By Mike Atwal
3rd February 2020

A magic wand to fix dents?



Well there is something as good as. A master magician, aka Paintless Dent Removal technician, wielding a wand in the form of a specially shaped bar is what I’m on about.

So what exactly is Paintless Dent Removal? Paintless Dent Removal, PDR, has been around for decades; and manufacturers, insurance companies and savvy car owners have used it to keep their motors pristine.

From hail damaged new cars sitting in their makers storage lots, to a week old car that was the victim of a neighboring supermarket visitor opening their door too wide, PDR can save the day; as long as the paint is not damaged and the panel is fairly original, ie not already full of filler, and of course, is not plastic or carbon fibre.

There is no need for paint, no replacement panels, no annoying uneven panel gaps and not an ounce of body filler in sight. PDR involves massaging, pushing and reshaping the metal work of the panel in question by gaining access to the back of it using specific tools, namely ‘dent bars’ making your car look perfect once again.

Sometimes a door card, light unit, or trim panel can be removed, the PDR rod inserted down the window sill gap, and in rare circumstances where access is impossible for a double skinned panel, a small hole drilled out of sight in a door shut for example, and sealed up afterwards to avoid rust and ingress of water. Mirror boards, glue tabs with a slide hammer, lighting and various size, diameter and shape of PDR bars allow a PDR Master to get the job done.

I want to share the work of stalwart PDR technician Bobby Chahil, who runs Car-Mum.

A BMW with a heartbreaking dent…

I met Bobby in 2001 randomly in Halfords East London; he was rescuing a door on an old Mercedes. The rest is wonderful history because every car I have ever owned has been tickled by Bobby. He was the first person I showed the mighty 8 series to. Bobby also helped me with many a dent during my time at the car club.

Speaking of mums, my mum came to visit me while I explore the motoring scene in Eastern Europe. She loves cars too, so a trip to see all my garage buddies was a nice day out. One stop included a trip to meet Boris, a PDR genius who keeps my rough and tumble Big Six looking sweet.

Boris explained to my mum how he uses the board attached to the Six to create a reflection he can shape the metal back it’s original contour. She was impressed when she saw the nasty pin dent disappear in front of her eyes.

Dent removal is pure artwork, borderline magic when I see it in action, and make no mistake; good PDR technicians are worth their weight in gold and can really save the day, your insurance premium and keep you from losing your car to a dusty bodyshop for days.

Oh, and don’t have a go with a screwdriver to remove a dent; you can guess why I say that…

Anyway, enough about mums and dents for now!

 

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