Standards of repair and estimating for the PDR industry


GENERAL GUIDELINES DAMAGE ESTIMATION GUIDELINES REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION GUIDELINES These pages are designed as a guideline to educate technicians, adjusters, body shops and the general public on which procedures could be required to perform proper PDR (paintless dent removal) repairs on a vehicle. These pages do not state that all procedures listed must be required at all times but instead give insight to the procedures that may need be required and should always be considered when requested by the technician repairing the vehicle.


VEHICLE CONDITION: Estimate should be completed on a cleaned vehicle, indoors, and using professional PDR lighting equipment.

SPECIAL CAUTIONS: Details of this guide are subject to the specifics of each situation. It is understood that no two dents, storms, or technicians are alike and should be evaluated on an individual basis. This includes but is not limited to variance in repair location, damage specific to each storm, previous damage to the location of current repair, and more. All claims should be assessed individually.

ESTIMATING EXPLANATION: The necessities of the following procedures should be left to the discretion of the servicing PDR technician. The noted procedures may be needed to gain access to any damaged areas for the dent removal process to begin. Proper R&I techniques shall be used according to manufacturer’s specs. It is understood that the listed items below do not include: Dent removal, cleaning or preparing the panel, or circling/highlighting the damage for estimating purposes. The finish of the vehicle is of vital importance in consideration of PDR as a viable method of repair. To obtain the desired end result of a quality PDR repair, paint must be in good condition. Factors that may prohibit complete auto-body factory condition restoration include (but are not limited to):

Matte finish

Vehicle wraps

Stripes, decals, transfers or overlays

Aftermarket panels

Non factory paint Damaged/checked paint

Rock chips

Panels with prior conventional repairs or repainted panels

Previous damage unrelated to storm event In high winds, some damage may be caused by storm debris such as broken branches from nearby trees, solid objects being carried by high winds, etc




DETERMINING DENT SIZE: When using the sizing coin/magnet, the edges of the dent must be inclusive of the size of the measured circles to be considered that specific size. If the edges of the dent damage exceed the size of the circle on the magnet, then the dent is counted as being the next size up and will not be estimated at the size down or smaller than the actual damage. The affected area is to be determined by the PDR Technician and may include surface area greater than that of the measured indentation.

DENTS/PANELS THAT SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECT TO STANDARD PRICING: The following items can be added to an estimate and may incur additional repair costs. Additional items should not be limited to one per panel since each item independently adds to the time and difficulty of the repair. The vehicle and vehicle damage will be inspected to determine access and repair technique/difficulty. Items that may result in a longer, and/or more difficult repair and may incur additional repair costs include but are not limited to:

Tall Vehicles

Vehicle panels that require a technician to use the assistance of a bench/ladder in order to gain access to perform the repair.

Panels with Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is especially susceptible to damage. Special caution must be taken in order to properly perform a repair on panels containing laminated glass.

Extended Roof

Extra time and advanced techniques/tools can be required to properly repair an extended roof.

Glue Pulling

Glue pulling a dent(s) takes significantly longer to repair than the standard repair method. Some panels require the glue pulling method in order to be repaired properly.

Double Panels/Heavily Braced Panels

This should not be limited to roof rails, doors, and deck lids. This includes areas that are not typically involved in the discussion of double paneled areas. Front of hoods, tops of doors, door area underneath belt molding, quarter panels at front, and deck lids are often heavily braced. A panel is considered a heavily braced / and or a double panel when there is little to no direct access to the damaged area.

High Strength Steel (HSS) and Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS)

HSS/UHSS have a higher Tensile Strength (MPa), resulting in a more challenging and time consuming repair.


Aluminum has less metal memory, resulting in a more challenging and time consuming repair.

Extra Thin Metal

Extra thin metal results in a more challenging and time consuming repair.

Panels with Sound Deadening

Sound deadening creates a barrier between the technician’s tool and the damage, resulting in a more challenging and time consuming repair.

Poor Access

Extra/tight bracing and lack of factory access holes can create poor access.

Extra Large Panel

Unusually large panels can create leverage problems, access difficulty and require extra time and advanced techniques.

Ribbed Roof

A ribbed roof results in having to repair dents on concave and convex surfaces. Dents that are not on flat surfaces result in a more challenging and time consuming repair.

Deep Dents

Dent depth can be assessed visually by qualified technicians, or measured in mm using a depth gauge.

