What is PDR?
Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) or DOL (Germ. Dellenentfernung ohne lackieren) is a car body repair technology used to eliminate dents and other deformation defects on the vehicle body while maintaining the original paintwork. The essence of this technology is that the PDR technician, who have undergone special training on paintless dent removal and have the necessary dent repair tools, can restore the surface of the body elements without painting work. PDR method proved to be especially effective on removing dents resulted by hail storms. Dent repair masters use special rods, whale tail shaped levers, flat bars, hammers, knockdowns, hot melt glue systems, adapters, slide hammers, ratchets, special lights and other professional PDR tools to remove dents from the car body.
Hail dent removal with Carepoint PDR tools
Application of PDR
This technology allows to eliminate dents from the car body. The dents may appear on a car surface because of hailstorms, reckless parking, collision or vandalism damage, for instance. An important requirement for the successful application of PDR method of repair is the safety of the paintwork under the dent. Of course, there should be no deep scratches and chips, neither. Otherwise the technicians restore the vehicle through welding, patching, using fillers or replacing the damaged part with subsequent painting.
Paintless dent removal
To remove a dent car repair specialists push it out. For that they make massaging movements from the reversed side of the part using special tools, for example, rods of different configurations and angles, as well as special tips. The technicians access the dents through the technological openings of the car body. In some cases the paintless dent repair masters execute a partial disassembly of the car trim.
The technicians extrude damaged body surface outwards by means of an adhesive system and an slide hammer. This method is often used in traditional body repair, when a metal adapter is welded to the brushed metal surface. Though a PDR adapter is attached directly to the paintwork with hot glue. Afterwords isopropyl alcohol helps completely remove the glue. It is often that after pulling the dent outward, the technicians straighten and flatten the metal with PDR knockdowns and hammers.
Paintless Dent Removal Championship
Advantages of paintless dent repair
Considering various technologies of car body repair, more and more car enthusiasts pay attention to the advantages of the PDR method:
- The price of PDR work is not always the main argument when choosing a Paintless Dent Removal repair. Often the price for paintless dent removal is comparable to the price of replacing the part. Although, for example, in the case of massive damage to a car body after a large hail, PDR repair can reduce costs by several times!
- PDR method helps reduce the time for car body repair from a few days of even weeks to literally hours. This means that the car will not stand idle. The car owner will not incur unnecessary commercial or image risks.
- The car retains its market price because the PDR technology preserves the original paint and the repair leaves no residue. No coating thickness gauge will show changes in the thickness of the car paintwork. And often this becomes decisive when choosing the Paintless Dent Removal technology to restore the car and remove dents.
History of PDR technology
The technology of local body repair originated and developed simultaneously at the factories of such global automotive giants. Technicians from General Motors and Ford in the USA, Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler-Benz AG in Europe invented Paintless Dent Removal method themselved independently. It simply could not be the other way. And the reason for that was conveyor production, that created an acute need for PDR at all of these factories…
In late 1940s automotive car plants ceased the production of mainly military equipment. The producers switched to manufacture cars for much more demanding consumer markets. Though the dents on the car body were a real problem for automotive producers, because the dents were technologically inevitable.
How dents might appear on a brand new car?
The factory conveyor is a continuous process line. The workets sequentially assemble cars from ready parts. Body elements are mass produced by cold stamping, which allows to obtain parts of different sizes and shapes from a flat metal sheet. When stamping, there are frequent cases when an excessive amount of lubricant flows between the sheet of metal and the mold. This lubricant, which has a low compression ratio, might leave dents on the manufactured parts. Practically it is impossible to determine the modified geometry of the part until the moment of painting. More than that the defect become noticeable only under a certain angle of illumination.
Thus all automotive manufacturers faced the technological problem of dent removal on brand new cars. And the size of the issue was huge. Several hundred cars could be assembled on a proction line the same time. Car body parts were produced in advance to ensure the smooth operation of the line. Thus from the moment of detection of a defect to correcting its causes directly on the stamp it could take from a few hours to several days.
