What is The Best Way to Get the Most Accurate Estimate for a Paintless Dent Repair?

One of the questions most often asked is, “How can I get an estimate?” “Do I have to come to you?”  “Can you come to my house to look at my car and give me an estimate?”  “Do you do estimates over the phone?” and so on.  We want you to know that you have a couple of options available to you to get the most complete and accurate estimate for your repair.  


A good start is by giving us a call at (724)554-1756 and providing some basic information like the year and model of your vehicle, where on your vehicle the damage is located, and how it happened.  Even better is sending some pictures of the damage either through text (724)554-1756 or email info@dentrepairnow.com  so we can see what’s going on. Click here to see a short video on how to take the best picture of your dent.


There are 4 easy steps to taking a quality picture for an estimate.  1.  Start with a clean panel.  2.  Do not take a picture straight on.  Stand at a 45degree angle.  3.   Try to capture a straight line reflection on the panel.  4.  Make sure you’re standing far enough back that we can see where on the panel the dent is located.  A lot of times, our clients will say “you can’t really see it in a picture” but many times we can. If you think it’s not showing in a picture, an 8-10 second video panning slowly across the damaged panel most times will show the distorted area.  We can provide an estimate with this information to give you an idea of what it’s going to cost to repair your dent.  There are times, however, when pictures don’t quite give us the full story and we need to see it in person. We do not provide mobile estimates for the main reason that if we were driving to our potential clients everyday to provide estimates, there would be no time for repairs.  That’s when we ask you to bring your car or truck to the shop for an in person assessment.  We still like to provide you with a starting price point, so you have an idea going in what it is going to take to fix your vehicle.  One important thing is “What is my panel made of?” 

Is it Steel?  Is it Aluminum? If your damage is on the hood, we will definitely ask you this question, although any panel can be aluminum.   If you’re not sure, the easiest way to get the answer is to take a magnet from your refrigerator and see if it sticks to the panel.  If it doesn’t, it’s aluminum.  It can still be repaired; however, it is a more difficult repair, and therefore, costs more. If the damage is to your door panel, there are a couple other things that may impact your cost of repair.  For instance, is the glass window laminated?  If you’re not sure, click here  for a short video explaining the difference and how to know if your window is laminated or tempered.


If you look at the bottom right-hand corner of the driver’s window, there should be a sticker letting you know about the glass.  Also, if you roll down the window a bit, and look at the top edge of the glass, if you see three separate parts (two pieces of glass pressed together with plastic in the middle) then this window is laminated.  In these cases, we remove the glass to protect it from cracking and breaking.  If, when you roll down the window, the top edge is all one piece, your glass is tempered, and can remain in the door while we repair your dent.  One other factor that can affect the cost of your repair, if we need to remove the interior panel of the door because of the location of the dent on the door, and we find a carrier plate.  Check out this short video on what is a carrier plate, and how can it affect the cost of my repair?

Maybe you work in the Robinson area or live nearby and would prefer to have your car or truck seen in person.  Our shop is located at 4699 Campbells Run Road Pittsburgh, PA 15205.  https://goo.gl/maps/UEZ3SLFeZuY6F9H16   You are more than welcome to stop in the shop (our hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5pm) to have one of our trained technicians take a look at your damage in person.  Be sure to clean the panel with the damage before you stop in. Either wipe it down or run through a car wash. This is important because when our technicians put a portable light on the panel, so they can clearly see the area of damage.  If you want to set up an appointment even though an appointment is not required, we can save you time by having your information already set up in our system.  If you do not have an appointment, we do recommend calling first, so as to be sure we have someone available to look at your vehicle and provide you with an estimate.  There are times when our technicians get called away to service a dealership or other facility.  

One last important thing to note when getting an estimate, is your expectation.  If you are looking for a 100% repair that is as good as or better than a body shop, we need to know that.  If you are only looking for a “make it better” or “I just don’t want to see the dent anymore” type of repair, we need to know that as well.  It will determine the amount of time spent on the repair and minute details we pay extra attention to in a 100% repair.  This will also directly affect the estimate and cost of your repair.  We do our due diligence with each customer, estimate and repair providing you with all available options and  the best possible experience out of an irritating situation.


The game changer in providing an estimate is HAIL DAMAGE!!!  If your car or truck has been damaged by hail, photos will not provide an accurate picture of the situation.  We’re currently working on an in-depth article all about hail repair.   We’ll explain what you need to do first, how we can help,  and make sure you are aware of all of your options.  

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