You can try to park in the middle of an empty lot, far from other cars. But let's face it: door dings are inevitable. Back in the day, there was one option for removing car dents, right? Take it down to the local body shop and prepare to fork over a chunk of change. These days we have paintless dent removal, and it can be a car owner's best friend.
How do they do it?
I was wondering the same thing when I first heard about it, so I had a local fella come do a little surgery on my own ride. (He’s a “mobile” technician, so I got the work done right in my driveway.) He told me it’s all about understanding the shape of the dent. That’s why he uses these special lights and mirrors to get a real good look at what kind of dent he’s dealing with.
Then he pulls out the tools, and the whole thing turns into a real art form. The metal wants to go back to its original state, you see, but it needs some coaxing. My guy likes to tap around the perimeter of the dent with a special blunt hammer; your guy might use a different technique.
Just make sure he’s got experience and good customer reviews, because it’s a little unsettling to see someone hammering away at your pride and joy.
Does it really work?
I knew you’d ask, and the answer is yes. My goodness, yes. As long as the dent doesn’t have a big old crease in the middle or something like that, a skilled paintless dent repair man can make your metal look like new. A couple of my dents, I thought there was no way that one guy with a toolbox could fix ‘em, but now I can’t hardly remember where they were. That’s how good the results can be.
How much does it cost?
Paintless dent repair cost varies by contractor and region, but I can tell you that I had about ten dents removed all over the car, and my bill came to $300. Now that’s a pleasant surprise. And if you’ve just got one or two you want taken out, it could be as cheap as $50-100.
As for those body shops I used to go to, well, I think they charged me $500 just for walking through the door. Put it this way, I’ve never been pleasantly surprised by a body shop bill, and I bet you haven’t, either.
Find a reputable paintless dent removal technician and make an appointment. It’s a game-changer. Mind you, I still give other cars a wide berth in the parking lot, but if that plan gets foiled, I know who to call.
Have you used a paintless dent removal technician lately? How'd it go? Leave us a comment.