Automotive assembling line
Painless dent removal tools
The automotive companies invested in the development of local body repair of finished cars. The first who undertook to solve this problem were the specialists of the quality control department. Numerous attempts to correct dents soon brought positive results. This saved huge amounts of money and smoothed running of the conveyors.
The first teams of PDR technicians began to form in the quality control departments of auto giants. They needed to create the necessary PDR tools for successful work. Initially, these tools were homemade. The technicians created special tools from existing “tinsmith sets.” Over time they improved their tools. Currently there are a number of manufacturers of first-class professional DPR tools: Dentcraft, Carepoint, PDR Finess, Ultra Dent, PRO-PDR Solution, Würth and others.
Wolksvagen quality control center
It is believed that Oscar Flaig, an employee of Mercedes-Benz, did the first demonstration of paintless dent removalat the Detroit Auto Show in the United States in 1960. Another early PDR star is Jürgen Holzer, a PDR master who performed paintless dent removal at the BMW plant in Munich in the 1970s. In 1983 he moved to the United States, where he actively commercializes PDR services and the training of other technicians.
Super professionals in paintless dent removal
Natalio Armando Balderrama founded Dent Wizard company, the first specialized firm in the field of removing dents without painting in the USA in 1986. This company has given a start in life to many stars in the PDR world. Don Kavanagh, a student of Jürgen Holtz, created company Dent Kraft Plus in 1991.
Tom Price is an alumni of the tutorial program at Dent Wizard. He is one of the most prominent Paintless Dent Removal technology promoters. Hundreds of paintless dent removers around the world are eager to hear his opinion. Tom created the training video PDR Coach DVDS, which has not been surpassed so far around the world. He is the creator of the world’s first wireless mini-lamp for repairing dents. Tom developed many tools for the company Dent Gear. He trained more than 200 PDR technicians, including such world-class masters as Jeremy Taylor, Ivan Sklaruk, Joel Valois, Luke Price and others.
Joel Valois, a student of Tom Price, is a master of paintless dent removal, founded Carrossier Express in Canada in Quebec. In its turn his student, Simon Noel, founded PDR Service & Hail Team company in Calgary (Canada).
PDR tools producers
Jerry Blehm founded of A-1 Company, producing PDR tools. George Dyer founded the Anson Industries company, which has made a significant contribution to the development of the industry of manufacturing tools for paintless dent removal. Steve Hopf founded Ultra Dent Tools in California. A special lamp with an Ultra-Light stand revolutionized dent removal lighting. Later, all other manufacturers of professional car repair equipment used the approach to lighting proposed by Ultra.
In Germany Erich Nüssle got his experience in painting department of Mercedes-Benz automotive factory in Sindelfingen. He founded Nüssle Spezialwerkzeuge company and became a supplier of coating stands for Mercedes-Benz. In late 1990th he founded Karosserie Nussle company in Gärtringen to produce PDR tools and train technicians in Europe.
In 1999 a team of Paintless Dent Removal masters with extensive experience on Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg (Germany) founded Carepoint company. Carepoint brand started its development of PDR Tools on the global PDR market since 2006.
Paintless Dent Removal Exhibitions
Kevin Halewood founded the world’s first specialized Paintless Dent Removal exhibition – Mobile Tech Expo (MTE) in Orlando in the United States. During the exhibition the Dent Olympic paintless dent removal championship is held. This is considered the main professional Paintless Dent Removal championship in the world.
Later the exhibition International Automotive Smart Repair Exhibition appears in Europe. IASRE has its branch in Japan. The organizers were the respected masters of DOL technology in Europe – Thomas Lück, Marek Lissowski and Freddie Jonker. The paintless dent removal championship is held within the framework of the IASRE exhibition. This is the first Paintless Dent Repair championship in Europe. Rules and regulations of IASRE championship are different from the MTE in US. IASRE championship consists of two stages: the general tour and the final.