Cosmetic vehicle damage happens to everyone sooner or later. It's never fun to see your pride and joy looking banged up or scratched up, and usually the first thing on your mind is getting the damaged repaired. For modern auto body repair, there are a wealth of options for fixing damage to paint and body panels. Which is best for your particular situation will depend on the type and severity of the damage as well as your budget. The two most common options are traditional repair and paintless dent repair.
What is Traditional Auto Body Repair?
Traditional repair work generally involves bending or replacing panels, using filter, and ultimately repainting the affected sections. This traditional type of repair is usually used when the damage is severe and there are no other options available. Since panels will sometimes have to be replaced entirely, the parts of cost of extensive repairs of this type can sometimes be prohibitive. Additionally, repair work of this type always necessitates that the panels be repainted. A quality paint job isn't cheap, and you can expect the bulk of labor costs to come from surface preparation.
What is Paintless Dent Repair?
As the name implies, this is a type of body repair that involves fixing dents to panels without repainting the panel at all. Although paintless dent repair isn't new, modern techniques are far more advanced than even those used several decades ago. Paintless dent repair tends to be cheaper than traditional repairs since parts are not replaced and no surface prep is needed since the panels will not be repainted. Additionally, your car retains its factory finish and the final result is generally a surface that is indistinguishable from its original condition.
Is Paintless Dent Repair Better?
Paintless dent repair serves a fundamentally different purpose from traditional repair work, so whether it is better will depend largely on the type of damage that your vehicle has suffered. If the metal is creased or broken or the paint itself is damaged, then paintless dent repair is not an option. Since these techniques rely on repairing dents without spraying the surface at all, the paint in the damaged area must be intact and in good condition to achieve a good result. When this isn't the case, traditional repair techniques are the way to go.
Of course, real world damage is almost never this simple. If your vehicle was involved in a collision, then it is likely to have suffered damage across multiple panels. In these cases, it is often necessary to conduct extensive repairs on the panels that are most seriously affected while using paintless dent repair techniques for lighter damage on other panels. Because there are so many techniques available and the costs between them vary, it is always important to have a comprehensive estimate of damage to your vehicle performed by a competent auto body repair shop.