Think, Grow, Push Metal.
Dent Repair USA's Logo Trade Marked

Dent Repair USA Cost Effective Dent Repairs, Today.

I can get it painted for 10$, why do you charge 20$? We hear it so often we wrote an article: telling you how much we don't care, because we care.

Paintless Dent Repair Doesn't Cost More Than A Body Shop, Even When It Does.

Paintless Dent Repair Doesn't Cost More Than A Body Shop, Even When It Does.

Is it right for you?

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) may not be the answer for your particular repair, but its worth every penny when the stars align. To find out please consider factors that affect access to your dent.

1) Is your dent enclosed on all sides, which may require drilling?
2) Do you have paint-loss, clear coat damage, or is it just transfer from what you struck?
Note: Do not try to fix these yourself, you may make matters worse. If you can touch your dent from behind, you could double the price by pushing on it. We have seen many cases where simple, relatively cheap repair's, turned into nightmare claims, due to customers trying to DIY it.

Once you have established you are ok with those things and want the dent gone, call a professional.

The Pro's

Here are just some of the main positives to PDR

1) If you can get a dent removed with PDR for 100$ and it costs 1$ to paint, your better off spending the 100$. I know it sounds crazy, but its true. A vehicle that has never been painted is worth 15-20% more on resale. Most customers think they will keep their vehicle forever, so resale doesn't really matter, but thats rarely the case. Original factory paint lasts much longer and looks more brilliant. Its the difference between a real diamond and a cubic zirconia.

2) A body shop will never really match your color or orange peel consistently. This is why they must "blend" into undamaged panels (each panel blended hits Carfax as a damaged panel.). Orange peel are those little ripples in the paint, that stand out, when the sun hits it. Just like a diamond, the impression is noticeable and brilliant. Orange peel, looks like little crystals dancing in the sun; it cannot be reproduced outside of the factory. The reason is simple, in the factory, when a vehicle goes through the paint process it doesn't have anything but the outer shell. This allows the baking process to take place at much higher temeratures. If a body shop tried to reproduce these temperatures, it would melt your steering wheel, along with the rest of the interior. Having said that, some bodyshops come close, without the heat. However, its just a band-aide. In truth, thats how most of us define a good painter or a shop -- the quality of the orange peel. Finding a good painter and body shop is even more elusive than finding a good PDR technician, but thats for another post.

3) Time and convenience is a huge plus, but never let that detract from the overall goal of having your car perfect again. Yes, I said perfect.

It Can Be Perfect
Perfect, is a term that you will never hear a body shop say, ever. Perfect is removing your dent like it never happened and leaving your vehicle in an unaffected state. The only thing that may have happened, is some light scratching on the back of the panel, from where we pushed. This primarily includes not disturbing your factory paint. PDR can boast a flawless pre-accident repair. That simple statement, is why dealerships and auctions care deeply about the quality of a PDR technician and are willing to pay a premium to get it. Most dealerships will choose to spend 1000$ to get the PDR repair over a 100$ paint job, because they understand the value of the vehicles. They know something 1 out of 8 people don't, PDR will save them money immediately. Retail customers don't feel that urgency, mainly because they don't deal with automotive values/pricing every day, at least not directly. However, indirectly they do, here is a quick exercise:

Write down how much money you spend on your vehicle every month, multiply that number by .20 or 20%. Take that number and multiply it by the life of your loan, thats your potential loss. Can I have 15-20% of your house, while were at it?

Here is another news flash: your insurance company is not in the business of losing money. Now figure another 2-7% for how "they" are planning on getting paid it back (It doesn't matter if you change policies). So now your starting to understand why PDR exists. PDR is almost always worth more than body work. Sometimes its cheaper on the front end, sometimes not, but its always cheaper. You don't have to listen now, but you will listen. So if your getting a price on the front end that rivals the body shop, don't let it come as a shock.

PDR Could Be A Huge Mistake, For You

Most dent removals are 50-75% less than body shop costs. However, when dealing with larger damage over 5-10 inches, that is not always the case. PDR has its place within body repairs and it may be right for you, but it also could be a huge mistake. The only way to know for sure is by getting an estimate from a reputable dent repair company, as a first step. A good technician is going to level with you. They will tell you what they can do, what they cannot do, and why its a good or bad decision to use them. This is where certifications come into play, integrity and accountability.

