People move across country all the time. Sometimes it is for work. Sometimes it is for school. Sometimes it is for family. Sometimes it is for retirement. Sometimes it is on a whim. No matter what the reason for the move, the logistics always boil down to getting one’s possessions from here to there. This includes automobiles.
No matter how you transport your car on a long-distance move – drive it yourself, tow it, or use a trusted commercial transportation specialist like A-1 Auto Transport – there is always a chance that the exposure to the elements of highway travel will leave your vehicle with some minor dings or dents. It is important to get them repaired to protect the integrity of the car's finish, but the question is: how?
During cross country travel, the truck, hood, and roof are the most likely areas to pick up road dings. In most cases the remedy of choice for these road blemishes is PDR or “Paintless Dent Repair.” As the name Paintelss Dent Repair might suggest, PDR is a practice in which dents are removed in a manner that does not require a new paint job.
The PDR process is performed by high-end auto body shops that can be found in most areas across the country. Make sure you do your research. You want a body shop that is highly trained and experienced in PDR. You see, in the end the actual repair all comes down to the individual technician’s talent level. Do you want an average job done on your vehicle or do you want an expert to do the work? Finding a qualified body shop is worth the effort.
PDR is performed by expert technicians in quality auto body shops. These technicians use specialized tools to slowly and carefully massage the dent from behind the panel. Via this methodical process, the metal and the paint are both put back to original condition. It is a game of millimeters. In some cases, if a technician pushes too hard on the dents, it can result in what are called “high spots.” Thus, the finishing and fine tuning of PDR then requires tapping these high spots down until they form a consistent blend with the rest of the panel.
In addition to open road damage caused by rocks getting kicked up; creases, door dings, and hail damage are all candidates for PDR. Even large dents measuring several inches in diameter can be candidates for paintless dent repair if both the paint and the metal have not been stretched.
Paintless dent repair is a convenient and efficient repair process that works with either steel or aluminum vehicle panels. The key is if the factory finish is harmed or not. If the finish is intact, PDR is a viable option. One of the benefits of PDR is that there is no use of body filler. Nor, is there any cause for grinding paint off.
One thing to keep in mind about PDR, though, is that if your vehicle was previously in a serious accident that required repainting of the panels, those areas are likely not candidates for paintless dent repair. This is because there is an increased chance of chipping or cracking on areas that have been repainted.
Modern high-end cars are perfect candidates for PDR because most high-end vehicle manufacturers now use refined automotive paint finishes that specifically allow for PDR.
In a nutshell, paintless dent repair is less expensive than other modes of dent repair because it is far less time consuming. Further, with PDR there are no high-priced paint material costs that would normally be associated with conventional repair approaches.
Of course, in today’s day and age, there are brave types who will try to embark on “do-it-yourself” methods to fix dents. Thanks to the Internet, there are no shortages of DIY repair techniques. But the question is, do these DIY techniques really work or are they just Internet fluff?
One popular DIY approach to fixing minor dings and dents is through the use of cold and heat. While this process is a bit more technical than applying ice packs and heating pads to a sprained ankle, the fundamental tenets are the same. The theory is that applying the right amount of heat to the dented metal will cause the car panel to expand, which, in theory, then results in small dents “popping out.”
Using dry ice on car dents is another Internet technique rumored to work for some. The idea is that an when you apply dry ice to a dent, the intense change in temperature can sometimes result in the dented metal popping back to original condition. Or at least, similar to original condition.
These self-help body work methods may or may not work. However, keep in mind that you have an equal chance of making the damage worse resulting in a higher repair bill than if you just went to a professional in the first place.
Also remember that even if these DIY methods do work to pop out dents, the job will almost always require a body shop professional’s touch up. If you are going to have to take your car to a body shop anyway, it may be advisable to just have the professionals do the work to begin with.