Tom is a repeat customer of Dent Repair Now from McKees Rocks Pa.  We first met Tom when he had a door ding in his 2015 Honda HR-V.  So, when a tree limb fell on the hood of his 2023 Toyota Highlander, he called us first.  When Tom called, he explained that he usually parks in the garage, but on this particular day, he had to park on the street, under an oak tree.  That happened on one of the days here in Pennsylvania where we had a wind advisory, but Tom never thought to move the truck.  He was really mad at himself for not thinking about it. He called us and wanted us to take a look.  We had him come straight to the shop the very next day.  We were concerned with the paint first and foremost.  When a branch falls on a panel, we’ve seen really minor damage, and in other cases a smaller branch caused a thousand dollars’ worth of damage.  It depends how it falls, how it hits, and how far it falls.   If the paint is damaged, having us push or pull on the panel can cause more paint failure and that is something we do everything to avoid doing.

Once we saw Toms hood and we ascertained that his paint was not damaged, we went on to the next factor.  Is his hood made of steel or aluminum.  This is important because steel is strong and requires strength behind each push, but aluminum requires 40% more strength behind each push.  It takes longer to repair and is more difficult to reshape.  Tom’s Highlander hood was steel, so that was another factor we could check off the list.  Now we could get down to doing our estimate.  We start our estimating process by measuring the area (or size) of damaged area.  The price guide we use (which is an industry standard pricing guide) has a ruler on the side measuring inches of damage. You can see how that works in the following picture.

Tom’s dent (measuring the outermost area of displaced metal, not the inside of the dent) was 9″ long.   We used our special lighting and looking at the damage at an angle we can see the distortion on any panel. The distortion shows us where the damage begins and ends so we don’t miss anything.  The branch fell right on the bodyline but did not crush it. We call that soft damage.  The body line (The crease in the metal that is supposed to be there)  still needed reshaped but it did not need recreated.   The final thing we looked at was the underside of the hood.  Hoods generally have open areas where we can slide a tool in and work on the damage from behind and this was the case here. Access in hoods can be tricky.  The very front edge of the hood is 2 separate pieces welded together on the frame. So damage in that area has no access, and even glue pulling is not a sure thing because we are trying to move 3 layers of metal and that doesn’t usually work out.   So, Tom’s estimate was for a 9″ dent involving a bodyline.  The total estimate was less than his deductible, so he did not want to turn it into insurance.  We scheduled Tom’s repair for the following week, and we let him know it would be a one-day repair, and we would call him as soon as it was completed.  We completed Toms repair, and his hood and car were returned to him in beautiful shape.

If you’re not familiar with paintless dent repair, let me explain.  Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a specialized method aimed at restoring vehicle surfaces marred by dents without resorting to conventional bodywork practices like sanding, filling, and repainting.

Skilled technicians utilize unique tools to gently massage and reshape the metal from behind the affected area, reinstating its original form. This process safeguards the vehicle’s original paint, rendering it an ideal solution for addressing minor damages such as dings, dents, and hail marks. Not only is paintless dent repair cost-effective, but it also stands as an eco-friendly alternative by eliminating the use of harmful chemicals typically involved in repainting. It’s a meticulous and minimally invasive procedure that upholds the vehicle’s factory finish and resale worth.

Please feel free to reach out to us and let us take a look at your damage.  We can help you decide if paintless dent repair is the right way to go, or if a body shop is best option.    You can fill out the form on our website or text us photos of your damage to 724-607-8980 and we will be in touch to see how we can help you.

 Texting pictures to us is always a good option to start your repair process and definitely can give a starting point for cost of repair and on the opposite side of the coin, we can let you know if your damage does not make a good candidate for paintless dent repair.  With the increase in difficulty of repairing damaged car panels as cars continue to evolve, we must evolve as well so to maintain our ability to provide repairs that are as good as or better than a body shop repair. If You’re not sure about how to take a good picture of your damage, we made a video just for you!  In just 4 easy steps:

1.  Make sure the damaged panel is clean from dirt and dust.  If we can’t see the damage, we can’t give you an estimate!

2. Take the picture at an angle. Sometimes the damage can be seen from straight on, but more often than not, an angled picture will work well to show the extent of damage

3. Try to line up a reflection on the dent. If you can park your vehicle and angle the camera so there is a reflection of lines (think a brick wall, or a gutter) the distortion there will give us a great idea on the area of damage.

4. Lastly, make sure you are far enough from the dent so we can see WHERE on the panel the damage is.


You can also stop in at the shop for an in-person evaluation of your damage. We are currently located at 4699 Campbells Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15205.    That’s right next to I376 (The Parkway) just off of the Campbells Run Road exit if you’re coming from I79 or Downtown Pittsburgh. Make a left at the stoplight.  If you’re coming from the airport area you have to use the Ridge Road exit and then turn right.

For more information, you can check out our website Dent Repair Now. If you are interested in our social media pages, you can use this link to find each of them.

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