Improve Value Of Your Vehicle With A Simple Facelift

Dents and dings are a scourge for anyone who values their vehicle’s appearance. What can be done to return a vehicle to its original condition and not max out your credit card?

“Paintless dent repair may be 50 to 60 percent less than the cost of traditional body shop repair and could be faster,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the National Auto Body Council. “It can be an affordable way of handling many dings and minor dents.”

Wear and tear is unavoidable but that doesn’t mean have to live with a banged up exterior.

“Dings are particularly annoying because they show up like spots on a mirror, especially on dark colored surfaces,” said Chuck Sulkala, executive director of the National Auto Body Council. “They also diminish the value of your vehicle.”

The parts where vehicles usually get dents—doors, hoods, fenders and trunks—offer the best results for paintless dent repair. Stronger paint that’s resistant to some scratches coats modern vehicles. Lightweight, durable steel used for the body is harder to dent or scrape as well.

Sulkala points to an at-home test drivers can do to primarily assess damage.

“If you can drag your fingernail across a paint scrape and it does not catch, it could probably be buffed out with today’s paints. If your nail catches on the scrape the paint would likely need to be refinished.”

Sulkala offered the following guidelines for drivers thinking about body work:

  • The location of the dent determines repair options, but the repair professional is the best one to determine that. Trunks, all side panels, roofs and hoods are the best candidates for repair.
  • Check for chips and scratches. Surfaces having those marks must be repainted even if dents are removed. Otherwise, water may interact with the metal and cause rust.
  • Use a paintless dent repair specialist or work with your local quality repair professional.
  • Consider removing dents and dings before trading in your vehicle. It may improve resale value.

“The first thing you should do is show your vehicle to a repair professional and ask for advice,” Sulkala said. “Put your vehicle in the hands of someone you trust. Repairing your vehicle according to your desires is just as important as trusting your doctor to do what is right for you.”