By Rob McDowell, the PDR Professor.

How does paintless dent repair work?

The process involves accessing the backside of the panel and pushing the dent up a little bit at a time, using special tools and a lot of training. An accomplished technician can see movement under the panel the size of a sharpened pencil tip.

Don’t you just use a suction cup like what they sell on TV?

No, the suction tool sold on TV only works on large dents. And then it doesn’t remove it completely. We do use a version of the hot glue dent puller but only for dents that cannot be reached from behind. This tool is also sold on TV but it always pulls the dents up to a high spot. You trade one ugly flaw for another. One of the most difficult parts of repairing a dent is to take down those high spots… we have an expensive tool to do this, along with a trained eye.

What kind of training is needed to perform paintless dent repair?

Training involves months of practice on junk panels before any tech is ready to work on real cars. The tech learns how to work the dent from underneath while watching the top surface.
This process requires a high level of hand-eye coordination that must be mastered or the results can be disastrous. The only other profession I can think of that requires this much coordination is a doctor doing microsurgery. If you knew that you needed risky surgery, wouldn’t you want the doctor who had performed that procedure many thousands of times? In the case of your car the paint is what’s at risk. If the paint is cracked by an inexperienced tech, the future value of your car will be affected.

I have been training PDR technicians since 2001 and currently a global leader in training PDR technicians worldwide. My academy the Recon Master School of Dents has many graduates doing quality repair work.

The other local Dent Company says my car can’t be done paintless, should I get a second opinion?
Yes. We have had many customers who found out their car could be done using our advanced techniques. Just as some doctors continue their education and try to stay on the cutting edge of their profession, dent repair is an ever-changing business. We have techs that have traveled the world learning the most closely held secrets of fixing bigger and sharper dents.

Why did a body shop tell me paintless repair is bad for my car and will cause problems later?
Bad dent repair sticks out like a sore thumb! Good dent repair can’t be seen by anyone, not even body shop experts. So when a car with bad dent repair comes into their shop they really see it and remember it. If a good dent repair has been done, they won’t even know it has ever been touched.

What about fly-by-night companies that have appeared on every corner?

You have to make an informed decision about who to use. Our job is to give you the knowledge to make a good decision. The reality is that there is no way of knowing how good a company or tech is without doing a lot of checking. Cracked paint is the biggest risk of using an unknown shop or tech. The required temperature for this procedure is at least 68 degrees. Lower than this and paint cracks very easily. Working in a tent outside in winter is just asking for cracked paint. Ask questions and look for an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and that will reduce most of the concern about a quality shop and repair. Recon Master has had an A+ BBB rating since 2001.

My insurance company has referred me to a body shop that is renting space to a dent company from outside the state; won’t they be a good place?
The short answer to this is maybe. You see paintless dent repair is not completely understood even by body shops or they would have their own techs doing it. The untrained management may not know what good or bad work is. Also, body shops are only making a small percentage off of what the out of town paintless companies do. We have seen first hand where body shops will have everything fixed paintless except for the hood because as the shop manager says, “we want to make some money too!” For you it’s best to avoid any painting if you can because paintwork done on a car drastically reduces its resale value. Ask questions and look for an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and that will reduce most of the concern about a quality shop and repair. Recon Master has had an A+ BBB rating since 2001.

What about warranty?

Most body shops and some independent hail repair companies offer warranties on their repairs. Recon Master, LLC. Guarantees that the paint will not be harmed and warrants the repair for as long as you own the car. This is the longest warranty in the industry. Any warranty is only good as the company behind it. Also you will want to consider how difficult it will be to use the warranty if necessary.

I have friends that pocketed hundreds of dollars when they had their hail damaged car repaired by paintless dent repair before, how much will I get to keep?
In years past it was not uncommon for the customer to actually make money on their claim. What made that possible was the way insurance companies would write estimates. They used to write them as if every car needed plastic filler and paint on all the dents. These estimates were almost always higher than performing paintless dent repair. Insurance companies have gotten smarter lately. Their goal in a large storm like this is to pay out as little as possible. Because they know that paintless dent repair is a high quality, low risk, fast repair for many of the damaged cars, they now write estimates based on using this type of repair. They also know that about half of the cars they write checks for will never get repaired. So their intent is to give away as little as possible. What does this mean for you? It means that there is a good chance that you will come away with a low check that wouldn’t really cover the cost of any repair. The good news is that not every insurance company writes estimates for paintless repair and may still give you a high check. If this happens for you, congratulations!

What if my insurance check is too low to cover cost of repairs?

If this happens we will be able to get the extra amount required from your insurance company. This is called a supplement. The only amount you will be responsible for is the deductible.

Why is my check made out to me and the bank I make my payments to?

The insurance companies do this for two reasons. First, they hate to give money away to people who don’t use that money to fix their cars. The second reason has to do with the interest your bank or lien holder has in your vehicle. If you owe money on your car the bank wants to make sure the value of the car stays at a certain level. If it is damaged in a wreck or hailstorm, the bank really wants it fixed. Because of the high level of trust we have with our customers and insurance companies we can resolve the two party check issue without any grief on your part. If you haven’t gotten a check yet and know you want the best company to fix your car, tell your insurance adjuster to make the check to you and Recon Master. Give us a call at 888-251-4639 and we will help you do this.

I think my damage is below my deductible, should I still turn in a claim?

Yes! You may have more damage then you think and some insurance companies are still writing estimates based on body shop type repairs. This could mean they might issue a check high enough to cover the repair even though your deductible is high. If the estimate is lower than your deductible you can cancel the claim at any time.

Won’t this make my insurance cost go up or get me cancelled as a policyholder?

Insurance companies are not allowed to raise rates for any one person or family because of what is called “and act of God”. Hailstorms fall into this designation. If they were to raise rates, they would do so for everyone in your zip code. If you hit a tree with your car that could be your fault, but you didn’t cause the hailstorm. Not turning it in only helps the insurance company.

How long will it take to repair?

Some cars can be repaired in as little 1–2 days, with the heaviest damaged cars taking approximately 5–7 days.

How long before I can get my car in?

It depends on how soon you schedule. If you know that you want the only local company to offer the strongest warranty, with the best reputation, you must call now to reserve your appointment for repair. Call Recon Master at 888-251-4639.

Any other questions you may have, please check out the frequently asked questions page on www.reconmaster.com website. You can email me at reconmaster@icloud.com or call my office at 888-251-4639. I look forward to serving you.