Check out this nasty dent in the left quarter panel of this Subaru. Can it be fixed using Paintless Dent Repair, also known as PDR? Despite myths that PDR is unable to fix crease dents or dents in body lines, yes it can.
First things first when evaluating vehicle dents – we need to study the indentation to assess all aspects and the fullest extent of the damage. This also means we need to locate every low spot and every high spot within the damaged area because they may affect the success of the repair. In this particular dent pictured on the Subaru, we had multiple high areas, or crowned areas caused by the metal being pushed away from the impact, along with multiple low areas from the initial impact and caused by the metal being pulled into the crowned areas.
How The PDR Process Fixed The Subaru Panel Dent
After fully examining the damaged area, we began fixing it. This particular damage required a lot of finesse and delicate manipulation of the metal to get the finished result we were looking for. In order to successfully complete this Subaru repair, we needed to start with consistent heat application. Heat is required to help soften both the metal (for clean pushes) and the paint (ensuring it was pliable and did not break during the repair process). Once the panel was at the desired repair temperature, we started slowly manipulating the dented metal. For this repair, I used the graduated tip method. I started with a soft blunt tip and worked my way to a sharp fine tip for detailed work and clean up. I used this technique not only to push the low spots up, but also to bring the crowned areas down. This PDR repair method is not a quick process. Well, it’s faster than a conventional repair, but not a snap of the fingers fast repair.
After slowly raising the deep sharp low areas up and working the crowns back into place in the sharp impacted area, I started leveling the metal back out to the pre-damaged condition. PDR is a gentle give and take type of operation. You have to give the metal back to the low areas from the high areas in order to move the low sections back in place.
Once the crease was about 80% repaired I moved on to the body line to rebuild the shape of the panel. For this Subaru, as with other vehicles, the body line was a key feature in making the end result look correct. Think of it the same as building a tent structure. The crease is the tent canopy (if it’s folded up it won’t lay across the structure correctly). The vehicle’s body line is the structure supporting the tent canopy. If the structure isn’t steady or secure, the canopy can’t lay correctly and you end up with a failed tent. With that thought in mind, now that we had the tent canopy (the crease) unfolded, we started building the structure of the panel. In the process of pushing the body line back in place it also pulled a few low areas up with it, taking pressure off of other areas in the panel.
Now that the body line was back in place and reformed, I went back to finishing the area of the crease and getting that area completely flattened back out.This required bouncing back and forth from the body line area and the creased area until the panel was successfully repaired.
Once the panel was completely back to a pre-damaged condition, I used a small amount of 1500 grit sandpaper to eliminate any tool marks left in the panel from pushing and then buffed and polished the panel back to a beautiful glossy surface.
Start to finish, I completed this repair in less than four hours. PDR saved the factory paint, factory panel, factory corrosion protections, factory seals and most of all, saved the customer lots of valuable time and money.
The best option for dent repairs is PDR work completed by trained professionals. It’s the best option for restoring vehicle value and appearance. Contact our team at KCL Creations today to see if your vehicle’s dent is a candidate for PDR.