Has a shopping cart put a small dent in you fender? Did a selfish driver park too close and ding your door when they opened theirs? Here is how paintless dent removal (PDR) can take those dents out affordably, quickly, and without having to have the car visit the spray booth.
Modern bodywork is insanely expensive. Environmental regulations have required body shops to invest hundreds of thousands in equipment, and the paint itself can cost hundreds for just a pint. Depending on your insurance, you’ll probably invest at least $500 of your own cash before insurance even kicks in, and then when it does, you’ve got a dirty Carfax to contend with. A simple claim to fix a few parking lot dents can cost you thousands when you add up the deductible and the decreased value of a car without a clean vehicle history report.
But there’s a way around it.
Small dents and dings are a nuisance. They don’t change the car’s safety at all. However, car nuts like us hate to see them on our otherwise perfect car. One option for dents and dingsfrom door strikes and other similar bumps is paintless dent removal. Your car dealer likely does this on-site themselves, or they contract with a local independent company who comes to the dealership to do the work. Any autobody shop can also set you up with an on-site appointment.
The technology is very interesting. Larger dents and those with seams or creases are repaired from the inside of the panel. The technician carefullycremoves a bit of your interior and then uses special pry bars and rubbing bars to work inside the panel. The tools are used to smooth the metal from the inside out. Critical to the method are mirrors and lights the technician uses to reveal the dent so it can be worked on. Done right, many repairs don’t require any re-painting. In some cases a small bit of touch-up paint may be needed. In many cases, the dent disappears, or is made significantly better.
A new tool that makes the repair of dents without a crease, called “soft dents”, much easier is the T-Hotbox PDR. This machine uses heat and vibration to lift dents out as shown in the video. It is almost entirely non-contact, so the risk of paint damage is even further minimized. The way it raises the metal up and eliminates the dent is magical.
We’ve had our cars repaired this way, and the results were excellent. We suggest listening carefully to the technician during the walk-around before work begins. Not every dent is completely invisible after this type of repair, but the improvements are dramatic. The cost is very reasonable compared to traditional body-repair methods, and it can be done during a car’s regular maintenance visit. If your car is starting to look a little beat up this may be a great way to get it back to looking great.
To see another video from which the main story image originated please see this link.