Paintless dent repair
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR), also known as "Paintless Dent Removal", describes a method of removing minor dents from the body of a motor vehicle. A wide range of damage can be repaired using PDR as longs as the paint surface is intact. PDR may be used on both aluminum and steel panels.
The most common practical use for PDR is the repair of hail damage, door dings, minor creases, and minor plastic bumper indentations.
The method can also be utilized to prepare a damaged panel for repainting, when it is referred to as "push to paint" or "push for paint".
Limiting factors for a successful repair using PDR include the flexibility of the paint (most of today's refined automotive paint finishes allow for successful PDR) and the extent to which the metal has been stretched by the damage, which depends on the thickness of the metal and the intensity of the impact. Generally speaking, the shallower the dent, the greater the likelihood of paintless dent repair being a suitable option. Even dents several inches in diameter can be repaired by this method as long as the metal and paint are not stretched. Most experienced technicians can repair a shallow large dent or crease to an acceptable level, but very sharp dents and creases may not be suitable for PDR.
History of techniques
PDR was introduced to North American from Europe in 1983 by Dent Wizard International founder Natalio Balderrama, and consumer awareness of the method has grown in recent years.
The most common PDR techniques utilize metal rods and body picks to push out the dents from the underside of the body panel. Glue and specially designed tabs may be used to pull out the dents from the outside of the panel. Fine tuning the repair often involves tapping down the repair to remove small high spots. Quality technicians blend high spots to match the texture of the paint. Pushing too hard can create high spots that cause the clear coat to split or crack. Experienced technicians will avoid cracking or chipping the paint 99% of the time, although a painted surface in poor condition will crack despite the best skill. When damage is so great that body filler is necessary, a PDR technician may "push to paint", resolving most of the damage before minor filling, sanding, and painting, thereby saving time and cost.
The process of Paintless Dent Repair/ Portable Dent Reflection requires a technician to manipulate precise locations of metal to the correct height, which can only be observed by the use of a PDR reading instrument such as a Portable Dent Reflection Tools board or Paintless Dent Repair light. Fluorescent or LED lighting, or in some cases a reflection board, may be used to visualize the deformation of the dent and to aid the technician in locating the tip of the tool being used to push the metal. Without a reflection from a light or board to read the dent, the fine detail of the process is inaccessible to the technician.
Paintless dent removal requires years of trial-and-error experience to master. Often referred to as an "art," it demands more hand-eye coordination than anything else.
- "Paintless Dent Repair - Skilled technicians remove dents without repainting.". MSN Autos. Retrieved 2011-07-14.