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What is PDR?

Paintless dent repair is a technique for removing dings and dents from the body of a vehicle without the use of bondo or paint. It’s quicker, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly than traditional auto body work with the added benefit of retaining your vehicle’s original finish.

How’s it done?

A PDR technician either reaches behind the dent with a special tool and pushes the dent out from behind or glues a tab to the dent and pulls it out. However it’s done, it’s a tedious process that requires a steady and patient hand and some serious expertise.

What can be repaired?

PDR is effective on dents and dings from car doors, basketballs, golf balls, grocery carts, and even leaning a little too heavily on your car’s door or hood. If the metal is pushed in but doesn’t over stretch the metal, PDR can usually remove the dent under the following conditions:

  • The paint is in good condition.
  • The vehicle is a 1990 or later model (paint these days is generally more flexible).
  • Dent is not near the edge of a panel or other reinforcement, over stretched, or on a sharp body line.
  • The dented panel has not been repaired or painted previously.

PDR can be used to repair most parts of your vehicle, including the roof, hood, trunk, doors, and side panels, but may be of limited use in repairing bumpers and other parts of the vehicle.

What can’t be repaired?

PDR is less effective on collision damage, particularly when the metal is stretched or has a crease in it. A technician may be able to make the damage less noticeable, but traditional body work is required to make it look like new.

In addition, PDR cannot be used to repair damaged paint, so if the paint is scraped, cracked, scratched, or chipped, touch ups or repainting may be necessary to avoid corrosion.

Can PDR repair hail damage?

PDR is often the perfect solution for hail damage. A skilled technician can massage out the small dents from hail while preserving your vehicle’s factory finish. If you happened to park under an oak tree on a windy day, PDR can also remove any dents from falling acorns!

How long does it take?

A qualified PDR technician can remove a typical dent or ding within an hour, depending on the size, shape, depth, and location of the dent. In some cases, the technician may need to remove some parts of the vehicle to gain access to the area behind the dent, which can add considerable time to the repair.

Although repair times can vary, PDR is almost always faster than traditional auto body repair.

Can PDR damage my vehicle?

Damage from PDR is rare but it can occur, particularly if the technician doesn’t have sufficient expertise and experience. However, because PDR is a less intrusive method of repair, it is inherently less risky.

I don’t use excessive heat, cold, electricity or anything else that could harm the existing factory finish.

How much does it cost?

PDR repair costs vary, depending on the size and difficulty of the dent to be repaired, the number of dents, and the location or accessibility of the damage. You can expect to save 40% to 70% off the cost of traditional auto body repair.

See our Price Guide for additional details.