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The Science of Repairing Auto Body Dents

Somewhere between a barely noticeable tiny scratch and a total loss lies other levels of auto body damage referred to as “dings” or “dents.” Dings and dents are similar in that they both describe auto body damage that is more cosmetic than it is mechanical. While used interchangeably, there is a difference between a ding and a dent. The difference starts with the size of the damage and this, in turn, has implications for whether the sheet metal has been creased, the auto paint damaged, and ultimately the cost of the repair.



Auto Body Dent Repair, Lackey Body Works

A “ding” is usually damage that is 1/2 inch in diameter with the auto paint still intact. Since there is no exposed metal, typically rust is not a concern. Dings can be caused by any of several unremarkable events such as a runaway shopping cart while in a parking lot, being parked too close to another car in a garage, a random pebble driven over at just the right angle to hurtle it towards your car while driving or sustaining hail damage during a storm.


If small enough, a ding might escape notice. Many car owners elect to live with this imperfection. When returning a leased car, many dealers might classify a minor ding under normal “wear and tear” and not tack on any excessive damage fee at lease expiry. Additionally, when selling a car, prospective buyers might not require too much of a discount for a barely visible ding.


There are car owners for whom the ding is more noticeable and it annoys them enough that they want to get it fixed. For those owners, PDR (paintless dent repair) could be a great option. An auto collision repair shop near you can use the PDR process to remove a ding without damaging the paint. Since paintless dent repair does not require repainting, it avoids the cost associated with the labor and material required for paint prep and painting.


“Dents” are dimples that exceed a 1/2 inch in diameter or there are multiple indentations in several areas – particularly when the paint is cracked. If you notice rust from your dent, the need to repair might become more urgent so as to limit further damage. Sanding and smoothing metal (or even possibly replacing the panel) then requires precise paint matching, paint prep, and painting to restore your car to its pre-damage condition.


Auto Body Dent Repair, Lackey Body Works

In those instances when the car operator owns the automobile and has no plan on selling it, then choosing to repair a ding or dent is often a personal preference. However, when selling a car or returning a leased vehicle, then the opinions of others have to be weighed. Auto body repair costs depend on the type of damage. Additionally, the repair time and logistics of getting the car to a collision repair shop near you has to be added to the cost of the repair and then compared to the selling discount or excessive damage fee that third parties might assess. If covered by insurance, then the amount of a deductible and whether the repair will cause a rate increase has to be considered as well.


To make the most fully informed decision, visit a reputable auto collision repair shop to get an accurate quote about the time and cost to repair and whether your insurance policy might be impacted by your decision.

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