Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is a repair method used mainly for motor vehicles and does exactly as the name suggests.
If a vehicle has a dent but no paint damage then using specialist tools and techniques the PDR technician can manipulate the panel to its original shape leaving the paint finish intact. This differs from a more conventional ‘bodyshop’ repair where the paint is removed, the damaged area filled with body fillers and the area coated with new paint.
Dent removal has traditionally been performed by using various rods, bars or levers to apply pressure to the back of the panel and massage the metal back to its original shape with specialist hammers and knockdown tools to knock back any metal that is proud. This involves pinpoint accuracy from the technician to be able to create a quality finish. In recent years the technology and tools for what is known as Glue Pulling have massively improved and many previously impossible repairs have now been made possible. This involves using specially formulated hot glues to stick tabs to the panel and to use those tabs to pull the dent from the outside until level or slightly proud, the same hammers and knockdown tools are then used to dress the metal back into shape. In addition to this, technology and tools such as the Power PDR box have made it possible to shrink stretched metal enabling us to save even more dents from the bodyshop .
All processes take a huge amount of skill to perform well and take a very keen eye for detail to achieve the highest possible results. To be able to perform a paintless dent repair takes months to learn and years to master, although a quality technician will be constantly learning as new tools and processes evolve. It is always worth checking the credentials of your technician to carry out repairs and whether they come with any quality assurance.
Not by a long way. It is believed that PDR was first performed on the production lines in Germany in the 1940’s. It has since spread around the world being very popular in the United States due to the high levels of car ownership and the frequency of damaging hail storms. The majority of quality and innovative tools for the trade tend to come from the US although there are individuals around the globe creating new ideas to improve repairs.
There are many reasons to have a dent repaired in your vehicle. For most, car ownership represents the second largest investment they make after the home and generally, as a nation of car lovers, we try to enjoy it. A dent can really take the shine from a car for the owner (as can a poor paint repair!). PDR is the only repair method that can restore the vehicle back to the condition it was before the damage occurred and so restore the affection the owner has for their car. There are other more practical reasons to have a repair such as damage to lease/hire cars that need to be returned in a pre-agreed condition, damage that has been caused to a third party’s vehicle or gaining the highest possible price for a vehicle that is for sale removing unsightly damage that could put off potential buyers.
Unlike most vehicle repair methods, our paintless dent repair system does not add to the world's considerable pollution problems and damaging the environment by pumping chemicals into the atmosphere. We are very proud to say that we do not spray paint, use thinners, lacquers or body filler and our energy usage is negligible during the repair process. Whilst we occasionally use a heat lamp or hot air gun to warm the panel and keep the paint surface as flexible as possible, our energy use is almost negligible.
Not only is it faster, cleaner and usually cheaper than the painting alternative it also maintains the original factory paint finish on the car which is far superior to any other repair method as it eliminates the risk of paint defects, filler sinkage over time and colour mismatches.
The Dent Devils training programme is the longest and most comprehensive in the industry and enables the individual technician to be able to perform a quality repair before offering their services to paying customers. Unfortunately, this is not standard within the industry with some companies offering wholly inadequate training and customers receiving a poorer quality repair than could be possible. Because of this Dent Devils have been instrumental in working with the motor industry to create and apply high-level industry standards with the Institute for the Motor Industry (IMI) Quality Assurance certification and the automotive technician accreditation (ata) schemes.
As the general public are becoming more aware of the possibility of Paintless Dent Repairs, Dent Devils East Sussex are happily providing them with the same high-quality service.
Paintless Dent Repair in progress