In any type of auto body repair, there are 2 main types of processes: Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) and Conventional Body & Paint Repair.
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR).
Paintlless Dent Repair
PDR is an auto body repair process that has been around for decades, but is not well understood by the general public. We have all seen the gimmicks. A glue puller sold for $39 on TV, the YouTube videos of dry ice popping out dents.
Don’t be fooled! The reality is that PDR is an extremely nuanced craft that uses an extensive set of tools to slowly massage out each individual dent, saving the factory paint finish on your vehicle. It is typically an extremely cost saving method compared to a conventional auto body repair, which involves replacing parts and repainting vehicles. PDR’s biggest advantage, however, is the time savings. PDR is significantly faster than a conventional repair.
At Axiom Accident & Hail Repair, we are perfecting the PDR process and want to educate the public on the benefits of having our qualified technicians preform PDR vs conventional repair.
To do a proper Paintless Dent Repair, the car needs to be in a controlled environment with proper lighting. The process starts with the disassembling of the trim which gives access to each panel that needs to be repaired. This is known as Remove and Install (R&I).
When using PDR for your auto body repairs on the roof panel needs careful removal of all the trim in the headliner, it is then lowered to give access to the underside of the roof. Next, we set up special lighting that allows us to see each dent on the roof. Using a precision technique, one by one, each dent is repaired. Various tools are used to access various parts of the vehicle. Once the repair is completed, the headliner and all associated trim are re-installed. Some parts of the vehicle have limited or no access. For these areas we incorporate glue pulling. Roughly based on the dent pullers shown on TV, PDR technicians use a glue-based system to remove these dents. The average technician will have 20 different glue tabs, and 4 different types of glue to account for the size and depth of various dents, and various temperatures.
Conventional Body & Paint Repair
There are several repair and replace methods involved in conventional body and paint today. Full part replacement, partial part replacement, and repairing the part. Often a computerized measuring system is required to identify if the crash caused structural damage, which is measured in millimetres. Some structural tolerances are less than the thickness of a dime, which is a very critical component to ensure your crashed vehicle is restored to its prior loss condition.
Hail damage and minor accidents do not jeopardize the structural integrity of your vehicle. However, at times a roof may need to be replaced as part of the repair plan for a hail damaged vehicle. Since this is a structural issue, the repair facility will need access to the manufacturer’s specification and installation procedures to properly repair your vehicle.
When it comes to part type, this can get confusing. Keep in mind you always have the choice to use whatever part type you prefer, however if you are filing a claim on your insurance, your policy will state specifically what part types are covered.
There are several different types of parts: Original equipment parts (produced by your vehicle manufacturer), recycled parts (original), reconditioned parts (original or aftermarket), and aftermarket (similar to the original, but produced by a third party).
When repairing parts and panels there are a variety of dent pulling techniques used. A technician will apply a plastic filler to smooth out the panel shape for a seamless repair. Lastly, the replacement or repaired parts, and the panels will need to be painted to match. The painting process is very technical to ensure a perfect color match. Often, the repair facility will need to do a paint blending process into the adjacent panel. This process ensures a smooth color transition and color match between panels. There are exceptions when it comes to a perfect color match. Your vehicle may have mismatched paint from the factory color. Pay special attention to plastic bumpers and how the color matches the panel they attach to. This should be identified during the check in process before your repair begins.
A Professional Opinion
We here at Axiom Accident & Hail Repair use PDR as our preferred method for hail and other small dent auto body repair. If you have hail damage and you think PDR may be right for you, visit www.axiomrepair.com to schedule your FREE ESTIMATE! For a contact free experience use our virtual estimating tool.