Oakland Berkeley Auto Body

How Paintless Dent Repair Works

Paintless Dent Repair in Berkeley

Our Berkeley auto body shop professionals have been getting lots of questions recently about paintless dent repair, or PDR. This article will give you an overview of the process, so that you can figure out whether it’s right for you.

PDR is a repair process — a skilled technician fixes minor dents without refinishing the exterior panels. The work requires sophisticated tools. Some strategically push on the panel’s backside to get rid of dents. Other tools carefully pull out dents. When done well, PDR can be a cheap, efficient, and fast way to deal with damage, such as dents caused by pebbles shot up from the road or hail. It’s certainly better for the environment, in that it requires no harsh refinishing chemicals.

Factors that influence the utility of the PDR technique include:

  • The skills and experience of the technician;
  • The tools used;
  • The dent (e.g. Is it shallow or severe? Creased or uncreased? Small or huge?);
  • The final restoration desired (e.g. Are you looking to return a leased vehicle to near mint condition or hoping to repair a car you own to “good-enough looking” condition?);
  • The quality, age, and weathering of the paint and the metal;
  • The temperature of the metal during repair (colder metal cracks more easily)

PDR is as much an art as it is a science.

PDR technicians need to learn how to use special tools, such as florescent lights and reflection boards, to gauge the scope and nature of dents. But they also need to develop “real world” intuition about how different panels respond to different techniques in different conditions.

Even if the dent (or dent repair) causes minor cracks, PDR may still be an option. In the push to paint process, for instance, the panel can be flattened and thus “saved.” The technician can also use nearly matching spots of paint to correct small visible damage.

Whether someone bumped you at a stop light or hit your door at a Trader Joe’s parking lot, look to the El Cerrito auto painting team at Shattuck Auto for reliable, experienced assistance with your PDR job. Contact us today, and we will help you figure out whether paintless dent removal is an appropriate strategy for your repair needs.

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