Paintless dent repair (PDR), also known as “Paintless Dent Removal”, is a collection of techniques for removing minor dents and dings from the body of a motor vehicle. A wide range of damage can be repaired using PDR; however, usually if there is paint damage, PDR may be unsuitable. PDR news and industry updates.
The most common practical use for PDR is the repair of hail damage, door dings, minor creases, and sometimes minor plastic bumper indentations if accessible.
The techniques can also be applied to help prepare the damaged panel for refinishing in a body shop using conventional paint and body methods. Such applications are 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 amount the metal has been stretched by the damage incurred (this varies depending on the thickness of the metal and the intensity of the impact that caused the dent). Generally speaking the more shallow the dent the greater the chance of paintless dent repair being a suitable option. Even dents several-inches in diameter can be repaired with this method, as long as the metal and paint are not stretched. Most experienced technicians can fix a shallow large dent or crease to an acceptable level but extremely sharp dents and creases may not qualify for PDR.
The most common methods of PDR News utilize metal rods and body picks to push the dents out from the under side of the body panel. Additionally, glue and a specially designed tab may be used from the outside of the panel to pull the dents out. In either case, fine-tuning of the repair often involves “tapping” down the repair to remove small high spots, or shrink the metal, making the surface flat. PDR news may be used on both aluminum and steel panels. Quality technicians blend high spots to match the texture of the paint. (note: If a technician pushes too hard they will create severe high spots and the clear coat may split or crack.)
Experienced technicians will not crack or chip the paint 99% of the time, although if the painted surface is not in good condition or the metal is too cold it can crack and even the very best tech can not stop this from happening.
When damage is too great and body filler is necessary a body shop may request a technician to do something called “push to paint”, which involves pushing a majority of the metal up because the body shop is going to repaint those panels anyway, this saves time and money.