Our Blog Page
Our latest news, info and ramblings about hail repair, dent removal, and hail damage insurance information.
Our latest news, info and ramblings about hail repair, dent removal, and hail damage insurance information.
Denver Hail Damage Repair: With all the hail that’s happened in Denver this year it’s hard to decide who to send your car to for repairs.
Fortunately I have some good info for you about this matter. We have put together this page so that you can make a better more informed decision before taking your vehicle to a repair facility. There are many choices when it comes to getting your car repaired and the best choice is not always the most obvious. Many think that just because their dealership sold them the vehicle that they will have the best option. This could not be further from the truth as often times dealerships are working with the cheapest most inexpensive repair technicians out there. Many times these technicians are out of towners and hired simply because they will do the cheapest job for the dealership. I’m not saying that these PDR technicians are not capable of quality work but they are not doing it for the dealership as they have a deal where they are doing the work for the very least as possible. The other common misconception is that a body shop will have the best results but this also cannot be further from the truth.
You see the bodyshop does not have a PDR technician that is on the payroll. Instead they use subcontracted PDR technicians that are there to help out with the hail damage. These people have nothing to do with the body shop and you might think ” why wouldn’t the body shop just hire someone and have them on hand?” Well that is because many good PDR technicians make in 2-3 months chasing hail what many body shop technicians make in a year so it’s very difficult to keep a good one on the payroll. The best and most consistent option on hiring someone to repair your hail damage here in Denver is to go with a local PDR company that specializes in hail dents. These company’s are easy to find but do your home work and filter out bought reviews as many of these companies have a lot of money and can just hire people to give them reviews. Instead look to get one recommended or go and meet the owners of some of these places and ask a lot of questions.
What to think of first when trying to find one of these PDR shops:
The first thing to think about is; if the PDR company you are dealing with is local or some circus show that’s just here to make money and leave. Many of these paintless dent repair companies are here to make a buck and will be gone tomorrow. There is a big difference in the quality of work on your hail damaged vehicle. Some mistakes you will not be able to notice till months or years later. It’s very important when choosing a company to go local.
Hail Repair Tents:
These are the tents you see pop up in parking lots, I’m talking about the tents where repairs are actually being made. Most all tents are ran by people from out of town and will be here one day and gone the next. You must ask yourself if this is the type of people you want to trust your hail damaged car to? These companies are mostly here for the first swarm of hail cars and will fly by night. They will take the money and run and leave all the arising problems that they caused to be fixed by local PDR companies.
The local PDR company LIES!:
Many of these out of town companies will buy temporary phone number to seem local and will flat out lie to their customers and claim to be local right to their face. Here today gone tomorrow companies are always coming and going from Denver. These companies are here to make a quick buck and then will leave, leaving all the problems they caused to be fixed by local companies. Problems like R&I problems,
The body shops for PDR:
All good pdr technicians/companies will be subcontracted by the body shop. Many body shops will use local pdr companies but often have to settle for anyone that comes through their doors to handle repairs as they are in much need of these repair when hail hits. You would think there is someone on staff at all times to do hail repairs but the fact of the matter is: This type of damage is not as commonplace as collision for them so they lack the resources to keep a PDR worker on hand. If they handle your repair themselves there will always be a devaluing of your car at the very least. It’s just 2 totally different things for them and they lack the skill to properly repair hail without messing your car up for good. (more on this latter)
Hail Removal @ Dealership:
Think you’re doing the right thing by taking your car to a dealership because “they will know how to do the repairs best” In-fact they simply hire technicians just like body shops except charge more to hail damage technician then bodyshops so you will see a decrease in quality from all dealerships. They care much less about dealing with local technicians as they are pure profit driven for these types of repairs whereas the body shops have more of a respect for their hail customers. Do not trust dealership auto body shops to do your hail repair because the quality is about 5-6 out of 10 every single time.
So who do I trust for my hail damage in Denver?
