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red car with door dent

How does metal memory affect the PDR process?

Try as you may, somehow, you manage to end up with a dent in your vehicle. Maybe you know how it happened, or perhaps you don’t. But, unfortunately, the fact remains, you now have a dent to contend with and the associated repair looming over you.

Obviously, your goal is to get your vehicle dent repair resolved with minimal expense, downtime, and without needing a new paint job. Is that even possible? The answer is yes, but it depends on several factors.

It may not seem possible to repair dents and minor repairs without paint, but alas, it is. So let’s explore what Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is and whether or not metal memory affects the PDR process.

Understanding PDR

PDR is a minimally invasive dent repair option. Through a variety of methods, the goal is to “massage” the metal back into its original shape. The ability to flex the metal back into shape saves money and is even more environmentally friendly.

Each dent is treated as separate and worked on separately. Individually, the dents may require one or more specialized tools to massage the dent back to the body panel’s original condition. This massaging and flexing back to the metal’s original condition relies on metal memory to achieve success.

As the metal returns to its shape, the paint will also decompress and return to its original state. Where there is one dent, there are often multiple that are smaller and less visible. However, with professional PDR tools and specialized lighting, they are visible and fixable.

It is possible to repair most minor dents up to the size of a quarter (and some much larger) through the PDR process. Shallow dents are more accessible to repair than more severe damage. The length of time it takes to perform the repair can be as little as three hours or up to a few days.

One of the goals of the PDR process is to retain the value of the vehicle. Therefore, not using paint or body filler allows the vehicle to be restored back to original condition. Additionally, it will not interfere with any warranty you have on your vehicle or its paint. Insurance companies also prefer PDR as an option when it is possible. In fact, in some cases, they may even require PDR possibilities to be assessed first.

Do not attempt to repair your dents on your own. Sure there are videos on youtube with so many do-it-yourself options. However, these options most often do not work and can do more damage than good.

The PDR process includes “panel beating” to return the metal to its original shape through the use of specialized tools. But, of course, all of this needs to happen without cracking the paint. So, if the dent doesn’t damage your vehicle’s paint, PDR should be your first course of action.

There are mobile dent repair services that claim they can do PDR. Although they may be convenient and have experience, they often lack the necessary tools to perform PDR properly. Make sure to vet your PDR technician and check their reviews.

The PDR process involves prep work of removing trim, handles, and whatever else is necessary to have full access to the dent from the inside and outside. You’d be surprised how well PDR works even with larger dents, as long as the paint hasn’t been interrupted. Dents directly blocked by a brace are still accessible with special PDR tools and as long as the technician has the necessary skills.

How Does Metal Memory Affect The PDR Process?

Metal has memory. This memory allows the metal to return relatively quickly to its original position with the right tools. Unfortunately, newer cars have some aluminum parts, and aluminum doesn’t have the same rebound effect as other more traditional metals such as steel. So, not only does aluminum not bounce back to its original shape, but it stands to go farther through overcorrection.

PDR can also be helpful in situations where the paint is cracked or chipped. The only issue is that it will involve touching up paint, and the vehicle will not be 100% back to its original factory condition. To perform PDR properly, take skill and a great deal of experience. PDR is an excellent option for creases or body line dents.

Is Your Dent Able To Be Repaired With PDR?

Despite all your efforts to protect your investment, dents are sometimes simply out of your control. Don’t worry — at JM Dent Repair, we know how much it means to you to get your car looking new again, and that’s why we’re trusted in the Lafayette area for affordable paintless dent repair.

Paintless dent repair eliminates the worry of a color mismatch or uneven fading, and preserves your vehicle’s appearance and resale value. If you’re driving a leased vehicle, it also helps you avoid expensive “wear and tear charges” on your lease return. Contact us for a quote and see why we’re the best around.

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