Falling Chestnuts Can Cause a Total Write Off!

I wanted to write about a job I did late last year that really illustrates the value of what we do and to explain a bit about a complicated type of repair we encounter once in awhile in the paintless dent repair business in Vancouver.  

In mid-October last year, a customer named Tim, got in touch with me. He had recently purchased a 2006 Acura TSX for around $10,000. He bought it because the car was in great shape and had low mileage. He brought it to his place on the west side of Vancouver and parked it on the street for a week.

He went out and started clearing all the leaves that fell on it and noticed a dent. He told me he was a bit upset because he was sure the dent wasn’t there when he parked it. Then he noticed another one. And another. And another. With each new dent, he got more and more aggravated and discouraged. Then he noticed all the chestnuts on the ground.

The 2006 TSX roof before the repair. 

Around the end of September through mid-October, Vancouver’s chestnut trees drop their seeds in the form of chestnuts. These nuts are like little golf balls dropping from 20 to 40 feet up and they can cause a lot of damage similar to the damage caused by a hail storm.

Tim did some research online and found the Dent Craft website. He read up about paintless dent removal and decided to give us a call. I set up an appointment at his home to assess the dent damage on his car.

When I got there, I went over the car carefully. I counted around 100 dents varying between tiny little sharp dents to quarter size shallow dents to loonie size deep dents. They were all over his roof, hood, deck lid and fenders.

I used our price guide and quoted Tim about $2,400. He was floored that falling chestnuts could cause that much damage. I told him that even though my price seems high, it would most likely be a quarter of the price of using a conventional body shop repair.

And sure enough, when he took it to ICBC, the adjuster priced it as a conventional body shop repair and said that the vehicle was very close to being a total write off! That is, the cost to repair the damage at a conventional body shop was close to the value of the vehicle – $10,000. 

Using my paintless dent repair tools, I went to work fixing every one of the dents on Tim’s vehicle. It was not a short job or an easy job but the difference in the appearance of his car was huge. 

The roof after the repair. Glassed, as they say in our business. 

Most of our jobs are below the insurance deductible, but in this case Tim wisely went through ICBC. Here’s the way it works with ICBC: Tim paid me for the full cost of the repair, then submitted my invoice to ICBC and ICBC repaid Tim minus his deductible. It is a very straightforward transaction.

Chestnut dent damage and hail damage on vehicles are perfect for paintless dent repair and for insurance companies. The paintless dent repair process frequently saves vehicles from being total losses and it saves insurance companies thousands of dollars. Furthermore, it saves the original paint on your vehicle, keeping your vehicle much closer to its original condition which is always a good thing. 

ICBC will want to put the vehicle through the conventional body shop because that is what they have been doing all along. We would love for ICBC to start recommending our services where it is applicable but that will take some time. In the meantime, as a vehicle owner, you can request that the repair be done using paintless dent repair. At the moment, ICBC is not able to recommend a specific paintless dent repair company so it is up to you to do some research and find a company with a good reputation to do the repair. 

Before and after video

I hope that you do not have to experience the disappointment of seeing your vehicle peppered with dents by a chestnut tree or by a hail storm, but if you do, now you know there is a dent repair company that could save your vehicle from being a total loss and bring it back to its previously untouched appearance. 

Deep Fender Dent on a 2012 Escape

Recently on garbage day, these dents were the result when my customer was backing out of her driveway and ran into her organics bin. She contacted me to see if paintless dent removal would work on her fender.


I couldn’t believe an organics bin could do so much damage. The body line on the fender was totally crushed!

It took me awhile but with the right selection of dent repair tools and heat, I was really happy with the results. And so was my customer!


And here is the other angle of the dent repair:



Glue Pullers

I bought my first glue puller in 2005 from Wurth, a company based in Germany. I remember using it at the time and being pretty disappointed. The stock glue that came in the kit wouldn’t adhere to the panel that well and it was pretty much useless. Fast forward to 2010 and suddenly, with the advent of better glue and tabs, it’s amazing how good this paintless dent removal tool can now be.

A glue puller lets you pull out dents from the surface of the panel without damaging the paint. I usually won’t pull any dents out with a glue puller unless I’m sure it’s original paint and no older than 10 years. However, I have pulled some hail dents out of a roof recently on an originally painted 14 year old BMW without any problems.

Here’s a recent glue pull job I did for a local auto body repair shop. The car pictured is a 2010 Audi A4 and the dent measured out to be about 5 inches running horizontally.


Sometimes you can access the dent on the quarter panel of a vehicle with a long rod by removing the tail light but for this particular car it wasn’t an option because the gas filler would obstruct access.

Behind the wheel liner fabric there are some factory holes on the Audi but they are not close enough to use for access with a small hand tool. Drilling in the door jamb of the car could provide access to the dent on some makes and models but there’s no way any reputable auto body repair shop would allow this as an option. This is an option that I avoid like the plague and what I feel separates us from some paintless dent removal competitors out there.

As you can see the dent was wider near the gas lid and got thinner as it traveled closer to the door. This made it challenging when glue pulling and I was very careful not to over pull any area.


Paintless Dent Repair Tools

Have you tried out our redesigned website’s new slide bar on our before and after pictures*? That thing blows me away. And I wish dents were that easy to repair.

