Does the Size of a Dent Matter When Talking about Paintless Dent Repair in Pittsburgh, PA?

When our customers call us or fill out a form from our website to get an estimate to repair damage on their vehicles, once we know the year and model, and where the dent is, we need to know the size of the damaged area.  Does size matter?  Yes……and no.  Let me explain.  Size matters as far as pricing.  The basis of our estimate begins with size.  We in the dent repair industry use an industry standard price guide.  We would consider a 1-3″ dent (which would start somewhere between $165-$275) on the small side. 4-8″ would be considered a medium sized dent, (starting from $330 to $550) and anything over that, would be considered on the larger side of dent repair. If we are off on the size, then the estimate is skewed and basically incorrect.  So, we ask our potential customers, “How big is the dent?  (Then we start comparing it to ball sizes.). “Are we looking at something the size of a golf ball?  Volleyball?  Is it larger than a basketball?”  It is always interesting to me how people can perceive the same dent in totally different ways.  One customer will say, “It’s nothing major,
just pushed in a little bit” Or a customer will be really upset over a dent the size of a tennis ball and tell me, “It’s really bad, I’m not sure if you can fix it?”  Size matters when we’re providing you with an estimate, but is there a large enough dent that is too big to repair? Our owner and founder Gene Fetty repaired a 2015 Ram in 2019.  It collided with a deer, that damaged the entire passenger side of the truck!!  From fender to taillight. There was approximately 96 total inches of damage.  That is hard to believe right!? Check out this video of the repair.  You can also find it and many more videos on our YouTube Channel!

Here is another repair we did on a 2011 Chevy Camaro that was some large area damage on both the fender and quarter panel! 

Both of the videos show extra-large damage that was repairable with paintless dent repair.  Here, size mattered in pricing, and how long the repair would take.

Small dents, typically less than 2 inches in diameter, are usually caused by minor impacts such as a door ding, a small collision. While they may seem insignificant, small dents can still detract from a vehicle’s appearance and reduce its resale value. In addition to that, if you are someone who really takes care of their car and prides themselves on how it looks and performs, even the smallest dent will make you crazy until you get it fixed.   Fortunately, small dents can often be repaired using paintless dent repair. This technique involves pushing or pulling the dent out from the backside of the panel, without the need for paint or body filler. Paintless dent repair can often times be a cost-effective and efficient way to repair small dents, with many repairs taking only a few hours to complete. You can read this article if you’d like to learn more.

Large dents, on the other hand, are typically caused by more significant impacts, such as a collision or a heavy object falling on the vehicle. Large dents are often deeper and have more pronounced creases than small dents. While paintless dent repair may be able to repair some large dents, such as those with shallow creases, more extensive damage will require traditional body repair methods. The repair may require sanding the damaged area, filling it with body filler, and repainting the panel to match the rest of the vehicle. Large dent repairs can be more time-consuming and costly, but the size alone does not make it automatically bound for a body shop.  We always recommend that as a first step,our customers should send us pictures of the damage, big or small, either through email or text 724-554-1756.  If you’re not sure what kind of picture to take, we made a video to explain it!


Many times, with pictures, we can get a good idea if paintless dent repair is an option for repair or if it is out of our scope of repair capability, we can refer you to one of our recommended body shops. We usually refer to Opeka Auto Repair or Ross Paint and Body.  They both do great work!

It’s important to note that the location of a dent can also impact the repair options available. An 8″ dent in a fender will be easier to repair than the exact same dent in a quarter panel.  The basic difference between the two is access. Sometimes, that may be a deciding factor in whether a dent is repairable using paintless dent repair or if a body shop is required.  Dents located near the edges of a panel or on the roof rail may be more difficult paintless dent repair, as the technique mostly relies on accessing the dent from behind the panel.  But this does not exclude us from repairing your car or truck.  A proper estimate and seeing your vehicle in person my by necessary.  If you’d like to learn more, you can read this article on how to get the most accurate estimate to repair your vehicle.

So, to answer the question, “Does the size of the dent matter?”  The answer is “No”.  We can repair any size dent, as long as we have access, or a way to move the metal, and we can see the rods and tools moving the metal,
and it is, in fact, a candidate for paintless dent repair.  Meaning, it has to make sense for you, our customer price wise, and for us, time and cost wise.  With the larger sized damage, there are times when our repair will cost just as much or more than a body shop repair.  That is when you have to ask yourself, what is your goal?  If your primary objective is cost, then you will have your answer with an estimate from a body shop, and an estimate from Dent Repair Now.  If your goal is to maintain the value of your vehicle, and not have any panel repainted, then we are definitely the direction you want to move in.  We have gone to bat with insurance companies many times for our customers.  They have written panels off, to be painted and replaced, involving painting other panels for blending.  If there is a chance to save that panel, we will reach out to your insurance company for you and give it all we’ve got to both show them the value in what we do and make the repair as good as or better than a traditional body shop.

If you have a dent, ding, or damage on your vehicle, it’s important to consult with a reputable auto repair shop to determine the best course of action for your specific damage and repair.  We are always available to give you a free assessment of your car, truck, or SUV.  Call us at 724-607-8980.You can also stop for an in-person damage assessment at our shop located at 2603 Washington Rd, Unit 3, Canonsburg, PA 15317.  Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9 AM – 5 PM.  You don’t need an appointment to stop in, however, we do recommend calling first to be sure there is a technician there and available to give you the attention you deserve!  You can also text pictures to Jennifer at the same number and she can give you a launching point for the cost of a repair, refer you to a body shop if necessary, or schedule your assessment or repair.

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