On April 15, area residents got an early dose of Mother Nature’s wrath, as a heavy thunderstorms unloaded hailstones as large as golf balls over a wide swath of Eastern Iowa. The resulting damage to vehicles caught outside during the evening storm had many owners cringing, as busy insurance adjusters assessed each fresh dent and cracked windshield.
Thanks to a technique called Paintless Dent Removal (PDR), though, some owners of hail-damaged vehicles will get a pleasant surprise when they take them to their favorite auto body shop for repair.
Mike Chingren of La Porte City’s Black Hawk Auto Refinishers says that making PDR services available at his shop can save his customers both time and money. The technique is especially effective with today’s vehicles, whose flexible metals have “memory” that gives them their many curves, lines, and aerodynamic features. With the right tools and the knowledge of how to use them, well-trained, highly skilled technicians utilize the physical properties of the metal to “massage” the memory back to its original condition. When done properly, the restoration is completed without damaging the primer, paint or clearcoat finish on the vehicle. That means the customer doesn’t have to wait for days for expensive paint work to be completed, nor have several hours of painting labor being tacked onto the bill.
Because Paintless Dent Removal is done best with specialized training and experienced technicians, Chingren utilizes the professional services of dentsmart®, a company with operators located in 16 states, including Iowa. Last week, dentsmart® technicians based in Waterloo worked side by side with Chingren at his shop, located at 1427 East Tama Road, to assess and repair hail-damaged vehicles. While some of the vehicles sustained damage severe enough to require the more traditional repair methods Chingren excels at, one vehicle at Black Hawk Auto Refinishers was completely restored in less than a day, thanks to PDR.
How does PDR work? Chad Homolar, a dentsmart® autobody repair specialist with 24 years of experience and a certified PDR technician, said the process involves using a set of specialized tools along with LED lighting, which illuminates the shadow of each dent on the vehicle’s surface. Once the exact location of the dent is pinpointed, a precise level of pressure is applied from under the surface of the metal to pop it back into its original state.
For more information about Paintless Dent Removal or Black Hawk Auto Refinishers, contact Mike Chingren at 319-342-3000, logon to http://blackhawkautorefinishers.com or visit the Black Hawk Auto Refinishers’ Facebook page.