What is Paintless Dent Repair?
Paintless dent repair, aka paintless dent removal, is the process of removing dents, hail damage and minor dings from the outer panels of a motor vehicle. There are multiple techniques involved, ie. glue pulling the damage out with glue tabs attached by hot glue (glue pulling kits), massaging with specialty dent removal rods and hand tools, and/or tapping the surrounding metal. Professional technicians use LED lighting opposite from their respective position to “shine” across the damaged area and create an easier view of the damage.
When using hot glue (the glue within the PDR industry is varied based on humidity, temp and application) the tech places enough hot glue on the end of a PDR glue tab to almost cover the dent, or at least cover the middle of the damage, then attaches either a glue pull mini lifter, a slide hammer, or a bar style lifter to the tab and executes the necessary “pull” when the hot glue has set to the proper temperature. If executed properly a dent can be removed in one pull.
When using PDR rods or hand tools, the technician needs access to the back side of the damage. Once that is obtained he/she uses the approriate dent removal tool to massage the damage back to original shape. The tool choice is based on access, leverage and size of damage.
Almost every dent or ding causes the metal to move outward from the low area. Typically matching the shape of the damage but pushed out like a donut around the outside edge. This is where the tapping comes into the process. The technician will likely have to use something called a knockdown and hammer to carefully move that donut closer to normal along with any inadvertant high areas he/she may have created when they repaired the low area.
A technician will continue this process until the damage is gone.
A little history about PDR.
The paintless dent repair industry in the United States started several decades ago on the factory lines of automobile manufacturers. It evolved enough that a gentleman from Florida started repairing cars for dealers and this industry has continued to evolve into a hundreds of millions of dollars worth of repairs industry every year.
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