Tips, Tricks & Trends

What Is Paintless Dent Repair?

One of the worst feelings when owning a car is walking out to in a parking lot and seeing a new dent on the side of it. Was it from the car next to you? Was it the rogue shopping cart that just happened to end its parking lot journey in the side of your car? In either case, you’re now stuck with a new souvenir from that memorable to the grocery store and one of the easiest ways to take care of it would most likely be paintless dent repair. But what is it?

Paintless dent repair is the easiest way to get rid of dents and dings

Paintless dent repair, or PDR, is the easiest and most cost-effective way of getting rid of dents and dings in your car. Instead of having to do major invasive work to pop the dent out of your car, a certified PDR technician will use a special set of tools (and skills) to get behind the body panel where the dents are located and simply pop them out. There’s no need to sanding or re-painting, hence the term “paintless.”

According to Automoblog, there are three crucial steps for a paintless dent repair procedure:

  • Analyzing and accessing the damaged area
  • Removing the affected area panel to gain access to the backside of the dent
  • Application of pressure to both sides of the dent to massage it out

It sounds easy, but the PDR technicians undergo a lot of training in order to get it the job done correctly. If the job isn’t done correctly, then more damage can be done to the car.

RELATED: Can You Really Remove a Dent With a Toilet Plunger?

Paintless dent repair can’t repair every dent

While paintless dent repair can be considered a “miracle cure” for most dents, just remember that it’s not a cure-all for every dent that your car has. For example, a PDR technician might only be able to repair small dents like those from light hail, shopping-cart dings, and stray balls from your driveway, but possibly not bigger dents or those with sharp creases. Either way, the shop will give you an estimate when you bring your car in and let you know what can be done.

RELATED: Why It Might Not Be Worth It to Fix That Dent or Scrape on Your Car

paintless dent repair
ENGLEWOOD, CO – JANUARY 22: Auto body shops in the Denver metro area are packed with cars. Cars with hail damage from last year and cars needing repair from the winter collision season have filled the garages. At Hampden Auto Body in Englewood, CO there are filled as Eric Abeyta and Eric Nelson work on cars with hail damage on Thursday, January 22, 2015. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post )

How long does paintless dent repair take?

In most cases, a paintless dent repair job will most likely only take a few hours and can be done on the same day. However, more extensive jobs, like hail damage repair, can take a few days depending on how many dents there are.

RELATED: What’s the Best Way to Repair Your Car’s Paint?

paintless dent repair
Participant Vadim Varblane removes a dent during the dent removing championship in Rotenburg a.d.Fulda, Germany, 22 February 2014. The competition is held during the International Smart Repair Exhibition. The Smart Repair technique removes minor dents and dings from the body of a motor vehicle. Photo: UWE ZUCCHI/dpa | usage worldwide (Photo by Uwe Zucchi/picture alliance via Getty Images)

What happens if I just ignore the damage?

While you could just ignore the dent damage on your car, we advise not to. By ignoring the damage you run the risk leaving your exposed to corrosion or rust at the dent site and at the very least, having the dents on your car will decrease if you plan to sell it later on.

By having paintless dent repair done, you’ll keep your car looking newer longer and will possibly be able to sell it for more later. On top of that, PDR is very cost-effective, unlike more major bodywork services, so not only will you save money upfront, but you could possibly get more if you sell the car in the future.