If you decide to work at an auto body repair shop after your training, you’ll likely encounter plenty of cars with dents. Paintless dent repair, or PDR for short, is one way auto body technicians can fix these unsightly problems. As its name implies, this is a process that removes dents without requiring any paint.
PDR requires a certain amount of problem-solving skills, knowledge, and an understanding of how to use the necessary tools. You can learn how to master PDR techniques after your training in order to become an even better auto body technician. Here are three things you need to know about PDR for your auto body career.
1. Know Which Dents Necessitate Paintless Dent Repair and Which Ones Don’t
Some dents can be repaired without any paint needed, while others require a paint job after the fact. Doing paintless dent repair requires the auto body technician to survey the damage and distinguish between which jobs won’t need paint and which ones will. Some jobs that need a paint job include if the dent has already damaged the paint, if there’s a sharp crease in the metal, or if the dent is pushed in very deeply. Although some dent jobs are harder to remove than others, they can still be fixed so long as the technician has the tools and know-how to get rid of it effectively.
2. Understand How to Properly Manipulate the Dents Back Into Place
Anyone who’s done paintless dent repair after their auto body training will know that the process isn’t as cut and dry as simply popping it out. To properly carry out PDR, you’ll need to get the dent moving outward before massaging the metal back into place. Some tools that are used for paintless dent repairs include suction cup dent lifters, fluorescent lighting systems, and glue guns.
You’ll need to access the back of the dent by removing parts either from the inside of the panel or the outside of the vehicle, depending on where the dent is. By applying pressure to the back of the dent, you can gently return it to its original condition. If necessary, you might have to use glue to pull the dent out if it’s in an otherwise inaccessible area.
3. Staying Patient and Calm is Another Aspect to Remember After Your Auto Body Training
As is the case with most auto body careers, patience is an excellent quality to have while on the job. While a number of dent repairs can be done within minutes, certain other kinds can take several hours to get done. Don’t rush a job because that will only lead to a sloppy result and unhappy customers. Sometimes, removing small dents can be even more difficult than larger ones, not to mention the metal could be more vulnerable to future impacts since it’s already been weakened. While PDR gets easier with practice and by building on the skills you learned in car body repair courses, it’s important to stay focused, patient and calm throughout the process.
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