Push-to-Paint: Fender Analogy Part I

Lets talk about the value of a push-to-paint job, which might be perfect for your needs. Push-to-paint is simply that. PDR will get the dent close enough to save a panel from being replaced, reduce body shop time, saving you time and money. Here are a few items you need to know, about push-to-paint:
If a fender costs 350$ new, it costs 200$ to remove and reinstall the damaged fender. That is, 550$ just to get a new fender put on without repainting. Not including, loss of time, rental car prices, or the general aggravation, which you may care about. If a PDR technician can save the fender from those three prices and not fully solve your problem, it is still worth 550$. Your vehicle will look better and you wont need to replace the fender when the time comes.
Its a win-win, but its also a small conciliation.
The real money comes when you hire a high quality technician. Bodyshops, auto dealers, and auctions have known this since the early 80's and PDR has grown in lockstep with the auto industry, as a result.
If your going to roll the dice, your better off putting some real skin in the game. If you hire the right tech and you pay them what they are asking, they may just shock you. If they are able to effect a perfect repair or get into the invisible zone, you just saved big. The more experienced the technician, the more likely you are to encounter the later. If an individual is giving you a price hundreds of dollars lower than other competitive companies in the region, you can almost always guarantee that your about to waste your time and money. However, this doesn't mean that you wont save money or at least break even from a body shop or "push-to-paint" perspective. Unfortunately, that may not really help your situation.

More Money Often Reflects Quality

Real techs don't have time for lowballers. Have you noticed how many small PDR companies have ten times the five star reviews, as multi-million dollar body shops? Those numbers are no accident. Most of these reviews on Google and Yelp are a result of retail customers coming into contact with dealership savings. That is, they met a tech and saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Since retail customers represent between 5-25% of most route techs yearly income, be assured, they don't care about haggling over 10$. Ive seen techs refuse to work or charge more because of low ballers. Simply put, if you cant afford it, wait till you can. All of this to say, pricing fluctuations of PDR technicians and companies reflect quality. Maybe you don't care now, but you might later, and buyers remorse translates into "no" or "poor reviews" online.

Fender Analogy Part II

Going back to our fender analogy, here are two additional reasons why it many not be worth it.

1) Every body-man, i.e. the technician who is responsible for applying fillers and sanding, has different preferences. One body-man may prefer you leave the damage a little high, so he/she can sand down a little bit; another may prefer that you leave it a tad low, so he/she can start by laying a thin layer of filler. All of that to say, you may not be saving that 550$ in its entirety, if your PDR technician doesn't know your body-man needs and style of repair. It may take that body-man an hour to fix the damage to his/her preference and those dollars will roll over to your bill (Count on it, 50$).

2) Access holes. Often times, the only way to access a dent is by drilling small holes. Regardless of how well placed, you still have a hole in the vehicle, that was not created by the factory; from an auction and dealership perspective, holes do not affect the value of your vehicle. There are two major exceptions to this rule. First, two holes drilled within two inches of one another. Second, drilling holes into the unibody where they clearly do not belong. A great example would be, a roof rail where a hole is placed in the jam.

To add to the confusion, there are many fake dent operations that give estimates to fix your dent at huge discounts, because they want to meet your needs. This is a good thing from a consumer perspective, if you consider the above mentioned issues and they do what they say they can. However, this is rarely, if ever the case. If the PDR tech is really worth his/her salt, why are they in your driveway, working for 70% cheaper than everyone else in the same industry? The answer is a simple one, after all.


Dentology: Creating Rules from Mapping Microdynamics

A structural analysis of microdynamics


Dentology, is a branch of auto body repair, dealing with the removal of minor pressure blemishes to metal, through a scientific method, commonly referred to as paintless dent repair. It deals with, but is not limited to, the process of restructuring metal on a vehicle to its original state, after a minor impact or push.
Dentology primarily deals with two types of dents, perforated and protruding, with two primary causes dynamic denting and quasi-static denting; together, they contain endless subcategories and varieties. This branch, defines a dent or ding as any discontinuity to a panels resistance and stiffness from its original factory setting. Which is typically created by hail damage (dynamic denting), or by structural frame resistance caused from "door slamming" to the outer shell (quasi-static denting).

