What is Paintless Dent Repair?

It’s inevitable if you drive thousands of miles a year – you’ll get some dings and dents. Hopefully nothing major. But sometimes, the dents you get are too big to ignore.

When the time comes to tackle this body damage, you’ll have a number of decisions to make. Where are you going to take it? What kind of repair will you need to have done? How much can you afford? One of the options available to you may be paintless dent repair (PDR). But what is it, how does it work, and is it right for you?

What is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless dent repair, also sometimes referred to as paintless dent removal or push-to-paint, is one of the fastest and most affordable dent fixing processes on the market. It involves taking dents and pushing and molding them back to the original shape of the body metal. It is the least intrusive process, and is extremely safe for all vehicles. It is an environmentally-friendly process, and it will restore your car, truck, or SUV’s body to factory condition!

What is Paintless Dent Repair? | Lancaster Toyota | Orange car with dent on front right side fender

What is Paintless Dent Repair? | Lancaster Toyota | Black car with a huge scratch/dent on right side door panel
Will Paintless Dent Repair Work on my Car?

The major key to whether or not PDR is for your dent repair is if the paint has been broken. If the paint has been chipped or cracked, it will need repainting anyways, so the benefits of PDR will be minimal.

When you come in for repairs, technicians will assess the damage to your vehicle and determine if PDR is appropriate or not. Dings, dents, creases, and even hail damage are usually fixable through the paintless dent repair process.

However, there are times when PDR will not work for a vehicle. In addition to these, sometimes if the metal is at the end of a panel, or if the dented area had bodywork done before, PDR won’t be able to do the job. Torn metal and dents with sharp edges are also hard, if not impossible to tackle using paintless dent repair.

How Does Paintless Dent Repair Work?

Once body shop technicians get their hands on the vehicle, they’ll first look for a way to gain access to the back side of the dent. This could come via a number of ways, depending where the dent is located. This generally involves the careful removal of body panels, taillights, and even interior panels. It’s all about getting access to the dent without damaging the integrity of the paint and sheet metal.

Once back there, the technician will get a better look at the damage, and how it lies in regards to the sheet metal around it. After they determine how to shape it, the technician applies pressure using specialized tools to push the dent out. Once the bulk work is done, the technician then works on the sheet metal around the original dent to massage the exterior back to its original, factory condition.

What is Paintless Dent Repair? | Lancaster Toyota | Body shop worker fixing car dent on grey car with special tools

What are the Differences Between Paintless and Traditional Dent Repair?
The clear difference is in the name – paintless dent repair doesn’t require the extra processes of painting and blending the repair. Traditional dent repair will be more intrusive. They usually involve minor working of the dent to get close to the original shape, then filling using body filler. The body filler is then painted to match the rest of the vehicle’s exterior. This doesn’t fully address the dent, and while it makes the vehicle look as good as new, it’s not a long-term solution, particularly if more damage occurs to the vehicle in the same spot. PDR is all about addressing the dent itself, for a long-term fix!

What is Paintless Dent Repair? | Lancaster Toyota | Mechanic talking to customer in the background while black car is in front
What are the Benefits of Paintless Dent Repair?
The biggest benefits of Paintless Dent Repair, on top of being less intrusive, are the price and time commitment. Due to the extra processes, traditional dent repair generally takes longer to perform, and will almost always be more expensive. PDR will get your car, truck, or SUV back into your hands faster! PDR also eliminates color-matching concerns, since there’s no painting required. We’ve all seen cars with slightly mismatched paint from repairs – this is a great way to avoid that look! Not needing painting also makes it eco-friendly, eliminating paints and solvents that can release damaging chemicals during use. Finally, vehicles with an intact original paint job generally retain value better than obviously repainted vehicles, which means when you want to sell the value will still be there.

Don’t be worried when your body shop visit results in a recommendation that they use PDR. In fact, this is a great thing – it means your dent repair is easier than you might have expected, and you’ll get your baby back on the road sooner than expected! Make sure to bring your car, truck, or SUV in for repairs when it needs them, and keep it looking and running like new!

Do you have questions about paintless dent repair? You can schedule service or visit us today at Lancaster Toyota in East Petersburg, PA and we’ll get you taken care of!