Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a technique in which minor dings and dents are removed from motor vehicles without having to repaint the area. Often when vehicles get dented, people tend to think that repairing it will require repainting the area and this might cost more than they are willing to spend, so PDR is a very handy, money-saving technique to use. It should be noted however that PDR is only for minor damage, if there is paint damage, then PDR might not work depending on how flexible the paint is and how much the metal has been stretched by the damage.
PDR is mostly used to repair hail damage, door dings, minor bumper dents and body creases; it can also be used to repair and prepare a damaged area for painting, in which case it is referred to as “push to paint” or “push for paint” but this is not technically paintless repair as the area will have to be painted afterwards. Paintless repairs can be made to both aluminum and steel panels.
Paintless dent repair tools are exactly what their name suggests; they are the tools that are used for paintless dent repair such as metal rods, body picks, hooks and whale tails. Metal rods and body picks are the most commonly used tools for paintless repair, they are used to push the dent out from the inside of the panel; for dents in hard to reach areas, or areas that must be accessed from the outside, glue pullers are used.
Glue pullers are devices used to pull out dinks and dents; first hot glue is applied to the dent and a pulling tab is pushed onto the dent and secured by the glue, next the glue puller is attached to the pulling tab and then the dent can carefully be pulled out.
Whichever method is used to remove the dent, some degree of ‘tapping’ is often required afterwards to ensure that the surface is properly flattened; sometimes a fluorescent light and a light-reflection board may be used to look at the shadows created by the dent to see if there are any unseen sinks or flaws remaining. A PDR reading instrument is another tool that is usually used to measure the exact height that the dent needs to be pushed and the exact location that needs to be pushed.
PDR is a process that requires care and precision as pushing a spot too hard can cause the paint to split and ruin the repair; it is a process that must be learnt through patience and experience to get it right. An untrained person can actually damage the dented area and make it worse if he/she is not sure of what he/she is doing so this is a job that must be professionally done. If you need to find a PDR technician to take care of your repairs, you can run a search online to find a technician in your area; there are also many places that specialize in teaching how to perform PDR if you are interested in learning the art yourself.