Why Should You Consider PDR Instead Of Calling Your Insurance Company to Claim?
Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is a service that is often used to repair minor damage to vehicles – including dents caused by hailstones and other small impacts. PDR can be performed on most vehicle body parts as long as the surface of the paint is still intact.
There are several ways that PDR can be performed, and it can often be a more cost-effective way or fixing a vehicle compared to either replacing the part or filling and repainting damaged bodywork.
PDR won’t always work – if the dents are too big or the dented part is not very flexible then it may not “bounce back” into shape – but it is worth trying as a first treatment because it is not invasive and would not damage the bodywork.
An experienced technician can repair even quite a large dent as long as it is shallow. The depth of the dent matters more than the diameter. Deeper dents are harder to repair even if they are quite small, and in those cases other techniques may be more suitable.
Paintless dent repair is usually done using a small rod or tool to push out the dented area. This must be done slowly and gently, because hammering too hard might damage the paint and cause it to crack. Occasionally, as the dented bodywork is pushed back into place it can go too far in the other direction, in which case the technician must smooth out the bodywork.
Depending on the size of the dents, there may be some areas where the texture of the bodywork starts to appear like orange peel. This can usually be smoothed out to create a polished finish. Many garages will use a special fluorescent light to highlight the shape of the dent so that the part can be pushed back properly into place.
When PDR is successful, it is a quicker and more cost effective repair option than replacing the damaged part, or filling in the dented bodywork, and it makes are more sense than putting in an insurance claim. If there is a large area of damage, then the technician may opt to push out to repair most of the damage, then sand, fill and paint to smooth the area out. This is still usually more efficient than a full replacement or more invasive forms of repair.
PDR cannot be performed if the paint is damaged, so areas where there is cracking or peeling paint will need to be treated differently.
PDR is not something that you should try to perform yourself. While the job looks simple, it takes some practice and the right equipment to do a good job. If an untrained person tries to push a dented piece of metal back into shape then there is the risk that it might pop too far, or that sudden warping might make the paint crack. Call a professional to get the job done right.