Mapping Micro and Macrodynamics

Dents are further defined by size factor mapping: breath, length, depth, location, metallurgical alloys, paint, structural obstructions, and environmental variations. The size factor mapping of a dent, is primarily focused on the shape and form of this discontinuity. Perforated dynamic denting is by far the most common, defined as pushes from the outside in, and caused by a number of factors that a vehicle will encounter, from the outside world. Protruding dynamic denting is far more rare, at least as a stand alone: often accompanying large dents when bracing is struck from pushing the outer shell into the bracing. That is to say, together these two types of dents create macrodynamics, which is the study of complex dented structures as it relates to dentology and microdynamics, which deals with simple dented structures.

Mapping the Origin

Microdynamics deals with the most basic shapes encountered within dentology: namely, triangles and circles. Since triangle dents are by far the most complex of the two, lets briefly touch on their structure. The contour of the origin both laterally and diagonally, is the deepest point of the origin; its caused by the shape of object that struck the panel, in this case triangular. The path of the object which struck the panel affects the depth of the dent and angle of the strike vertically and laterally. This is important because it helps up reverse engineer the damage at least in theory. The process of reverse engineering a dent is known as reversing the origin, while the entire process of identifying the contour of the origin is called mapping the origin or simply, mapping. Either way, mapping's entire purpose is to reverse the origin. When dealing with triangles we start with the trench.

The Trench

The trench or "path of the origin" of a crease is the lateral origin along its length and includes any and all damage attached along its line. The trench does not refer to the bottom of the crease as a whole, but rather the entire damage to include the teardrop or point of entry. These trenches have walls which are attached to the undamaged portion of the repair surrounding the crease. This is referred to as the bank or simply the embankment. The embankment, although relatively flat is still affected by the crease due to the displacement of metal, which we will not be covering here. Perforated and protruding creases are vertical structures defined by the origin and its relation to medial embankment angles. A crease has two separate origins. 1) the lateral origin which is the trench or lowest point that runs with the direction of the impact. 2) medial origin, which starts on one side of the trench and runs to the other high side of the trench through the origin. The vertical mean is always cut in half and creates two right angles cutting through the center of the crease. This allows us to mathematically determine the exact angle of the origin, based upon the medial origin and hypotenuse embankment. The medial origin has two medial embankment angles on each side determined by the angle of the origin, for brevity sake we call them alpha/bravo banks. As a result we can begin to define rules, such as: 1) Do not fold the embankment over the origin. 2) Always open the embankment instead of closing. 3) Make passes on the lateral origin along the path of the origin. Just to name a few.


A Dent Repair Fable: The Factory, The Specialist, and the Painter

A Dent Repair Fable: The Factory, The Specialist, and the Painter

There are many types of Paintless Dent Repair technicians, just like in any other line of work. For example, a man may be a baker at a factory, but that doesn't necessarily help all customers out. If someone needed a birthday cake for a loved one, they may ask the factory worker, to make them a cake: lets say he charged 20$, for the trouble. If they don't care about the quality of the cake, all of the special trimmings or taste, then that cake may have been a perfect choice for them. Many dealerships, large dent repair companies, and auctions fall under this category. Its often hallmarked by extremely low pay for the factory worker, golden handcuffs, and poor quality repairs.

Now lets look at another type of baker: the specialty baker. Someone who has dedicated their life to baking nothing but the very best little treats. They have perfected every recipe and built a large local clientele. They have honed recipes over decades to bring his/her customers the very best. Often this means staying on the cusp of new innovations and tools, working extremely long hours solving problems with newer techniques, and staying in community with the worlds best technicians.

Its safe to say that the specialist is in a completely different world, than the the factory baker. In fact, its not even the same sport. The customer is looking for a home run from a pro, but they find a wall of misguided information. They don't know what to do, so they do what anyone would: they look for the best price tag. They ignore the throngs of positive reviews for the specialty baker, once they see what he charges. They walk away angry and upset with the specialty baker and go back to the factory baker. Feeling pleased with themselves they pay the 20$, again. The wedding day comes and when the cake is presented, its no better than the birthday cake. Its a complete disappointment. They then run to the specialty baker for a solution but to their dismay, the price is even higher: so they turn to the real villain.

