There are times I go to a call and I can't believe what I'm seeing! I have seen people try to fix their car themselves using a plunger or a 2x4 to pull/push the dent out. And other times they have hired someone and it didn't go well; usually for one of the following reasons:
- the tech was in a hurry and pushed little "pimples" into the panel. This happens a lot!
- the tech got frustrated that the repair was not going well and left them with an unfinished dent or even worse repair.
- the tech drilled a hole in their brand new car to get easy access to panel.
So, how can you tell difference between a bad tech and a good PDR tech?
It seems there is a common theme when things do not go well. The tech was in a hurry or impatient. In my experience these techs are cheaper, but focus on speed, not quality. They will drill holes to get to a dent quickly. They tend to focus on dealerships and other wholesale jobs that don't want to pay a lot, but also don't expect a perfect repair. If the dent is not completely removed it is "ok" since there is a good chance the new buyer won't notice the repaired area.
On the other hand, a good tech has patience and will take the time to make it right. A great tech is a perfectionist and likes to work with everyday people. People that take pride in their car. People that want the dent completely removed, 100%. These techs drill holes for access only if there is absolutely no other way to get to the dent. Finding someone with previous automotive experience is a plus, they have extensive knowledge of the car and will not be afraid to pull down a headliner or remove a taillight or even a door to get to a dent, rather than drill a hole. The cost is a little higher, but in the end, the quality of repair is worth it.
Next time you call a PDR tech, ask where they do most of their business, are they fully Insured and a NYS Registered Repair Business. Check references and reviews. If they stress how fast they are or how cheap they are, be wary. If the first thing they do is pull out a drill, go get a second opinion. An educated consumer is the best consumer.