But Tim Helms, owner of Brentwood’s Dent King – a paintless dent repair service – believes all our vehicles can have that fresh-from-the-showroom look – we simply need to know where to get it.
“Most people don’t realize that dent removal is much cheaper than a conventional body shop – approximately 25 percent of conventional body shop prices – and that it can restore your car to its original finish,” said Helms, who opened his mobile business in 2005. “Paintwork is where most of the money is spent at a body shop, so bypassing that step can save you a lot of money.”
Helms' premiere mobile service offers customers the convenience of getting the work done at home or office, typically in under two hours. Using a variety of metal rods and body picks, dent technicians such as Helms are able to push the dents out from the inner side of a car’s body panel. Glue may also be used from the outside of the panel to pull the dents out. The repair is fine-tuned by tapping down small high spots created by the original repair, making the surface flat.
Paintless dent repair may be used on both aluminum and steel panels, and because no sanding or painting are involved, the process is 100 percent “green.”
“I see a lot of different kinds of dents and I can take out some really big ones, like the panels that have been kicked in by an unhappy boyfriend or girlfriend,” said Helms. “But the typical repairs are for door dings.”
Dent removal is not a new technique – it’s been around for as long as sheet metal has been used on cars – but over the past decade the popularity of paintless dent repair has spawned a growing cottage industry.
Not all services however, are created equal. “This is really an art form,” said Helms, who is fully licensed, trained and insured. “And not everyone can do it. I spent 25 years in the auto body repair field and I’ve got the experience.”
Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to the success of paintless dent repair:
Color. Contrary to what might seem logical, the lighter the car, the tougher it is to get out the dents. White, for example, catches the light at odd angles and can be the hardest color to fix. Conversely, said Helms, metallics and grays are the easiest to fix.
Type. The type of dent will determine how easy it is to remove. Round dents – such as those caused by hailstorms and rocks – are easier to remove than creases – typically caused by collisions.
Location. As in real estate, a dent’s location is all-important. Door dings are easier to repair, said Helms, than dents or creases on trunks or along the bodyline of the vehicle.
For more information, call the Dent King at 925-323-1045 or visit www.paintlessdentking.com.