Trust local (PDR) companies with a reputable name in the business. Don’t look so much at how many reviews they might have but look more for genuine people that have been in the business for longer than 10 years. Many companies and brands might be new but the owners and operators are not. Go and meet them and find out what they are about and see how they fell to you. Don’t trust someone just because of reviews because there is so much money in the industry that many of these companies just hire people to give them good reviews. Reviews are very hard to come by and it’s not uncommon to find a company that has been in business for 10 years to only have a handful of reviews or no reviews for that matter. On the same token it is now not uncommon to find a company that has been around for just months and have over 50 reviews and that is simply because they payed for them in one way or another. These reviews will be empty and lacking real life. They will look more like an advertisement then an actual review. They will be extremely well written because in most cases the owner or manager wrote them and just had people post them on the internet.
Tips for finding a good hail repair facility in Denver:
Dentpass is a very young company that has just launched here in Denver at the end of 2016 but that does not mean that we have not been here for a long time. We have been working at dealerships, body shops and at the beginning we were one of those tent people we previously talked about. over 7 years ago we decided to start our own shop and have never looked back ever since. We have been doing this for a very long time and we were one of the pioneers in PDR over 20 years ago. We were dong this before it was cool. Since then we have helped countless of business owners start and opperate their own business doing paintless dent repair until we finally decided to start our own company.
We started DentPass because we saw a very strong need for an honest company that told the truth about the hail repair process and gave people a choice. With enough info our customers can make informed decisions on what they want and how they want it done. We do not cut corners unless our customer is paying out of pocket and tells us to do the cheapest work possible.
We work mainly with quality in mind but can also bend our ways and do things just as cheap as any of the cheapest places out there but will do a far better job at that price. When thinking about PDR you should not think that one size fits all. PDR is like art and you will get what you pay for and that is why we started a system we like to call “Value Based Pricing System” This way a customer can choose what level of repair he/she gets and what they would like to pay. Instead of wasting your time going round, and round looking for the cheapest technicians you can come here and consult with us and find out that we can provide the pricing you are seeking.
When an insurance company is involved we care about the final result and will do the best possible job no matter the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that it takes. Many PDR companies out there will do all the easy work and hire a body shop to do the rest. This type of combo work is sometimes necessary with severe damage but it should be the very last choice. We do not use body shops unless absolutely necessary. The point of PDR is to do the hard work and easy work to get it where the car does not need any paint. Many technicians lack the ability to do big dents so they always sub contract these out to a body shop that will fill the dent with filler and paint over it like a band-aid on a cut. Like we said before “we do not cut corners” and that might mean spending 2 days on one single dent just getting it to come out. We would far rather spend the needed time on that dent then to have it sent to the body shop where they will just hack it up and put a band-aid over it.
In this article I hope to shed some light on the art of paintless dent repair. If you are thinking of doing this to repair your own hail damage on a vehicle that is not worth fixing with an insurance claim or simply is not worth the damage that’s on it, this should help you get an idea of what kind of commitment you are undergoing when attempting to repair your own hail damage.
The main thing is to get to the back of the panel so that you can remove the dents from the underside. There is also glue pulling that uses hot glue to pull the damage out. Whatever method you use it is advised that you actually practice on a dummy hood or panel to avoid breaking your paint because no one wants paint flaking with rust spots all over.
This picture above is showing the concept behind PDR. It is getting to the back side of the dent so that you can push on it’s center with various paintless dent repair tools. Getting to the back of the dent uses a technician called an R&I technician. The Remove and Replace tech takes apart the car so that the PDR technician can reach the back side of the dent. It’s like a symbiotic relationship between these two.
The damage you see on the picture above was caused by really bad PDR. The rust started just months after the repair was done and there was paint flaking all over this car. If you break your paint it’s done fore! Just after a couple of months the spots will get worse and the paint will start to flake off and then it will begin to rust really bad causing even more damage to the paint.
This video above was made about 25 years ago but you can learn a lot from it. The tools and techniques have evolved quite a bit, but the concept is still the same since it’s inception.
