A long overdue blog on a recent repair that I completed on this gorgeous Audi SQ5. We think the damage was caused by a loaded shopping trolley or possibly a misjudged parking incident. Either way, there was no paint damage and the dent was ideal for PDR.
Access was gained via the wheel arch liner, which was secured by 3 torx head screws. No restrictions once inside the wing, but the repair was a ‘toughie’ due to the sharpness of the crease and also the fact that it cut horizontally through the bodyline.
The technique I use for a repair like this is firstly to reduce the overall size of the dent, by selecting an appropriately sized tip to massage the rear of the panel. Next step is to choose a smaller tip (varying degrees of hardness depending on the shape and strength of the dent) and work the damage a little bit like massaging an air bubble from beneath a piece of vinyl. As the dent decreases in size, it is often necessary to open it back by tapping the sides of the dent, or indeed other areas of the damage where high areas (crowns or brows) have been noted.
The success of a repair is dependent on access, the extent of the damage and the skill/toolset of the technician. The benefits of PDR over a conventional repair are cost (although this doesn’t have to be the primary factor), keeping the paint original, speed, convenience and the environment (no unnecessary paint aerosol, dust or filler).
Approximately 2hrs later. Lots of pushing, tapping and a bit of polishing the damage was almost repaired. A faint marring of the paint was evident along the direction of the crease. I had attempted to ‘close’ the area, but the panel looked high and puckered, so a well placed run of taps relieved the tension in the metal and an overall improvement of 90-95%.
08:26 on Valentine’s day I missed a call from a potential customer. I returned the call and was met by an apology. The customer had literally just had a stone thrown up onto the bonnet of his BMW M4 (about £70k new) and had Googled dent repair in Norfolk without checking the time etc. Anyway, I called back and discussed the damage and repair options. DH lives about 45 mins away from me and it’s uneconomical for me to travel too far if I’m unable to achieve a good repair (ie cover my costs).
After a short chat, I offered to meet up with DH the following day. He agreed to meet me halfway and I agreed to reflect his flexibility in the price of the repair. It should also be noted that the customer took a day off work.
We met up in the car park of a local golf and country club. DH arrived, blipping the throttle of the 400bhp engine… I love my job! We chatted, we looked at the car and then we focussed on the dent: a small, but sharp stone chip dent in the front area of the bonnet. I would’ve been devastated.
Access through the double-skinned bonnet wasn’t good, but after trying 4 or 5 rod combinations, I hit the spot. Less than 5 mins of controlled pushing and the dent was gone (less a very slight scuffing in the paint).
In terms of emotions, I was relieved and I think DH was happy. It was as if a weight had been lifted… I took a couple of pics and asked if I could use them on my website.
What I didn’t expect was for DH to spend 5hrs cleaning his car, before forwarding pics of his pride and joy. In addition, I received a personal message of thanks and a link to a review on a BMW M3/4 owners forum. Sometimes, it’s not about the money!
I landed this job after being unable to repair similar damage on a neighbour’s car. I was disappointed that I couldn’t help the first customer, as he had taken the decision to give up driving at the age of 90… You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. The gentleman was as sharp and spritely as someone 20 years his junior. Very sad that his decision to give up driving was based partly on the recent damage to his car.
Anyway, I, nor a dent devil friend of mine were able to help, but whilst I was on site I was approached by the owner of this beautiful VW Golf, that had front wing damage from a hit and run parking incident. The heavy ‘kiss’ between the 2 vehicles had resulted in paint transfer and heavy scuffing. I advised that this would be improved, but not totally repaired.
The success of this type of repair is dependent on getting the metal to move, without making the area look worse or overworked. The area at the top of the damage is referred to as the ‘crown or brow’ and is where the pressure is. It needs tapping down or flattening before the dent can be fully repaired, but if its tapped too soon, the metal won’t move anywhere. I often use the term ‘suck it and see’, but in reality the skill required is slightly more technical than that.
After 2 – 3 hours of pushing, pulling, tapping and blending the area was ready for polishing. I was pleased with the overall result with the dent repair, however not so with the paint correction, as the scuff/scratching was too heavy to get 100%. However, Mr P was over the moon and saved £30 on my quote, which resulted in him paying less than £100.
After receiving a call from one of my regular (3rd repair in as many years) customers, I headed over to Sprowston to take a look at this unusual damage to the rear door of a very clean Peugeot 208. The damage, we think… was caused by a rival football fan whilst the car was parked at the County Hall car park. I won’t comment on whether the customer was a home or away fan, but he wasn’t happy with the result (of damage to his car).
