Paintless dent repair or (PDR), paintless dent removal, or Dent repair. All describes a method of repairing minor dents from the body of a vehicle's exterior sheet metal surface. A wide range of damage can be repaired using PDR as long as the paint has not been damaged. PDR may be used on both aluminum and steel body panels.
The most common practical use for PDR is the repair of hail damage, door dings, minor creases, large dents, bodylines dents and creases.
The method can also be utilized to prepare a damaged panel for repainting by minimizing the use of body filler to add more quality to the repair. This technique is currently known as "push to paint" or "push for paint" and is a preferred method in the autobody and paint refinishing industry.
Limiting factors for a successful repair using PDR include the access of the damage from behind, and the flexibility of the paint (most of today's automotive finishes allow for successful PDR due to their flex inhibitors) and the extent to which the metal has been stretched or creased by the damage, which depends on the thickness of the metal, the shape or flatness where the damage occurred and the intensity of debris impact. Mainly, the shallower the dent, the greater the likelihood of paintless dent repair being a suitable option. Even dents several inches in diameter can be repaired by this method as long as the metal and paint are not stretched too far past repair ability. Most experienced paintless dent repair technicians can repair a shallow large dent or crease to an acceptable level, but very sharp dents and creases may not be suitable for PDR and may have to go the conventional auto body and paint route.