How do You Repair Dents?

If you’ve ever had a dent in your car, you know how frustrating it can be especially if you don’t know how the damage got there!! Not only does it look unsightly, but it can also impact the resale value of your vehicle. Fortunately, there is a solution: paintless dent repair (PDR). PDR is an efficient way to fix dents without damaging the paint on your car.  Are you asking what is Paintless Dent Repair?  The definition of PDR is “a process where we gain access to the backside of dented panels on your car or truck and then with specialized tools, reshape the metal back to flat, while keeping the paint completely intact.”

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how PDR works and the benefits it offers. Once the technician has determined that the dent can be repaired using PDR, they will use specialized tools to access the backside of the dent. These tools are designed to gently massage the metal back into its original shape, without causing any further damage. The technician will work from the outside of the dent, using a combination of pushing and tapping down motions to gradually reduce the size of the dent.

Repairing a dent will start one of two ways.  Either from behind the panel where the damage is, or from the front.  Our first option is to gain access behind the damaged panel and push or “massage” the metal back to its original position.
Gaining access from behind can be either be easy, or really tricky.  For instance, if your dent is on the front fender, we can loosen the liner on the interior of the wheel well to slide a tool in there.  On the hood, there are nooks and crannies all over there and most times we can utilize them to reach the damage.  Quarter panels are much more difficult.  That panel is welded onto the vehicle and there is no access to it through the wheel well.  In some cases, we can reach through by removing the taillight.  We call this R&I which stands for remove and install.  When you have damage to the roof of your vehicle, one option is to R&I the headliner.  Or if the dent is low in the door, and we are unable to reach it through the top, we can remove the interior panel of the door to gain access and begin our repair.  Our specialized tools are long and very slim…we can sneak them into small openings if available, and they look like these:


They have specialized tips ranging from sharp to soft rounded plastic tips.  They leverage the rod and use a series of small pushes to work the metal back.  If there is a high spot on the dent, our technicians will use their “knock down tools” on the outside. Working that metal back and forth from front and back allows us to remove any trace of the damage. As the technician works on the dent, they will use special lights to monitor their progress. These lights allow them to see the subtle changes in the metal as it is being massaged back into shape. This helps them to ensure that the repair is as precise as possible. Whenever we use any type of pushing metal on metal, we always treat the interior panel with an anticorrosive spray to protect it.  Our priority is returning your vehicle to you in better condition than when it was dropped off.

The other method of paintless dent repair is called a Glue Pull.  Which is pretty much just what it sounds like.  We glue small tabs, to the outside of your vehicle like this:


Then, we use a series of pulls to bring the metal outward. There are many different variations on these two types of repairs.  Using one, does not negate the other.  A lot of times we can utilize both in making the best repair possible.



One important thing to note:  If there is damage to your paint, ranging from small scratch to missing paint, glue pulling may not be option as the risk of doing more damage to the paint increases.  The same goes for repainted panels.  Glue pulling is not the best option on panels that do not still have their original factory paint on them.

You may be asking yourself, why choose paintless dent repair rather than a traditional body shop?  That’s a great question!!  There are several benefits to using paintless dent repair to fix dents in your car. First, it is a much quicker process than traditional body shop repair methods. Since there is no need to sand, fill, or repaint the affected area, the repair can be completed in a fraction of the time. This means that most times, you can have your car back the same day, eliminating the need for a rental replacement car, or waiting multiple days and even weeks to get your car back.  Also, a PDR repair will maintain your cars resale value.  Here is a video Gene Fetty, the owner of Dent Repair Now made explaining the difference between a body shop repair and a paintless dent repair.

On a side note, PDR is a more environmentally friendly option than traditional repair methods. Since there is no need for sanding or repainting, there is less waste generated during the repair process. This means that PDR is a greener option for those who are concerned about their environmental impact.

If you are ready to take the next step in having your car look as good as new, you have multiple options available to you.  You can call or text us at 724-554-1756.  You can also email us at Sending pictures of your damage can be really helpful.  If you’re not sure how to take a picture, here is another short video to show you how to take the best picture.

If you’d like to know more, you can read this article on How to get the Most Accurate Estimate

You are also welcome to stop in at our shop for an in-person evaluation of the damage to your car or truck.  We are located at   4699 Campbells Run Road Pittsburgh Pa 15205 and our hours are Monday through Friday 8:30-5pm.

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