Martyn Clifton MIMI

Dent Technician

07976 321 789

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PDR (Paintless Dent Removal)

Paintless dent repair (PDR), also known as "paintless dent removal", is a collection of techniques for removing minor dents and dings from the body of a motor vehicle. A wide range of damage can be repaired using PDR; however, usually if there is paint damage, PDR may be unsuitable.

 

PDR (Paintless Dent Removal)

The most common practical use for PDR is the repair of hail damage, door dings, minor body creases, and minor bumper indentations. The techniques can also be applied to help prepare the damaged panel for paint. Such applications are referred to as "push to paint", or "push for paint".

 

Limiting factors for a successful repair using PDR include the flexibility of the paint, and the amount the metal has been stretched by the damage incurred. Generally, the more shallow the dent, the greater the chance of paintless dent repair being a suitable option. Even dents with a several-inch diameter can be repairable with this method, as long as the dent is shallow and uncreased for regular technicians, though most master P D R technicians can easily fix a crease without paint damage, often if the crease passes through a soft bodyline as well. Hence, often extremely sharp dents and creases may not be repairable - at least not without painting afterwards, although a very skilled master tech may surprise one with what he can get out.  As with any art, not just anyone can become a master technician becoming a Master technician takes natural ability, and years of constant experience and training. Common practice assumes no less than 5 years of steady PDR work to be considered a Master Technician, though many technicians may never reach this level.

 

Methods of Repair

The most common methods of paintless dent repair users metal rods and body picks to push the dents out from the under side of the body panel. Additionally, glue and a specially designed tab may be used from the outside of the panel to pull the dents out. In either case, fine-tuning of the repair often involves "tapping" down the repair to remove small high spots, or shrink the metal, making the surface flat. Paintless Dent Repair may be used on both aluminum and steel panels. If a technician pushes too hard when creating these high spots, the paint will split and crack and the paint is ruined which means it will need to be touched up or the panel will now need to be painted. Master techs will not crack or chip the paint 99% of the time, although if the paint is not in good condition or the metal is cold it can crack and even the very best tech can not stop this from happening. When damage is too great, but it's still worth it to insurance company or tech, they will do something called "push to paint", which involves pushing it to be flat (paint almost always cracks in this situation). Because the body shop is going to repaint those panels anyway, this saves time and money. Quality technicians can use high spots (note that with a quality tech there should be no high spots that are readily visible) that are barely visible to match the texture of the paint.

 

Fluorescent Lighting, or in some cases a reflection board, is used to see the shadows created by the deformation of the dent. This is an important aspect of the repair process. Without a Paintless Dent Repair board or reflector board, the fine detail of the process is unseen, and technicians cannot locate their tools specifically and cannot remove the damage accurately. Moving the tool under the panel allows the rod to be seen. While this is true with beginning techs a true master tech does not need much to know where his or her tool is. The process of Paintless Dent Repair requires a technician to specifically push exact locations of metal to a precise height, which can only be witnessed with use of a PDR reading instrument, such as a Paintless Dent Repair reflector board or Paintless Dent Repair light.

 

Paintless dent removal takes years to learn; it is more of an art than a specific set of skills. The ability to successfully remove dents and dings is learned through trial and error with some common know how. An untrained individual can actually damage a dent if attempting a repair without the correct skills and knowledge. Paintless dent removal technicians can be located throughout the country by searching for their services online, or through the non-profit Trade organization, NPDRA.

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