You've probably seen television ads for dent removal tools that pull dents out like magic. While these tools might look impressive, they have very little in common with genuine professional paintless dent removal service (PDR). In reality, PDR technicians need to use a wide range of techniques and knowledge to ensure a repair that leaves your vehicle looking as good as new.
While it would take an entire book to explain many of the reasons why achieving flawless PDR results requires professional attention, this article will focus on one issue: crowns. If you don't know what a crown has to do with dents in your car, keep reading to learn more about how they affect your car's dent repair.
How Do PDR Techs Analyze Dents?
Before beginning repair on any dent, your technician will need to inspect it as carefully as possible. Every dent is different, and using the wrong techniques or methods can potentially make a problem even worse. To avoid these issues, techs need to use specialized tools and their own experience to examine every dent for complications.
The PDR light is one critical tool that most shops will use to examine a dent before beginning repairs. These lights use bright LED strips to create a reflection in the paint that allows technicians to see the contours of a dent. Not only does this help to illuminate the problem, but it also reveals the shape of damage and its effect on the surrounding body panel.
In general, PDR techs are looking for areas where the impact pinched the metal or where there may be significant amounts of tension. These areas will require constant attention throughout the repair to ensure that the final result smoothly restores the vehicle's original contours. Directly pulling a dent without taking these steps can lead to an incomplete and often unattractive result.
What Are Crowns?
Crowns are one particular feature that techs are looking for when analyzing dents. These are areas, often towards the outer edge of a dent, where there's significant tension on the body panel. Crowns can often be challenging to spot without the proper equipment and knowledge. Once a technician has identified the size and location of any crowns, they can begin the repair in earnest.
Correct paintless dent repair requires choosing the proper method to pull or push on a dent while continuously stopping to analyze the impact on surrounding crowns. Technicians will often need to stop, examine the dent again, and tap out the tension on the crown before proceeding further. These techniques allow the metal to "flow" back into its correct shape.
Ultimately, restoring a dented panel to like-new condition requires care, patience, and skill. While "as seen on TV" products might make the process look easy, the best results will always come from hiring an experienced professional to repair your car's dents.