Over-Sized Dents

See section titled “DETERMINING DENT SIZE”. With minute increases in size of the damage the difficulty of repair increases exponentially. Half dollar, Egg, Tennis ball, Baseball, Softball, and Grapefruit; should all be evaluated as their own respective categories.

Sharp Dents

The ratio between dent size and dent depth (determined by the technician), as well as metal type, may result in a sharp dents which require special technique and result in a more challenging and time consuming repair.

Multiple connected dents or one or more dents that fall in the affected area of another dent.

Stretched dents

Corner or edge dents

Dents on tight radius, extra stiff curves



Shop supplies, tool tips, glue supplies, solvents, tape, compounds, etc.

Corrosion Protection Refinishing/sealing undersides of painted panels where soft tipping is not an option





R&I labor times should be used to estimate time needed to remove and replace portions of the vehicle that cause obstruction to access points needed to repair damage. These items will vary depending on size/depth/location of the dents, vehicle age and condition, technician’s experience, equipment, vehicle make/model, etc. Labor rates default by regional location.


R&I of any obstruction to enable visibility of repair area, on any vehicle, deemed necessary by the repairing technician, in order to gain access and/or leverage on the backside of the damaged area.

Lifting of the vehicle when needed to see, gain access, or perform the repair

Preparation of vehicle including but not limited to: removal of dirt/snow/ice, etc.

Light buffing if needed to see the damage and repair it correctly

R&I of aftermarket items

Areas of vehicle paneling with ribbon sealer

PCM/BCM reset, ABS, taillights, window memory and power liftgate, etc.

R&R pinstripe, vinyl decals, stripes, clear bra

 Paint sealer, wax application/removal

Sound deadening, panel stiffening

Panel to bracing glue

Weatherstrip clips


Back glass on trucks should be considered for removal if any of the following criteria is met:

1. Glass is a single pane

2. Sliding glass window does not provide adequate access for a complete and proper repair

3. Vehicle has a ribbed roof Quarter glass on SUVs and coupes should be considered for removal if technician deems it necessary for a complete and proper repair.


Hood insulator pad

Removing and securing the panel in a workable position

Replacing the panel to original position on vehicle upon completion of repair

Hood scoops

Air deflector, bug guard Clear bra


Hood moldings, trim pieces, clips

Washer nozzles



Fender liners

Headlamps – Some vehicles require the front bumper to be removed to gain access to the headlamp anchor points for a full removal


Clear bra

Plow frame

Bumper guard

Side marker light

Air intake housing

Windshield cowl

Hood hinges

Deflectors / trim pieces located in engine bay, inner fender

Wheel flare

Appearance grill


Sound deadener


Door panel

Belt Moldings

Vapor barrier

Sound deadener


Aftermarket window visor


Exterior handle

Striker catch

Regulator assembly


Wire harness

Door removal as needed

Laminated glass window

Side view mirror


Tail lights – Some vehicles require the rear bumper to be removed to gain access to the tail light anchor points for a full removal Interior trim


Quarter glass

Fuel door

Computer modules

Sound equipment

Antenna motor

Bumper Wheel

Wheel opening trim / wheel flare

Fuel door repair


Tail lamp

Bed rail caps

Camper shell, tonneau cover

Rear wheel

Wheel opening trim, flares

Headache rack

Toolbox Bumper


Drip molding


Glue materials


Headliner R&I

Overhead console

Rear view mirror

Roof mounted A/V equipment

Liftgate/Hatch on SUV/Van/Crossover


Roof racks

Roof mounted antenna

Roof mounted 3rd brake lamp

Additional lamps

Back glass on coupes, trucks

Quarter panel glass

Sunroof including tray when applicable

Liftgate / rear hatch

Windshield and or rear glass

Restraint systems

Exterior adhesive trim

Drip moldings

Sound deadener materials


Interior liner

Removing and securing the panel in a workable position

Replacing the panel to original position on vehicle upon completion of repair

3rd brake lamp

Deck lid interior handle

Additional panel mounted lamps


Wiring harness

License plate trim piece

Backup camera


Interior trim

Removing and securing the panel in a workable position

Replacing the panel to original position on vehicle upon completion of repair

Liftgate mounted tire


Glass Moldings

Panel mounted lamps

License plate trim piece

Wiring harness

3rd brake lamp

Washer nozzles

Washer hoses

Wiper arm


Backup camera


Trim panel

Removing and securing the panel in a workable position

Replacing the panel to original position on vehicle upon completion of repair

Handle assembly

Latch assembly

Rail cap

Ladder assembly/grab bar

3rd brake lamp

Backup camera