Now lets move that analogy into the realm of Paintless Dent Repair (PDR). There are hundreds of auction, dealership, and commercial paintless dent repair technicians, and their primary goal is to bake 20$ birthday cakes. They even celebrate their extremely low costs, but there is something hidden in those low cost (Your getting exactly what you paid for, factory cake). They have built their entire endeavor around making dents "look different", but that may not help you when the wedding day comes, and its your 50,000$ vehicle on the line. However, there is much more to this story: namely the body shop or painter.

The terrible truth is, when dealerships and auctions, are hard pressed for a perfect PDR repair, they often call in the specialist. The stakes could not be higher, especially when it comes to the safety of your vehicle. Specialty technicians do cost more, but the results are lightyears apart from the factory worker. There is good reason why the specialty tech has throngs of reviews and positive feedback, namely huge savings. You see there is a villain in this story and its not the factory or specialty tech, its the Painter.

The painter wants to charge 6000$ and run your wedding ceremony, along with your line of credit (to your insurance company). They want to hold your cake for months at a time, and wave at you from behind a telephone. To make matters worse, many body shops don't do what they say they will. Its very important to take your vehicle to another Body Shop after they finish, to ensure you got a good job. In truth, the painter is not actually doing you a better job in some cases.
In reality, he is not baking you a cake at all. He is ripping your cake apart and putting it back together with his fingers and a scapulae: you see, this is, in fact, why he cant just bake your cake all alone. He must also recreate the plate it's sitting on, by shattering it. I know it sounds crazy, but that is whats happening, in many cases. Since they cannot get a perfect match on your cake, they simply "blend" everything else around it to make it look the same. This unfortunately damages the value of your vehicle, all of your perfect cake is now repainted (To create the illusion that your damaged portions "look" similar.).

And this is why Specialty Paintless Dent Repair Technicians exist.



Never Purchase Dent and Ding Protection

Hello, Im a Paintless Dent Repair technician and Ive "closed out" thousands of repairs, from all of the major dent and ding policies. Notice that I didn't say, fulfilled, I said "closed out". That is because over 80% of those making claims are being denied for a two main reasons. One, its not in the techs best interest to fix the dent (No fiscal motivation to repair or deal with the paperwork). Two, the guard plan, does not cover the damage. Don't purchase a product that you don't need, from a third party that doesn't fix dents, for something you cant use if they did. Here are several major carriers to avoid: 

1. Safe-Guard 
2. Vanguard 
3. DentGuard 
4. AutoNation
5. Ding Shield
6. Dent Zone
7. Auto Body Guard
8. Signature Finish
9. The Warranty Group
10. IAS Direct

Five Reasons To Never Buy A Dent Protection Package

1. Your already covered: don't waste money on a false sense of additional protection. New car buyers must have automotive insurance that covers major and minor damage. When you get a automotive insurance policy, you also get a primary handler in your region: they will help you solve these little dents when they arise. Therefore, you don't need to feel trapped by your lack of understanding within the auto body and paintless dent repair industries.Your insurance adjuster will know local dent repair shops that can meet your needs, without filing a claim and damaging your premiums. In a nutshell, don't let fear be your reason for paying too much for a dent and ding policy, you don't need. 

2. These programs run on typical bait and switch tactics. In short, they do not protect consumers, like they say they do, or in the way that claimants need to be covered. The wording on the policies are very slick and if you are not paying attention to the fine print, you will get taken to the cleaners. Claimants often think that all of their dents and dings are covered, but once they get a dent, they learn the harsh truth too late. For example, a three inch crease, caused by someone opening a car door into yours, is not covered by most of these policies. To be clear, these policies are not willing to pay out for typical damaged locations, aluminum uncharges, typical bracing obstructions, and removal or installation of parts: which is often required to do the job right. They are not committing fraud, but they are offering a promise that you don't actually need, wrapped in a guise of something that you will need. 

