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Fender With Dents? Should You Try Paintless Dent Repair Or Replace The Fender?

A dented fender is quite an eyesore. If you’re in this situation, you have three ways to solve this problem:

  1. Try traditional dent repair
  2. Try paintless dent repair
  3. Replace the fender

With this post, we’ll help you navigate the issue and make the best decision. Traditional dent repair is very difficult to pull off, as well as expensive and time-consuming. So we'll focus on the last two options. Paintless dent repair and replacing the fender are much easier solutions you may be able to pull off yourself.

What Is Paintless Dent Repair?

vw dent repair

Paintless dent repair (PDR) is the practice of applying slow pressure to work out the dent. It’s basically popping out the dent. It’s not as simple as it sounds, though. It’s a process that involves special tools and specialized experience.

For you to be able to get this job done correctly:

  • You need access to the backside of the dent
    • This may involve removing the fender liner or the fender itself
  • You need special tools to massage the dent out of the fender
  • The body panel material must be resilient to the process
  • You must know how to do it without damaging the metal and/or paint

PDR can be an effective way to restore your fender back to its original shape. It has several benefits. For instance:

  • It’s quick and affordable
  • It’s environmentally friendly
  • It doesn’t require any fillers or sanding

In some cases, though, it’s easier to replace the fender.

The Risks That Come With Trying Paintless Dent Repair

PDR may be easier than replacing the fender. Yet, it’s not always the best option. Before deciding to try paintless dent repair, look at the type of dent(s) in your fender, and inspect the paint carefully. PDR works best if the paint is still in good shape. In some cases, trying paintless dent repair can make the fender look even worse.

Depending on the type of dent you are repairing, the paint could crack and/or shatter. When that happens, the paint looks worse than the dent.

The type of body panel on your Volkswagen matters a lot, too. Some body panels are made out of aluminum alloys. On those panels, you don't want to do PDR. It’s because these metals can be sensitive enough to get damaged beyond repair.

Do you want to try paintless dent repair, but are you unsure if it's the best option? You can take your VW to an auto body shop. They'll tell you if they think that PDR is a good idea.

Replacing the fender, however, is the safer option. If done right, a fender replacement will restore your car's appearance. It's also the best solution to a paintless dent repair job gone wrong.

Is It Easy To Replace A VW Fender?

VW rabbit fender

If replacing the fender was as easy as replacing your brake pads, for example, we would recommend this solution every time. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to replace a fender. You need:

  • Some auto body repair experience
  • The right tools
  • Some welding experience (in a few situations)

Replacing the fender isn’t a job for beginners. If you have no auto body repair experience, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. This post may help you decide if you're able to replace the fender on your vehicle. If you feel that it's something you can do, this VW fender replacement tutorial can help you.

Which Option Is More Affordable?

We wish we could give you a simple answer. The answer depends on many different factors, including:

  • Labor
    • A paintless dent repair job is more labor-intensive, as it can take a whole day. Replacing a fender takes a few hours. If you’re paying a shop to take care of the job for you, you’ll save money on labor if you decide to replace your fender.
  • Tools
    • If you decide to get the job done yourself, you need to buy all the right tools. A fender replacement job requires tools you may already have. A paintless dent repair job requires special tools you may need to buy.
  • Replacement parts
    • When you replace a fender, you need a replacement part. You can save quite a bit of money by shopping with us. We offer genuine OEM replacement fenders at wholesale pricing.

If you ask us, it's easier and safer to just replace the fender. A paintless dent repair job may be easier, but it's a gamble. If you want to take care of the problem once and for all, replace the fender.