Dent training costs a ton of money but if you have a good drive you can learn it on your own. You will have to spend countless hours pushing on metal so that you can have a realization of the techniques and concepts. If you decide that you like it and want to take your training further then I advise attending some workshops and seminars. Most places will charge you about 20,000 for training but you can learn a lot of the concepts on your own and then attend some far less expensive advanced workshops that will teach you things that are very difficult to learn on your own.
There is only so much that you can learn by watching videos. You must actually do the work in order for the muscle memory to kick in. Practice, practice, practice. You must be diligent as it take about 10,000 hours of practice to reach the level of mastery. If you have the patience and the time, then you should pick it up no matter what. It’s very frustrating at first but once you start to get some successes then you will start to gain some momentum and you should be repairing your hail damage soon.
Like previously stated before you should not start on your actual vehicle no matter how shitty it is. You don’t want to break paint and then have a bigger problem on your hands then the dents you were trying to fix.
Doing the dirty work is by far the best method to learn paintless dent repair. Start by drawing some dots on the panel you are learning on and try to find your tool. Push the center of your dots over and over and over. Once you have found your tool on the underside of the metal and were able to push the center of that dot you created over and over with no problem then you can move on to working on a very small dent. You shouldn’t start on a big dent because you do not know how the metal works yet. Once you learn how to push a tiny dent then you can progress to a slightly bigger dent.
Learning the concept of how the metal works is very important but unfortunately every metal is different so these software approaches will fall short of teaching you anything. They teach you the basic concept but that is about it. You cannot learn how the metal moves because every make, model, year and panel’s metal will behave differently so you will not be able to learn much on this approach.
PDR school can cost a heap of money and it only lasts about 10 days. Most of these training schools focus on quantity instead of quality. You will be in the class with 30 other people and will get very little one on one. The biggest issue with these classes is that they will be very redundant and really just require you to teach yourself anyway. You will do far better getting a few months under your belt and then going to one of these schools and asking question after question and demanding one on one time with your instructor.
As you can see it is not as easy as people think to do PDR on their own but it can be done. You can learn it, in about 2-3 months and then you will be able to give your own vehicle a try. If you do happen to break the paint, be sure to seal it with some clear coat or something to avoid the damage from getting worse. Using clear coat should buy you some time but it wont fix the issue at all. Once the paint is broken the structure of the factory finish has been compromised and will eventually need to be repainted.
One last note: Many old school pdr technicians will steer you in the wrong direction because they don’t want any more techs rising out of the limelight. They will perpetuate lies like stupid tricks; these tricks include but are not limited to:
All these are lies and you should not fall for them. There are no tricks to PDR and it’s simply hard old fashioned work that will get a dent out and not some trick. It takes time, patience, and diligence to learn how to do paintless dent repair and there is absolutely no tricks that will make you a PDR tech in no time. It takes much time and effort to lean the way the metal moves and when something is not possible with PDR.
PDR (paintless dent repair tools) tools are advanced auto body tools that are specially designed to reach the back of an automobiles panel for the purpose of removing dents from the vehicle. This coupled with a glue pulling technique that is designed to pull the metal with a special glue that does not damage the paint are the main methods used for removing dents without the use of paint. This does not effect the metal in the end, at all. It is the most preferred way of repairing dents because there is no vehicle depreciation.
Different sized metal rods with various designs and shapes are used to reach the back side of the dent. The technician uses the rod to press the metal back into shape. Point by point the technician uses these metal rods to re-sculpt the metal back to it’s original shape.
When the back of the vehicle cannot be reached by R&I or it is simply impossible to gain access to the back of that effected metal then this method is one of the only options to remove that dent without conventional auto body methods.
A knock down is used when the technician pushes the metal too high. Sometime on purpose and sometimes by accident but either way a good technician can knock down dents that are rising too high and don’t sit flush with the rest of the metal. These are on the end of specially designed hammers or little tappers they use by taping it whit a special knock down hammer.
