Posted on: 8 September 2016
When it comes to a large dent on your car, you have two choices for repair – paintless dent repair or traditional body work. Both have their place when it comes to car repairs. Choosing which one to undertake depends on several factors. The following guide can help you with your decision.
Assess the depth of the damage
Small dents and dings from fender benders and similar accidents are usually only surface level – meaning they only affect the body of the car and not the frame. A harder hit can lead to minor frame damage, which is repairable but outside of the scope of paintless dent repair. Have the repair tech check the frame for damage before agreeing to a paintless repair, since frame damage must be fixed using traditional body work.
Check the paint condition
Paintless dent repair only works if the paint is relatively undamaged. A glance isn't enough to assess damage, you need to examine the dent closely. This is because the clear coat can be scratched off, but the color coat is still in place so the damaged paint isn't as obvious. Over time, this duller area will fade in color more quickly and be more prone to oxidation and rust since there is no protective clear coat. This doesn't mean you can't have paintless dent repair, though. Your repair tech can pull the dent out with a paintless technique, but they will need to touch up the clear coat afterward. In other words, you will be having a combination repair done on your car.
Make sure there are no creases
You can't get a clean paintless repair if the metal is creased in the slightest. This is because the crease will still be slightly visible, no matter how skilled the repair tech. This creased area will also be more prone to further damage later, since the paint is weaker on the crease so it will likely flake off and the area will become more prone to rust. If you notice any creasing, even if slight, plan for traditional body work and even replacement of the damaged panel. If for any reason the area can not be straightened completely with a paintless technique, consider any paintless repairs temporary at best.
Contact a repair technician in your area for more help. They can inspect your car's damage and help you determine the best repair technique to use in your specific situation.