Dents By Hand

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you ever wanted to know, and more...

These are some of the most frequently asked questions we are asked on a daily basis.
Clicking each of these links will take you to the  answers.

What is Paintless Dent Repair/PDR?

PDR or Paintless Dent Repair is a method of removing minor dents and dings without removing any paint from the vehicle. This is done by very patiently massaging the dent out from the back of the panel using specialized tools.

What are the benefits of PDR?

Cost is also a major benefit of PDR. Repairs are typically between one-quarter to one-third the cost of conventional dent repair.

Time savings is yet another advantage. Many dents can be fixed in less than an hour. Hail damage is typically fixed in one day with PDR. A body shop may take 2-3 weeks for the same type of damage.

Environmental concerns are another benefit of PDR. Since this process keeps the original factory paint on your vehicle, there is no need for the paint, chemicals, or other toxins that are used extensively in body shops when repairing dents. PDR is 100% environmentally friendly.

What sets Dents By Hand apart?

We are Boulder’s most referred and trusted Paintless Dent Repair service provider. In business since 1996, we have built a solid reputation as the go-to shop for removing hail damage, door dings and minor dents from your vehicle.

Beyond that it’s our service, confidence and expertise that makes our customers feel comfortable in working with us.

What makes a great technician?

I’ve worked with a lot of PDR techs over the 20+ years in my field and I’ve seen techs that are passionate about the art of PDR and I’ve seen techs that are mostly motivated by the financial potentials this industry can provide rather than having a customer centered focus. Their determination of service often determines their future success or failure. PDR is not an easy skill to acquire and it requires serious dedication and personal expense to become a true master of the art. Select someone who is serious about the end-result of the repairs and you feel comfortable with working on your car.

Are all PDR companies the same?

Unfortunately, as of now, there are no licensing or performance standards for this industry. This is mostly due to PDR still being in the growing stages as a profession. Deciding on which PDR technician to use based on the cheapest price can often be a mistake, as skill levels vary widely among technicians. See the BAD PDR page for examples of sub-standard workmanship.

What makes for a great repair?

The best repairs are made inside a shop where conditions such as temperature can better be controlled. Trying to work a dent out when the panel is less than 50 degrees F, can cause the paint to crack.

Specially PDR lighting is the best way for a technician to properly work the dent. It’s like placing the repair area under a magnifying glass. Beyond that, it’s the skill set of the technician that really determines the result.  

Our goal is creating an invisible repair.

Is my dent a good candidate for PDR?

Not all dents can be worked out the same way. Newer metals are becoming lighter than vehicles made in the past in order to meet increased fuel economy standards. Here are some examples of conditions we look for when determining in the dent is a good candidate for our process:

  • Depth or sharpness of the dent
  • Obstructions such as sound deadeners or internal bracing
  • Paint conditions / damage to the paint can often indicated a severe stress to the metal
  • Location of the dent – Access to the back side of the dent is important in most cases

Will my dents be 100% gone?

On minor dents, in most cases, yes. The deeper the dent, the more difficult it is to repair. Even on larger dents, most people are amazed at the results

Will my dents come back?

Absolutely not. Once a dent has been removed properly with PDR, it never comes back

Do you drill holes?

No. In most cases items restricting access can carefully be de-trimmed to gain access to the back side of the dent. Another option for us is Glue Pulling or GPDR. In very rare cases a manufactured access is needed as a last resort but this requires customer approval.

Drilling is not permitted with insurance claim repairs.

What about damaged paint?

When the metal flexes from an impact, the paint moves with it and surprisingly has a good degree of flexibility. Sometimes when the energy from the impact travels to a braced area, the paint can crack. This is why we will pay particular attention to hail damage near the edges of the panels when we are documenting a hail claim. In those cases, the panel should be repainted to return the vehicle to its pre-loss condition.

In other cases where maybe the paint was scratched a little from a sharp object hitting the panel, PDR will still be the most economical method of repair. As a courtesy, if you provide us with a bottle of paint touch up for your vehicle, we will we remove as much of the dent as possible and then apply paint touch up the damaged paint. While the dent repair may be completely gone, the touch paint application will not make the paint flaw fully disappear.

A Car dealership is having a hail sale. Is that a good deal?

If dents don’t bother you and you want to save a little money, then the choice is yours and you may save some money.

If you are considering having the vehicle fixed after you make your purchase, then we suggest you proceed with great caution. When a car dealership gets hit with hail damage their insurance covers their inventory for repairs.

They then need to decide what to do with that money and their inventory. Almost immediately after a hail event, storm-chasers will descend upon the affected dealerships looking for work. A bidding war ensues and the dealership will then be able to get their inventory fixed for less money than the insurance company paid out and in most cases it’s a lot less. The storm-chasers then get numerous cars to work on and they will often do this at a very fast pace to make the most money out of the deal as possible. This often leads to technicians cutting corners, not fixing all the dents, interior trim being damaged, etc. Needless to say, most cars are never quite the same after this process and unfortunately most consumers are unaware of this at first.

The most severely damaged cars generally do not get fixed as it would require new panels or roofs so these vehicles are sold off to their customers at a discount but that discount is often way less than what it actually takes to make the car right.

We suggest that if you are really looking to buy car see if you can bring it to our shop for a quick evaluation and then make a business decision from there.

What are storm-chasers?

Hail chasers, or storm chasers are a class of PDR technicians who travel around the country repairing cars at various locations such as body shops, car dealerships and some retail locations. Some are very skilled at their craft and often make a good living from this lifestyle. Others can be a little shady to work with. The ability to move shop and head to the next town can be used as a way to make more money during the short storm season. Some techs even work overseas traveling to other countries for repair based upon the weather patterns. The long term results of their work are not always the deciding factor to the quality or lack of in their repairs. The financial rewards for making more repairs can be highly enticing when they have a limited time to be in one area.

It’s important to choose a PDR shop that is embedded with its community. If a problem with your vehicle should occur after the initial damage was address, it’s always best to know the company you worked with will still be there for you.

How do I know I received a high-quality repair?

The best way to know it to inspect your vehicle under the same lighting used by the PDR technician. Be mindful that when you look at the repaired area in the bright sunlight, you may not see much detail at all of the repair. It’s best to at least look at repaired panel in a fully shaded area and glance off the reflections you see on the paint.

Ultimately our goal is for you to never see any evidence that we had worked on your car.

Can any dent be fixed?

No. The most important factors in determining if a dent can be repaired by PDR are depth and location. Dents the size of a dinner plate or larger can be fixed successfully, as long as they are not too deep. On the other hand, some dents that are as small as a dime but very deep, cannot be fixed using PDR because the metal is too stretched. Cracked paint can also be an indication that a dent is too deep.

Can PDR help me SELL MY CAR?

Ever hear the saying “Image is everything”? Most people judge a car by its appearance. If it looks good they assume it has been well taken care of. Used car dealers and wholesalers know this. They also know what they spend on PDR will make them many times over what they spend, and will help them sell the car quicker. If you’re selling your car, PDR is one of the best ways to get top dollar, more interested buyers, and a quicker sale.

Download our easy claims guide (in PDF format, about 3 MB)