Unfortunately, they are not. It takes years of practice and experience in the trenches to remove some of those dents. It also takes time to build up a good arsenal of paintless dent tools. We have done a lot of research over the years online and in the field to determine which dent tools are worth the hype and which ones just don’t measure up. We have even gone to the annual dent convention in Florida to talk to the best dent repair guys in the business for their opinions on paintless dent tools.

It is truly amazing what the right dent tool will do. The increase in speed and accuracy can be quite mind boggling when I look back to the dent tools that I started with.

And with the increase in speed, we are able to keep our service that much more cost effective for our customers.

*on desktop version of site only

Paintless Dent Removal is the way to go

Summer is upon us and the paintless dent removal business is in full swing. Our phones can get really busy this time of year as drivers give their cars a thorough cleaning and the sun shines on the dents and dings accumulated from the winter months.

Paintless dent repair is a cheap way to get your vehicle looking its best again. Plus with the convenience of our mobile service, you don’t need to spend hours dropping off your vehicle and picking it up again from a shop.

Call us or fill out the estimate form and send us photos of your dents for your free estimate. See you soon.

We Saved a Guy $4800 Yesterday!

My last job of the day yesterday was for a guy named Bob. Bob dropped an auto part on the hood of his beautiful 1967 Mustang creating a 3/4 inch deep dent. This car is amazing. And the trophies in his garage were a testament to that.

I love working on classic cars like these but they also stress me out as I cannot afford any mistakes. But the dent removal went very smoothly. I ended up using a dent repair hand tool with a really sharp tip for bottom of that deep dent that I picked up at the Dent Repair Convention in Orlando.

So I put my bill together and it totaled $180. Bob gave me $200 and said that if the Paintless dent repair hadn’t worked he would’ve had to paint the entire car! His painter quoted him $5000! Needless to say, my jaw dropped when he told me that.

I was really glad I could help him out in that situation. That’s one steep cliff to be perched on.

Is It Possible to Avoid Dents?

I often hear my customers tell me that they park as far away as they can from other cars in parking lots. And yet, they still get dents. I tell them jokingly that our next marketing campaign will involve cars parked well away from anyone else. Now there is our target market!

Recently, a customers and I were talking about how we choose our parking spots in order to avoid the resulting dent repair. I said I never park next to really old, beat up vehicles. These owners really don’t care about the condition of their vehicles to which my customer agreed.

Then I said, I usually pick a new model vehicle, especially German imports to park next to – BMWs, Mercedes. To my surprise, he disagreed. He said a lot of those vehicles are leased vehicles. I looked at him strangely for a bit. Then it hit me. Longterm rentals!!! Total genius, I told him.

Realizing I was speaking to someone who had put some serious thought into the subject, I needed to know more. I asked him what type of vehicles he looks for when parking.

He offered, “You have to look for vehicles that are a few years older, not too old, but a vehicle that is in really decent shape. Now, the owner driving that vehicle is someone who takes care of his ride and is definitely not going to give you a dent.”

And I thought the common thing here was pride. Someone who takes pride in the ownership of their vehicle is the thing that will prevent a dent in your vehicle.

So, consider the advice. Add a pre-parking step to your routine and see if you can reduce the number of dents you pick up.

And if not, we can remove the dents and try to figure out who not to park next to next time.

So Far So Good for 2013

I did have a bit of trouble getting out of neutral from the Holiday break but I didn’t have much time to get it in gear. The phone calls and the emails for dent repair are rolling in at a good clip for the depths of winter. This is usually a good time for planning the coming year and getting caught up on things you were putting off from the busy period. But I’m finding I don’t have that luxury this year.

I’ve talked to a few different people in the car business this week and they’ve told me that they’re either very slow or the business is inconsistent. The dent removal business is going fairly well though. I think it’s likely that because we service different sectors of the dent repair business – dealers, auto body, detail shops and private customers. So if one sector is slow another one is calling.

Here’s hoping that everyone’s business gets a good boost in the coming months ahead!

Dent Caught on Tape!

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a dent being made on video. And it’s a pretty funny one though I’m glad the maker of the dent was okay!!

The dog’s head created a 6″ by 1″ dent in the quarter panel of this customer’s 2010 Lancer. He called me in to do some paintless dent repair on it. Those two snow days were a couple of crazy days as you can hear from some of the commentary on the radio in the clip.

Another Year in the Books!

2012 is just about done. It has been another great year of repairing dents for Josef and I. Even though I’ve been fixing dents for eight years now, I feel like I still learned so much this year.

I have read that to become a master at something, it takes 10,000 hours of performing that skill. I have probably passed the 10,000 hour mark a few years ago but there are always new things to learn whether it is on metal or on the business side of things. Paintless dent repair is a constant process of refining.

Early next year, both Josef and are doing some professional development at the mobile tech expo down in Orlando. We will be exposed to some new dent removal techniques, new tools and we will meet some new people in the dent repair business.

This trip is really going to set the tone for the rest of the year which looks by all accounts to be another busy one. No signs of any let ups for us.

So thank you to all our customers, friends and family for an amazing year and we look forward to seeing you in the new year!

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