Paintless Dent Repair, or PDR for short, is a method of auto dent removal that is a superior alternative to conventional body shop methods in almost all cases. The most important benefit of PDR is that it does not harm the factory paint in any way during the dent removal process. This is important to consider before any dent removal work is performed, especially auto hail repair when the damage can be substantial. To understand why Paintless Dent Repair is the better option for dent removal, we first have to talk about why it is so important to protect the factory paint. The factory paint and finish has one of the biggest impacts on the value of the vehicle as it is one of the most expensive parts to repair. Paint that is cracked, peeling or spots that were repaired and don’t match will bring a much lower resale price.
You only get one factory paint job. Don’t trust it to just anyone. -The Dent Company | The Auto Hail repair Experts
The factory paint is probably the best paint job most people will have for the life of the vehicle. Automakers take elaborate an expensive steps applying paint on their vehicles. The painting process will vary by automakers but most include the following steps:
The unblemished and smooth metal is first pre-treated. First, the frame is washed using high powered pressure washers. The vehicle then goes through multiple dipping processes or a baths to degrease, de-rust and clean the metal. Phosphatizing – Part of the dipping process includes phosphatizing. This process is also known as parkerizing or bonderizing and protects the steel from corrosion and increases its resistance to weather and wear. Passivation – This is another step in the dipping process. Passivation is an electrochemical treatment of light micro-coating applied to protect against corrosion and strengthens the metal. The pre-treatment process results in a metal that is corrosion resistant and the ideal surface for paint adhesion and longevity.
The factory paint is an elaborate process. Protect it by using PDR for dent removal.
It’s Prime Time
Now that the metal is treated, it is time for the primer. The primer is applied and bonded to the treated metal using an electrophoretic process. The primer to bond to the metal at the molecular level and forms a protective shell with a uniform thickness of around 25 microns to further protect against corrosion. This process creates the ideal surface for the paint while sealing the protective coatings below.
Paint The Town Red or Blue or…
At the factory, paint is applied in an extremely controlled and sterile environment. Specific temperatures and humidity are maintained with filtered air to ensure no contaminants, such as dust, are introduced into the painting process. When workers do have to access the painting area, they suit up like a surgeon in an operating room. The paint is of excellent quality and applied by robots to eliminate human error during the application. A clear coat is then applied to seal the paint and further protect it from chipping. Lastly, a thin nanocoating is applied to give the metal more strength and provide even better resistance to corrosion and wear. The freshly painted cars are then put through an oven and baked at high temperatures to dry and cure the final finish. Baking at these temperatures is not possible after the car is assembled. Once the painting is complete, the vehicles are meticulously inspected for quality. Any imperfections are then corrected before the body is cleared for assembly. The factory paint is painstakingly applied to the vehicle and has come a long way over the years. Some may even remember the days when bird droppings left on vehicles too long would stain the paint. With modern day painting technologies, this is rarely an issue today.
Dent Removal Methods – PDR vs Auto Body Shop
Paintless Dent Repair and conventional body shop methods take completely different approaches to dent removal. This difference should play a key role in your decision about which method is best for you and your vehicle.
Dent Removal With PDR
Auto body metal panels are stamped to an exact tolerance and rigidity. After stamping, the metal takes its permanent shape. When a dent occurs, the metal is stretched and becomes stressed. This could lead to further damage to the paint if the dent is not repaired or repaired improperly. Paintless Dent Repair uses highly specialized PDR tools to manipulate or apply gentle pressure to reset the dents back to their natural state. PDR has a distinct advantage in dent repair as it does not harm or alter the factory paint in any way and the metal is no longer stressed. The paint will not chip and the dents will not return as a result of PDR. This is a permanent fix.
Body Shop Dent Repair
A body shop takes a different approach to dent repair than PDR. For small dents or dings, a body shop may have to drill to pull the dent out. The dent repair will then require sanding the factory paint around the dent and possibly filling. Sanding is necessary to ensure the fresh paint will adhere to the surface. In most cases, this process involves a primer, paint and a clear coat. The paint will be matched as close to the rest of the car as they can. If the panel suffered several dents as in the case of hail damage, entire panels will need to be replaced and repainted. In most cases, due to cost or insurance restrictions, aftermarket parts are used and not OEM. In our experience, re-painting does not hold up as well as the factory paint over time in most cases.
Limitations of PDR
While “Paintless” may imply that re-painting is not required with PDR, that is not always the case. If the damage is extensive enough, the limitations of PDR can be exceeded. While PDR is the superior choice for most dent removal, it does have its limitations. If the dent causes the paint to chip or damages it in any way, it cannot be repaired by PDR alone and must be repainted. At The Dent Company, we take a “PDR First” approach to all of our dent removal. We repair all parts of the car with PDR and use conventional auto body methods only on the areas that exceed the limitations of PDR. This minimizes the overall impact on the vehicle and keeps it as original as possible.
So, How Much Does PDR Cost?
A common question asked is, “How much does PDR cost?” The cost of PDR depends on a number of factors.
- Location – The location of the dent and how accessible it is.
- Size – Typically, the bigger the dent the more expensive it will be to repair.
On average, dent removal with PDR is a faster repair and more affordable than conventional body shop prices. Our Express Dent and Door Ding Repair Service can usually repair a dent in a single day for less than the average deductible. For auto hail damage repair, our process is streamlined and cost-effective while maintaining the quality of work that The Dent Company is known for. Oftentimes, a vehicle “Totaled” by a body shop can be repaired using PDR. We are The Auto Hail Repair Experts for a reason and pass the savings to our customers with a $500 Deductible Assistance Program and a free rental car for all qualifying work we perform.
Free PDR Estimates at The Dent Company
Our PDR estimates are always friendly, thorough and free. A visual inspection is necessary for an accurate estimate. We will go over your vehicle with you and give you a quote without hidden costs or surprise fees. Just looking for a ballpark estimate? Feel free to use our Online PDR Estimate Calculator. At The Dent Company we realize that customer satisfaction and word of mouth got us where we are today. We never forget this. We want to be your go-to dent company and the one you tell your friends about All of our work comes with a written lifetime warranty and satisfaction guarantee. If you happen to be in our service area and need a dent repaired or full auto hail repair, give us a call. We have extended hours and always have appointment times available.
The Dent Company
The Auto Hail Repair Experts
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