The pros and cons of paintless dent removal

September 22, 2014

Paintless dent removal restores small dents and dings in your car without filler or paint. Discover whether this is the best option for fixing your car's damage.
What are the pros and cons of the paintless dent removal method? This technique, developed in the 1940s and brought to the U.S. from Europe some 40 years later, is commonly used to repair dents large and small. As long as they aren’t deep creases and don’t involve damage to the paint.

Advantages of paintless dent removal

  • This technique is less expensive because it takes less time than filler and paint repairs.
  • It’s much quicker—you can have your vehicle back in a day or less.
  • The original paint job remains intact, so the factory paint and finish warranty remains valid.
  • Paintless dent removal does not affect the structural integrity of the vehicle.
  • This method is perfect for restoring antique vehicles without having to match the original paint colour.

Disadvantages of paintless dent repair

  • Slight damage on metal parts of the car can be repaired this way, but not other materials such as plastic bumpers.
  • These tools can only reach certain parts of a vehicle; some locations can’t be accessed.
  • Paint scratches or chips cannot be repaired using this method.

How does paintless dent removal work?

It depends. Sometimes the technician pushes the dent outward from behind using tools such as a magnetic ball embedded in a long handle. A tracer, which looks like a BB, is placed on the dented side so the location of the roller ball on the back side can be determined. While gazing at the dent under fluorescent or LED lighting, the technician pushes outward on the roller ball handle (rigged so as to increase leverage) until the car’s smooth surface is restored.

Another method of paintless dent removal involves pulling the dent out from in front. Round discs (like suction cups) are glued to various sections of the dented surface of the car. A rod is attached to each disc in turn, and the technician pulls it sharply forward, “popping” out the dent.

A showroom finish

After both of these methods of paintless dent repair are employed, the car’s surface looks like new. No marks; no imperfections in the paint – just a smooth surface remains. Perfection of this technique requires quite a bit of hand-eye coordination and often years of practice, but the result is always worth it.

The pros and cons of paintless dent removal
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