3. Dent Protection policies are often separate from the dent repair industry. That is to say, most of these companies are not in the automotive industry. In fact, they are clueless about pricing and quality for paintless dent repairs. They have no industry standards about who they hire to repair your car! The amount you spend on coverage, would be better saved to hire a professional, when or if, you get a dent in the future. There are four primary certifications for paintless dent repair technicians. Click one of these links and search for a local technician below. If you cannot find one in your area, simply call the closest tech on one of these lists -- they can help you find the right person in your area. 

3. VALE 
4. ARK

4. Claimants do not have a choice about who works on their vehicle. In the mid 60's, within the body shop industry, many Federal and State laws were written in hostility towards "steering" practices. These were enacted, to protect consumers from the type of activity, these "protection policies" promote. Today, large automotive insurance companies cannot "steer you" to a preferred shop, because its illegal. Why purchase a plan, that will 100% lock you into that failed system? You can only image what was really happening within the bodyshop industry during the 1950's: insurance companies were controlling the shops and cutting every corner possible to increase their financial position. As a result this led to shady work that didn't have vehicle safety in mind. These dent protection programs bypass these laws by being a club like AARP or AAA. Make no mistake, your not "insured", you're just joining a club. All this club really does is contact a paintless dent repair company, something you can do for free. They assume they are going to get commercial pricing from quality technicians due to their commercial status, but that is changing rapidly. As more consumers learn about the value of paintless dent repair, the prices are increasing nationwide. As a result, dent protection clubs are hiring anyone who says they can repair your dent, for cut rate deals. As a result, you are paying triple the normal cost of these repairs, for the worst possible outcome. They do not have their "club members" best interests at heart, they are only concerned with their profit margins. 

5. Its a profit generating powerhouse for dealerships, not a dent repair service for customers. Why can consumers only get these policies at the time they purchase a new vehicle? The answer is a simply one after all - it points to the real motivation, money. It should be noted that most dealerships employees, do not know these truths, they are just employees selling a product they know nothing about: if they knew, they would not sell it. You will also find that many small dealerships do not sell these policies, usually because the owners understand these clubs and cannot afford negative reviews, since their customer base is so small. In a large corporation, however, its easier for these problems to get lost. When a real complaint is filed, its simply pushed over onto the club: where it rightfully belongs. In the end, its just a vicious cycle of wasted time and money for the customer. 

Lets do a bit of math to illustrate what is really going on: the average large dealership is selling 40-120 cars a month and around 25% of those purchasing a Dent Protection, of some kind. At the very minimum, that equals about 10 policies signed per month, which cost a minimum of 500$-2500$ each, for the consumer. That equals about 25,000$ a month and the dealership receives about 30-40% of that, over the life of the loan. On a low month, a dealership can hope to earn around 7500$ from selling just 10 policies! A claim center earns around 17,500$ a month from a single dealership, with their 60-70%. They can expect to claim less than 10% of those policies over the life of the club membership, for a total of 1750$, outgoing claims. Traditionally, they refuse to pay anything over 50% of the market price to local technicians. The average dent or ding costs around 150$ to repair, but they are only willing to pay out 75$. As a result, most qualified technicians, don't have time to fulfill these claims: they simply cannot afford it and its not worth their time. This waste of time typically comes in two forms: One, claimants often have damage that is not covered by the club policy. The technician is not paid for determining that your claim doesn't fall into the category of the club policy. Since most claims are denied its a huge waste of resources for small business owners. Two, dealing with these companies are a huge waste of time from a logistical perspective: paperwork, multiple phone calls, sending images back and forth, specialized forms for each company, and then the tech might get paid in 90 days. 

In closing, please save your money and call a paintless dent repair company, if you ever get a dent. Don't join fake clubs, use google yourself.


Middle Management at Dent Wizard Accidentally Does Two Consecutive Hours of Work.

Melissa Hamm reported this Friday she noticed that a flustered Dent Wizard manager, named Matt, accidentally worked two consecutive hours in a work day. The only other time that he had worked this hard was in 1995, when a technician accidentally ran out of glue. It was reported that the manager didn't mind, but was worried his tech would actually see him. He further admitted, his previous job as a box stacker for Catoes Sports Wear, was more demanding, but he had grown accustom to his new lifestyle. Apparently, his role as manager, just includes telling his technicians how little money he makes compared to them. It has been reported that this will not happen again and the issue has been resolved without further incident.
 Page 1  >>