Vehicle smash repairs are easier to manage on your own than ever before; car owners can even buy kits that have the tools needed to pull out a dent and then paint over the area to make it look like new. However, this isn't always the best choice for smash repairs, as it's still often better to have a shop manage these repairs for you, even if the damage seems minor. Note when and why it's better to have a shop fix your car after it's been in a collision, so you ensure you always get the job done right.
Bonding not always needed
You may assume that the best or only way to address a dent or ding is to sand it down, fill it with a bonding agent, sand it some more and then paint over it. However, this technique, while popular and necessary many years ago, isn't always needed today. Many modern cars are built with a body and exterior paint that are both meant to flex and bend when dented or dinged, so they can be popped out without needing any sanding or bonding; this is often called paintless dent repair, or PDR. This is especially true for smaller dents that have not reached the framework of the car or actually cut through that layer of paint. Rather than go through all that unnecessary work, you might ask a smash repair specialist if they can use paintless dent repair on your car's damaged area.
If your vehicle does need sanding, bonding and then more sanding, it's very easy to use the wrong techniques and the wrong materials for this work. You might sand too much of the body away so that it becomes weakened, and the bonding material cannot adhere properly. The wrong bonding material or a poor sanding job can then mean a splotchy, rough appearance that can't be covered properly with paint. This can make the car look unsightly and also affect its resale value, if you should ever decide to sell it.
The condition of your car's body is very important for your overall safety; the force of a collision is dispersed over the car's frame so that you absorb less impact in the cab of the car. If there is a large area of weakness anywhere in the body of the car, this can compromise that safety and put you at risk for whiplash or other injuries when in a collision. Have the repair done properly at a smash shop so you can ensure it's done right and your car is as safe as possible.