Wednesday, 02 May 2007 14:11

Toyota releases new paintless dent repair consideration

Written by I-CAR Advantage Online
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A previous Toyota Collision Repair Information Bulletin (CRIB) #60, dated August 1994, cautioned against performing paintless dent repairs (PDR) on Toyota vehicles, citing three specific reasons. The reasons included damage to the finish, due to microscopic cracking that may not be visible to the unaided eye, damage to the anti-corrosion coatings on the metal from sharp tools prying on inner panels and damage to exterior trim and body panels to gain access to the damage.

   This includes damage caused by wedges and drilling holes in inner panels to gain access to the backside of the damage. In the closing statement of the 1994 CRIB, it was stated that Toyota would evaluate the use of PDR as new tools and technologies come to market.

    A newly released CRIB, #146, lists the guidelines for performing PDR on Toyota, Scion, and Lexus vehicles. Panels with many dents, such as hail damage, may be considered for PDR as long as the original panel strength is maintained. Dents of up to a softball size in diameter may be considered as long as the damage is at least 50 mm (2 inches) from the edge of the panel or a body feature line. Creases that are up to 100 mm (4 inches) long may also be repairable.
    A general overview of the recommendations in the bulletin include inspecting the finish with a 30-times magnifying glass to make sure the finish hasn’t been damaged (see Figure 3). If the finish is damaged, refinishing will be required. Steps should be taken to ensure that the protective coatings in the repair area are not damaged, and that the coatings on the back of the panel are restored, if damaged, following repairs. Another recommendation is inspecting the panel after the repair with a 30-times magnifying glass (see Figure 4) to make sure the flexing of the panel did not exceed the elastic limit of the finish, resulting in micro-cracking and possible delaminating. If the finish is damaged during the PDR process, refinishing is required.
    Toyota strictly prohibits drilling or cutting panel reinforcements or braces, as well as the use of wedges to gain access to the backside of the damage. These items may void the manufacturer’s corrosion warranty.

This article first appeared in the I-CAR Advantage Online, which is published and distributed free of charge. I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a not-for-profit international training organization that researches education programs related to collision repair.

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