Customers always ask how long will this repair take? In this busy world, it is necessary to plan your day around certain things. Work schedules, lunches, meetings, shopping…..and now you have to fit in a car repair that has already stressed you enough to call and make an appointment. As with anything, time is relative to the task and priority it holds. The same goes for paintless dent repairs. There’s no science or algorithm to estimate repair time, but experience can get us on point the majority of the time.
Having been in the dent repair business so long, we are pretty good at estimating repair time, but there is always the random curve ball that can throw our time frame right out the window. Lets start with the small jobs. Door dings, small dents the size of a quarter with no other factors involved can usually be repaired in less than an hour. A straight forward dent with direct access is the bees knees for both us, and our customers. Most wait on the repair, have a cup of coffee, and then go on with their day. That is the best case scenario. You can watch this video where our owner, Gene Fetty fixes a door ding on this Volvo.
While there are many things that can increase repair time, we can get into the “additional factors” part. One of the first things we look for is a body line and is it damaged. If you’re not sure what a body line is, let me show you. A body line is a crease or bend in the panel of your vehicle that is meant to be there. A common misconception is that body lines can not be repaired. The majority of the time, we can fix a body line, but it is more difficult, and takes more time for your repair. As long as the metal is not stretched, we have a good chance of repairing the damage. Take a look here as Gene repairs a body line on a Ford Mustang.
Another factor that increase repair time, is the material the panel is made out of. Mostly, we deal with steel, high strength steel, and aluminum. Steel has memory, that is to say, it wants to go back to its original position, we just use our tools to coax it. Aluminum is the headstrong member of the family. It is much more difficult to repair and definitely adds time to your repair. Another misconception is that you can’t fix aluminum with Paintless dent repair. Check this out!!
If you’re not sure if your damaged panel is steel or aluminum, you can watch this short video, or you can grab magnet from your refrigerator and see if it sticks to the panel.
Moving on, the next factor that will affect the time it takes to repair your car or truck will depend on the location of the damage, and is access obstructed?? So if your damage is in the upper half of a door, fender, or hood, access is pretty straight forward. If your damage is on the roof, quarter panel, or the lower part of a door, most likely these will involve some sort of removal and install ( we call this R&I). What exactly does this mean for you? Let me explain. If a dent is low in the door, our tools may not reach from the top of the door or have the leverage needed to push from behind the dent. When this happens, we need to remove the interior panel of your door. Sometimes, that includes a carrier plate. What is that? We have a video to explain just that to you.
After watching this, I’m sure you can see how this can add to the repair time. Other R&I we may have to do depending on the location of your dent, might include removing a taillight. If the damage to a trunk lid is severe enough, we may need to take it off and mount it on a stand to have the best access and leverage. We also use special heated glue to pull damage from the outside of the car or truck. This definitely adds time to a repair because it requires extreme focus on the damaged area. We have to make sure that we pull in just the right way and with enough pressure to not to damage the paint. It is a great way to repair dents, but will add time.
All of these factors will contribute to the time it takes to repair a dent. These are still in the “one day repair” zone. So what kind of repair can take longer than a day? Let’s get into that. Larger damage say 18 inches, or larger than a basket ball may take more than a day to repair. To put that into perspective, a small one inch ding can take over 100 pushes to smooth out. Plus tap down time from the outside. So it is easy to correlate that 18 inches is not a quick “pop it out” type of repair. The majority of our repairs can be done from one hour, to half a day, to a full day. We make every effort to prepare you, our customer, with a realistic time frame, and if anything unexpected comes up, we will let you know immediately. Your time is important to us. One important thing to note, when you bring your car or truck to us for either an estimate or a scheduled repair, having a clean vehicle will save time. Our technicians need a clean panel to work on, so running through a car wash on the night before or washing it at home is a great way to lessen repair time.
If a repair is going to take 2 or more days, it’s most likely severe, large damage, or your vehicle has hail damage. A vehicle with hail damage generally has damage 3 or more panels, and more often than not requires a lot of R&I. Add into that working with insurance companies and claims, hail damage can a week to two weeks from beginning to end, depending upon the expediency of your insurance company, and the availability of parts should any need replaced.
This video is an example of extreme damage caused by a deer that took 4 days to repair. Check it out!
Again, time is important, and once it’s gone, you can not get it back. We work efficiently, but thoroughly. We expedite repairs with out cutting corners. We’d love an opportunity to take a look at your vehicle and provide you with an estimate of cost, and a timeframe for your repair. You can find out more on our website HERE You can fill out some information about your vehicle and damage HERE and we will call you to answer any questions. You can also email us at email@example.com. If you’re an in person kind of guy, feel free to stop in our shop at 4699 Campbells Run Road Pittsburgh Pa 15205. Take I376 (The Parkway) just off of the Campbells Run Road exit if you’re coming from I79 or Downtown Pittsburgh. If you’re coming from the airport area you have to use the Ridge Road exit and then turn right.