (TDC) specializes in auto hail repair and is a full-service “PDR First” auto body shop. When the vehicle damage exceeds the limitations of paintless dent repair, we use traditional auto body repair practices only on the affected areas. This approach greatly increases the overall efficiency of the repair and keeps costs much lower. Your vehicle remains as original as possible and the maximum value is retained. Our PDR Technicians are very experienced and no job is too small. We now offer same day Express Dent and Door Ding Repair. Call us to make an appointment or contact us to schedule one.
We are The Dent Company (TDC)
The Auto Hail Repair Experts
The Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) Specialists
America’s Dent Co.