How complex dents are removed:
Paintless dent removal on large and complicated damage
I recently had the opportunity to remove a relatively large parking lot dent from the quarter panel of a Toyota Rav 4 and filmed some great before and after shots of the repair. Dents like these happen often and are usually the result of low speed collisions in parking lots, driveways, and in areas where cars are parked along the road. When vehicles get hit on a rounded or curved area of a panel, a large caved-in dent is typically the result. With today’s thinner sheet metal and vehicle design, it doesn’t take much force to get a big dent in your car!
At first glance, removing this dent might look pretty straight forward as at certain angles it looks like a clean soft cave. I often have people ask if dents like these can be removed with a suction cup or sometimes “a plunger with hot water” as many diy youtube videos have featured. I certainly would love it if that would do the trick but to get a quality repair and restore the complete shape of the panel, there are a few factors that need attention.
The problem is that many larger dents on today’s cars are complicated. They have creases, trapped pressure, displacement, and edge damage. All of which need to be addressed in their own way to gradually bring the mass of the dent out.
Paintless Dent Removal Tools Used:
- Special PDR rods with different shaped tips to apply pressure to the inside of the dent.
- Tapping or “knock down” tools on the outside of the panel.
- Adhesive or “glue pulling” system
Now let’s get back to the plunger 😉
I can assure you that while a glue pulling system was in fact used for this dent removal, no toilet plungers, suction cups, hot water, or dry ice was used to remove this dent. Glue pulling systems have however become a popular diy theme on dent removal videos and many at home kits are available on-line. They are an effective tool in the hands of an experience paintless dent repair technician but could spell trouble if used the wrong way or if the glue tabs are applied to the wrong area. For this dent I slowly relieved the trapped pressure by strategically placing glue tabs in specific areas and carefully pulling them out. It might seem like a good idea to stick something to the center point of impact of this dent and giv’r a yank! But that would likely have trapped the metal into the edges and made it very difficult to get a clean finish on the dent afterward.
After the bulk is mostly relieved the creased areas, factory body line, and edge damage need to be carefully massaged out while tapping down the displacement or high crowns at the edges of the dent concurrently.
So the dent won’t just “pop” out?
Unfortunately the likelihood of a large or small car dent popping out completely is very low. Many viral videos show quick releases or “pops” on dents but are usually clever with their camera angles to avoid showing left over imperfections. While in some cases a successful “pop” can happen, there are usually unsightly waves, highs and lows left over that need accurate pushing and tapping to be corrected.
Here’s the before and after video for this dent
This before and after paintless dent removal video was filmed in London, Ontairo Canada. Despite the some of the difficult characteristics of the damage we were able to remove the dent with a smooth high-quality finish and save the customer over half the cost of having the dent repaired and refinished at an automotive body shop. This video is not a step-by-step or “how-to” video. Rather it is just a before and after showcase.
For paintless dent repair services in London ON and surrounding area, feel free to contact us for a free estimate or a repair appointment. Thanks for watching!