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Door dent removal

J3ThePainless

Member
Mar 2, 2019
17
0
Charlotte NC
I just took delivery of my model 3 a few weeks ago and someone puts a dent in the side of my back door right in the center on the angel. Does anyone know of a way to fix it or how much a body shop should be charging me for it. I have a preliminary quote of ~$1,000.

So I need your advice. Will Tesla help cover this (highly doubtful)? is the body shop ripping me off? Does anyone know of a way to fix it?
 

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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,147
14,117
San Diego
Sorry. PDR (Paintless Dent Repair) is likely no problem for something like this (I don't see any paint damage but hard to tell), and will cost about $300 (CA prices). Find someone who has worked on aluminum before (it's a lot stronger than steel so takes a ton of strength to undo the dent). If you look up PDR here you'll find some threads on it. I used Yelp to find a highly rated local expert. I had a similar dent a few weeks after getting the car, and with a little heat and extreme bending, it was made invisible. It's a fascinating process to watch.
 

J3ThePainless

Member
Mar 2, 2019
17
0
Charlotte NC
That is what I was hoping for but the body shop I am at said it can't be done because of where it is on the door. It is right below the door handle where the Aluminum is angled. Has anyone had PDR done when it is in that spot?
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,147
14,117
San Diego
That is what I was hoping for but the body shop I am at said it can't be done because of where it is on the door. It is right below the door handle where the Aluminum is angled. Has anyone had PDR done when it is in that spot?View attachment 397437

Perhaps they are trying out their comedy act?

Your dent is basically where mine was (mine was a bit further forward on the door but on the same crease). It's really no problem, so have no fear, you just need to find an expert who won't screw it up (this is the critical part). It IS difficult, and requires significant bending from the inside as well as tapping down from the outside to reshape the metal. Having it on a body line makes it more challenging. There is really no other way to repair this damage except PDR. You must not break the paint or compromise the surface in any way.

Steel backing plate, dent removal tool (it's a long steel bar with a fairly pointed end which can be cranked - you'll see the entire door panel flex outwards as it is being done), airbag, tapdown tool, and you're done. No trim removal or drilling was needed for this location. It took about 20 minutes from start to finish. So about $600-$900/hr. Not bad!

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J3ThePainless

Member
Mar 2, 2019
17
0
Charlotte NC
Perhaps they are trying out their comedy act?

Your dent is basically where mine was. It's really no problem, so have no fear, you just need to find an expert who won't screw it up (this is the critical part). It IS difficult, and requires significant bending from the inside as well as tapping down from the outside to reshape the metal. Having it on a body line makes it more challenging. There is really no other way to repair this damage except PDR. You must not break the paint or compromise the surface in any way.


View attachment 397440 View attachment 397441 View attachment 397442 View attachment 397443
Thank you so much for helping me not get ripped off. I will check out the thredst on PDR here. I am currently in CT but will be moving to NC in a few months I will probably get it repaired after the move as the certified Tesla body shops up here are way over priced.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
11,147
14,117
San Diego
Thank you so much for helping me not get ripped off. How did you find a reputable place at a decent price? I am currently in CT but will be moving to NC in a few months I will probably get it repaired after the move.

I would use Yelp to look up a local PDR expert wherever you are. Personally I wouldn't worry about the price; expect $300-400. There's of course risk, but hopefully you'll be able to find someone good. The doors are aluminum, so again, it's important to have that experience - they are a LOT harder to bend than steel doors (presumably because they are thicker). Myke (the guy in the picture) had extremely defined forearm muscles, presumably from the cranking that is required. Myke emphasized that gentle heating with a heat gun is critical with aluminum because it makes it more pliable. It's basically impossible without getting the panel up to the temperature it would be in the mid-summer sun.

Good luck.
 
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