I advised that I would aim for a good improvement as it was evident that there was a nasty L shape of damage, within the larger soft dent. The paint was slightly marked and this type of repair can take a while to get right. I couldn’t complain about access, so set about the repair. The interim pic with all of the scribble shows the specific areas that i concentrate on during a repair. Please don’t try and work too much out from my markings, I often struggle…
Anyway, a couple of hours passed and I received the green light from the customer. He said he was very pleased with the repair and promised to keep my business card handy for future reference.
Seat Leon FR Tailgate – I first clamped eyes on this dent when Mr H popped the car over to one of my trade customers in Marham. I took a look at the tailgate dent and was informed that a falling spirit level had caused the damage. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to repair the damage there and then, but arranged with the customer to meet up with his wife later in the week.
Owning a Seat myself, I knew the metal would be relatively forgiving, but the impact from the spirit level had caused quite a sharp and very noticeable dent on the curve of the tailgate and initially I couldn’t be sure of access or outcome. I met Mrs H in a car park in Dereham, on what appeared to be the coldest morning of the year. It was trying to snow, but that was the least of my worries. I had a dent to fix!
Mrs H kindly dropped the key to me and I set to work. My hands by this stage were so cold that I was unable to remove the inner boot panel. I thought I’d fallen at the first hurdle! Without admitting that I put a pair of woolly gloves on, I put on a pair of woolly gloves. With blood circulation restored, I removed the tailgate panel and set to work. Once I had identified the route of attack, the repair was relatively straightforward. First soft, second hard and finishing with a sharp tip. The panel was restored, less a very minor bruising to the paint, to its former glory.
Refitting of the boot panel was twice as difficult as removal, but that’s life… I can’t expect the weather to hold out and have an easy refit!
Following a two stage polish with Menzerna PG1000 and PF2500 I messaged Mrs H to inform her that her car was ready for collection. We discussed the cause of the dent and settled the blame with the toss of a coin (Mrs H will understand). Hopefully another satisfied customer and some additional business from a colleague.
Ford Focus ST – Fresh off the press, a recent repair and ‘blogged’ within 24 hrs (actually 30, but doesn’t sound quite as clinical…). A local customer. Dent caused by a neighbour’s son jumping out of mum’s car after his first trip in the front seat. I can only imagine how the poor chap felt when he popped round to apologise to the owner of the car.
The impact on the ST was about 4 – 5 inches from the hinge side of the door. A vertical crease, flattened body line and red paint transfer from the other car door. Access was straight down the side of the window, however, as the window doesn’t travel all the way down there was a degree of risk with over cranking. Fortunately, the Ford metal was compliant and relatively forgiving…
I was generally pleased with the repair, but slightly annoyed with myself for dropping a clanger, or more to the point a tap down (small tool for tapping down high areas or crowns). I usually carry a rubber car mat that I cover any drains or grates with. My featured image clearly shows a grate within range. I saw it, carried out a risk assessment and ignored. What are the chances of a tool (not me!) rolling off my tool box and plopping straight into the drink? In hindsight, I’d say about 100%. My saving grace was the fact that the customer lives on a new estate with building works still in progress. A site manager came to the rescue with knowledge of the drain’s depth and more importantly content. The offer of a wash with sanitiser was an absolute bonus.
My day was made when I received the feedback from the customer: ‘Wow! Did you put a new door on? Absolutely phenomenal. Can’t believe it looks so good’. If I could do my work for free then today would’ve been a rewarding day. Thank you Mr CB for your business and kind words.
Mercedes CLA 45 AMG – Due to work commitments (lame excuse as this is my business…) I didn’t post this blog at the time of the repair, which was approximately 2 weeks ago. Thought it worth a show, one because the repair transformed the back end of this car and two… well, because its an absolutely gorgeous car and I remembered to take an after pic! The owner of the car informed me that her son calls it ‘mummy’s sexy car’. Who am I to disagree?
Anyway, the dent, was a 2″ ‘smiley face’ crease on the upper panel of the offside rear quarter. Not a huge dent, but just enough to catch the eye. Access was gained through the boot for 80% of the repair, as I could get a selection of tips pushing nicely on the inside panel. The last 20% was achieved with glue pull. I just couldn’t get anything on the front aspect of the dent. After about an hour (including setting up and a great cup of coffee), the dent was repaired. As you can see in the before and after pics the distortion from the reflection was considerable. Happy customer!
The window in the background provides a fantastic reference point for the dent in the tailgate of this VW Amarok. There were actually 3 areas of damage, but all repaired in less than an hour using glue pull techniques.
This repair proved to be quite complex as there were three separate areas of impact in close proximity to one another. This repair took approx 2 and a half hours and the customer was extremely happy with the result.
The damage to the front wing of this car was caused by an outside tap. Needless to say, the tap won and the repair (improvement) to the front wing was cheaper than calling for a plumber to replace the tap!