Paintless dent repair (PDR), also known as “paintless dent removal”, is a collection of techniques for removing minor dents and dings from the body of a motor vehicle. A wide range of damage can be repaired using PDR if the exterior paint has not been cracked or scraped.
Paintless dent removal takes time and a lot of practice to learn. The ability to successfully remove dents, dings, and indentations is learned through trial and error. An untrained individual will most likely damage a dent if attempting a repair without the correct skills, tools, and knowledge.
The most common practical use for PDR is the repair of hail damage, door dings, minor body creases, and minor bumper indentations. The techniques can also be applied to help prepare a damaged panel for painting without the need for body fillers.
A successful repair using PDR depends on the flexibility of the paint and the amount the metal has been stretched by the damage. Often extremely sharp dents and creases may not be repairable – at least not without painting afterwards
Methods of Repair
The most common methods of paintless dent repair use metal rods and body picks to push the dents out from the inner side of the body panel being repaired. Also, glue may be used from the outside of the panel to pull the dents out. In either case, fine-tuning of the repair often involves “tapping” down the repair to remove small high spots, making the surface flat.
Paintless Dent Repair may be used on both aluminum and steel panels.
The technology of PDR has been around for many years. Fluorescent lighting, or in some cases a light-reflection board, is used to see the shadows created by the dent. This is an important part of the repair process.
Without a Paintless Dent Repair light board or reflector board, the fine detail of the process is unseen, and the technician cannot locate their tool and remove the damage accurately.
The process of Paintless Dent Repair requires a technician to specifically push exact locations of metal to a precise height, which can only be witnessed with use of a PDR reading instrument, such as a Paintless Dent Repair reflector board or Paintless Dent Repair light.