How does Paintless dent repair actually work?

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Well, it’s time and effort mixed with a lot of muscle and finesse combined with patience and experience. It is memorizing what type of metal on what type of car can be accessed and pushed on without breaking the paint or causing high spots or points.

So now that I have made it sound really complicated to do, it is a great service that has had a tremendous impact on the way cars are repaired. The best way I educate is relating to how I learned them in the first place.

When and where I first saw PDR and actually realized it was a real repair method

I was at our Heritage Body and Frame location on North Lamar in the late 1990’s. Yes, I am that old and I have been hands on repairing cars since the late 1980’s. I repaired the first car I ever owned, it was a 1984 Nissan (Datsun) Sentra that was a total loss and brought it back to life with the help of a terrific automotive body technician. That is an entirely different story, so going back to PDR.

Austin has some bad hail storms that hit the area, in fact, Texas has some severe weather on a normal basis that can cause severe damage to vehicles.  Before PDR was around, we had to either repair the metal by breaking the paint and repairing it with spot welding or traditional metal repair methods. This is great for the body shop, which is good for me, but not always best for the car and for the cost of insuring the car. Using Paintless dent repair, you do not have to break the paint, which is an advantage in time and repair cost.

What is best for the car is the correct repair method

I always try to think of what is best for the car when making repair decisions and that leads to the best outcome over many years. Collision damage repair can be very complicated because it is different almost every time, we don’t have access to every tool made around the planet for each car at each factory for every year make and model. We have to make choices on how to replicate finishes by hand that was done by robots halfway across the globe. We also have to do this in a reasonable time and a reasonable cost.

We had a really large hail storm in 1997 and that’s when I first saw Paintless Dent Repair done. I remember the experience because I didn’t believe it would work.  It was a black Honda Civic that was covered in damage, the only areas he could do PDR was the hood and fenders.  The PDR tech was from Colorado, where hail is also prevalent, and was in Austin for the storm and did the job while I watched the entire time. He spent about 6 hours of labor intensive time pushing each dent, tapping down high spots and working around braces and seam sealer. When he was done, I was impressed because we would have replaced the hood and repaired the fenders while having to paint all three panels.

This saved that Honda from being a total loss and returned it to the way it was before the storm.

I enjoy sharing what I have had the opportunity to learn over decades in the auto industry. I will start on another part with more practical examples of repair methods and repair decisions that I think are correct.

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