When you see a dent on your otherwise pristine ride, chances are you want it gone fast. In the search for quick and effective methods of dent removal, you've probably run into the dry ice method. It's touted by many as a cheap do-it-yourself way of removing dents without damage, but how does it compare to an established and proven method of dent removal like the paintless dent removal process?
How Paintless Dent Removal Works
Paintless dent removal, or PDR for short, relies on a series of metal shaping tools that essentially massage the dent into its original shape. Since PDR tools work on the dent from behind the body panel's metal surface, there's little to no risk of damaging or marring the paint finish. However, it does require access to the backside of the body panel, which often means snaking tools through door panels and other hard-to-reach areas.
The PDR process from a place like Superior Paint & Body Service Ltd is much more complex and labor-intensive than dry ice, but it consistently offers better results. Despite the skill involved, it can also be done in a relatively short amount of time. Some repair facilities boast that they can complete PDR jobs within an hour.
How Dry Ice Works
You've probably heard of the dry ice trick for removing dents. It involves heating up the site of the dent with a hair dryer for a few minutes and then rubbing a chunk of dry ice against the dent. This trick is hailed by many as a quick and cheap way of repairing most dents without leaving any damage behind.
In theory, the extreme temperature changes caused by rapidly heating and then rapidly cooling the metal is supposed to bring the dented panel back to its original shape. However, many critics discount the effectiveness of the dry ice method. For instance, it's not as reliable as PDR and it often takes multiple tries for it to work, if it works at all. The dry ice method is also no match for deeper, sharper dents.
Which One Wins Out?
Some people have had success popping out larger, shallow dents with dry ice, but smaller, deeper and more complex dents benefit more from the use of PDR. Since PDR is performed by professionals, you'll have greater peace of mind over the end result.
Sure, PDR costs plenty more than the homemade dry ice trick, but it's well worth the price if you want a solid and reliable way of restoring your car's pristine appearance.