Of the many things that might frustrate a car owner, none could possibly cause more head-scratching than a dent or a ding on the vehicle's body. Driving around with a dent on your car is like walking around with an ugly scar on your face. People will notice it, and you might feel like the world is staring at you. You may find yourself trying DIY dent repair kits online or paintless dent repair (PDR) to fix it.
Let's talk about PDR for a bit. What comes to mind when you think about the term 'dent repair'? Many people would imagine someone swinging a hammer to knock the metal back into place. Many places still take that approach towards fixing dents, though the use of brute force does have its downsides. Among them, it causes damage to the car's paint job, which will add to the final bill should you choose to fix that, too. That's why people these days prefer paintless dent removal. Simply put, it's a way of repairing your dents without damaging your car's paint.
Let’s dive a little deeper into it, shall we?
What is paintless dent repair?
There are several methods traditionally used to fix a dent. Some workshops will use the old-fashioned hammer and dolly method, basically to beat the metal back into shape with brute force. Other methods involve some form of pulling. The metal is pulled using pliers, pullers, suction cups, or stud welders. Because there’s a lot of physical force involved with these methods, part of the repairs often includes repainting the damaged sections.
Then there’s paintless dent repair (PDR), which fixes small dents without causing a need for repainting. Specialised tools are used to apply force and ‘massage’ the dents back out. To make it more effective, the repair person might use one of the pulling methods mentioned earlier to make it easier to push the dent out.
Typically, workshops use PDR to fix small dents. As long as the surface of the paint is intact, the method remains useful.
How much does paintless dent repair cost?
Paintless dent removal is more affordable compared to conventional methods. However, estimating the price will depend on a few factors, such as the number of dents and their sizes.
Some Aussie PDR businesses have quoted their starting prices at around $120 for the first panel. They usually offer more affordable rates for succeeding panels if you’re having them fixed at the same time.
Can you do paintless dent repair at home?
The short answer is YES if you want to do it yourself. But before you decide on that, you need to know a few things.
You could buy a DIY kit for paintless dent repair online and try to do it at home. If you’re willing to put in the time and work, you could very well do the job yourself and save your money.
However, if you want it done correctly without having to do it yourself through trial and error, it’s best to hire a professional.
Yes, professionals will cost you a bit more money, but you’re not just paying them for their time. You’re paying them for all the years of training and experience they possess which they’ll use to get the job done right. Most importantly, their expertise will cut down the total time needed for those dent repairs.
How long will paintless dent repair take?
Assuming you take your car to a professional, paintless dent removal will only take hours. Of course, the more dents you have and the more severe they are, the more time will be necessary to finish the job.
The time needed to fix dents is one reason why many people procrastinate on getting it done. Remember: the sooner you bring your car in for paintless dent removal, the sooner your vehicle will return looking brand new!
Why is it important to fix a car dent sooner rather than later?
As a bonus, let’s talk about why dent removal is so necessary. Earlier in the introduction, this article made it sound like all car owners react frantically upon discovering a dent on their car. That’s not the case. Quite often, a lot of drivers see the ding on their vehicle but never get around to fixing it. They honestly don’t care that other people may notice it as they drive around town.
As far as they’re concerned, a dent is only a superficial bit of damage, and their car remains mobile; therefore there's no reason to panic, and they can go about their daily lives as usual.
Well, yes, the car will still function. But here are three quick reasons (there are plenty more!) why you should be concerned enough to get that dents fixed as soon as possible:
When something hits your car hard enough to cause a dent in the metal, microscopic cracks form on the paint. You might not be able to see it from afar, but those cracks are there, and they let moisture seep underneath it, oxidising the metal slowly. As a result, rust forms on the metal underneath, further undermining your entire car’s frame.
2. Reduced resale value
Some drivers might not care about superficial damage, but they certainly do care about the vehicle’s resale value. Well, here’s some bad news. Dents and the resulting rust both reduce the resale value of a car. So, get those dents fixed and preserve your car’s worth!
3. Cheaper to fix
You already know this: a dent is cheaper to fix while it's still small. Despite the affordable price tag, you're probably reluctant to take your car to the shop because it'll take time and effort. Well, that's better than waiting for your vehicle to collect more damage, resulting in a bigger bill later on!
So, do a quick walkaround of your car. If you notice a dent, then it’s time to take it to a professional for some paintless dent repair. Don’t know where to look? Check out the Directory over at Carpart.com.au. There, you'll find all the automotive businesses in your area and across the rest of the country, too! Get their website address or phone number, and get in touch with them as soon as possible. Remember: dents aren't just superficial. So get them fixed before they cost you more money later on!
By Ray Hasbollah