This advanced technique uses ultrasonic waves to increase the temperature in a very precise location on the metal that then causes the metal to expand and retract allowing the dent to be removed with no metal tools or glue whatsoever. This method is very precise and can harm the paint if not done by a highly experienced paintless dent repair technician. The technology is at is beta testing and is highly experimental but can prove to be useful in many situations if done properly by a master technician. Many armatures are using this method because it’s easy and they are damaging peoples vehicles left and right without them knowing it. Come a few months later their paint starts to break off and they are left with really badly rusted spots.
R&I, remove and install, remove and replace is the job of deconstructing and reconstructing a vehicle for the PDR technician to gain access to the back of the panels on a vehicle. There are various jobs of an R&I technician and among them are the tasks of removing and replacing headliners, lights, panels, doors, trucks, sunroofs, etc. These technicians are a critical part of the paintless dent repair process are need to be very skilled at the art of removing and replacing anything that is in the way of the back of the panel(s) that have been affected by dents.
Removing a headliner might seam like an easy task but when you think of the thousands and thousands of types of vehicle makes and models it gets very difficult to get anyone with actual lasting experience. The need for a good R&I technician is a very important thing and there are seldom any masters at this type of work. There are many great technicians out there but they couldn’t do the bulk of the R&I work. Denpass only uses master R&I technicians that have been doing this type of work for a very longs time and are very experienced at doing thousands of types of vehicles. Wherever you take your vehicle for your hail removal, make sure that you ask that the most experienced R&I technician touch your vehicle.
What are the dangers of not hiring a company with a good R&I technician?
All in all it can be very costly to have any issues when doing R&I. When you take your vehicle to a place you don’t know you are risking a lot more than you are gaining. The whole purpose of R&I is to reach the back of the panel so that the technician can just focus on pushing on the dent. The less obstructions the better result on the repair so it is almost as vital to have a great R&I technician as it is to have a good dent guy.
So you star an auto insurance claim and think the insurance company automatically grants your request but you could not be more wrong. instead they conduct their own investigation that is called an inspection to determine the cause of the damage and how much of the claim they are obligated to pay under your current insurance policy. In most cases this process is smooth and there are no speed bumps along the way but your insurance company has the right to deny your auto insurance claim under your policy for whatever reason they find. Just keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for your insurance company to try to get out of paying for damages they rightfully have to pay for. In the case they deny or drastically reduce the amount of their responsibility this is when an insurance arbitration would take place. This disagreement about what your claim is worth may require a neutral party to resolve the issue and you may need to consult with a car accident attorney prior to moving forward.
In the event that you and your car insurance company cannot come to an agreement on the settlement amount owed, your car insurance policy will commonly contain a dispute resolution clause allowing either party to request an out of court settlement process. Appraisal or arbitration, either combined or separate, are common tools of dispute resolution found in auto insurance policies. It is important that you understand what your insurance policy says about using appraisers or arbitrators to assist dispute resolution so you can prepare for either event.
What is the auto insurance arbitration process?
An insurance arbitration is a common way to resolve an insurance dispute without having to go to court
The two sides that have agreed to the arbitration will choose an arbitrator who will review the details of the dispute on hand and will make a decision on how it will be resolved. The arbitration process is more informal than a court proceeding as arbitrators do not follow codes of conduct or strict procedures like a court would. Both parties should favor the arbitration process because it helps resolve things much faster than a typical court proceeding. An arbitrator’s decision will have legal enforcement, so the decision of an arbitrator is binding on the parties. Remember: You should look to hire an attorney for this process as the insurance company will definitely have an attorney on their side at this point.
6909 S Holly Circle
Centennial, CO 80112
Littleton Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Denver, Aurora, Brighton, Broomfield, Castle Pines, Canon City, Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Commerce City, Colorado Springs, Englewood, Florence, Fort Carson, Fountain, Glendale, Greeley, Greenwood Village, Lakewood, U.S. Air Force Academy, Pueblo, Pueblo West, Superior, Thornton, and more!