Today, we're gonna be repairing this small dent on the right-hand rear wheel arch of this BMW. But I'm gonna be doing it in real time. So you don't miss a thing, you're gonna see from start to finish exactly what I did to repair this dent step by step.

Repair Start With Hot Glue

So I'm gonna start this repair with hot glue. I've selected a round, smooth tab roughly the same size as my dent. After applying some hot glue to the tab, I'm then pressing it onto the panel and aiming to get it in the center of the dent. I want the center of the tab to be in the center of the dent, the deepest part.

Watching this in real time, it takes about 10 seconds from placing that tab onto the panel before giving it a couple of pulls. I can feel from my slide hammer that there's already some movement. If you watch closely, you can see it also move in the reflection across the panel. My first glue pull has done fairly well, reducing the dent by about half. It's given me a slight high spot just where I was slightly off-center of the dent.

Tap Down

The next step is to tap down where I've raised that panel slightly. I've brought it slightly high, so now I'm gonna tap it back flat before my next glue pull. I'll whiz the camera around so you can see what I see from my end as well. I'm just tapping really lightly, making sure that I've tapped those shoulders back down or any unwanted highs. Then, I'm setting up for my second glue pull. Because the dent is now smaller, I'm using a slightly smaller tab. It's the same process: hot glue, aiming for the center of the dent at the deepest part.

I got good results with the slide hammer last time, so I'm going to use the same process again. This time, I've allowed about 15 seconds for that glue to cool down. Just as before, I select my slide hammer, give it a couple of pulls, and start to feel the metal moving. After cleaning up the glue and checking what's left, I tap down any high spots brought up during the last pull. At this stage, after a couple of glue pull setups, I've probably reduced the dent by about 70%.

Internal Repair

To give a nice clean finish, I'm going to complete the rest of the repair from the inside. On this particular model, there's easy access to this section of the panel. I've removed the two 10mm plastic nuts that hold the dirt shield in place. There's a grommet that I've taken out, leaving a perfect hole to reach the back of the dent.

The next step is to select the tool that will fit through that hole and provide the right leverage to push out some of the damage. I'm using one of my standard door bars, a shorter version of a hockey stick-style tool from Berlee Tools, which is just the right size to get through that hole and reach the back of the dent.

Precision Work

Switching to my perspective during the repair, we can see the shallow, remaining dent—about 30% of it is left. I'm using the metal finish of the tool itself without any tape or cap, going metal to metal. It's a small dent now, so I'm focusing on accuracy. I want the tip of my tool to locate the center of the dent so I can begin bringing up the low spots. Throughout the repair, you'll see me adjusting my line board to get the optimum reflection and most detail in the repair. I set it fairly close to the dent at about a 45-degree angle, making tight lines appear tighter to see the repair details clearly.

After successfully bringing up the center of the dent, there's a slight high where some lines pinch together, which I gently knock down with my tap down tool. We're making good progress, but there's still a tiny low spot that runs through. This time, I'm tapping around the center point, which makes the dent look slightly bigger but opens it up, making the center easier to locate with my tool's tip. I'm still using the same tool, with the metal tip to pick out the micro lows left in the dent. I've brought it slightly high again, and using my root beer tap down tool, I lightly tap down the highs.

Even with a small dent, there can be a lot of back-and-forth between lifting the lows and tapping down the highs until the panel reads true. Ensuring a high-quality finish means removing the damage from every angle, which can be tricky to read. I'm adjusting my line board to get the optimal view to see the remaining damage. Once the line board is set up correctly, I continue the process of removing the last of the lows.

Final Checks and Polish

We're about seven or eight minutes into the repair itself. I hope you're still with me, watching this step-by-step process. I don't do a lot of real-time videos because some repairs can take hours. You'll often see shortened versions, sped up, edited, or time-lapsed to make it more entertaining on YouTube. However, if you enjoy the content and learn from the lessons I put out on YouTube, you'll love the online training we've put together at Learn PDR Online.

Right now, we have two courses available: the Foundation Course and the PDR Path. The Foundation Course is aimed at complete beginners. It covers everything you need to start practicing PDR from home, including tools, techniques, panel setup, reading the line board, identifying the tool tip, and removing dents. Our signature seven-step program, the PDR Path, is designed to take you from a complete beginner to a successful paid PDR technician. It includes the Foundation Course and walks you through setting up your own PDR business, getting customers, and getting paid for your PDR skills. If you're looking to get started in the PDR industry, reach out to me with any questions, and I'll help you get set up to achieve your goals of becoming a PDR technician.


As we approach the end of the repair, the final step is to cross-check our work. This means using both the line board and natural light to check the repair area from every angle, ensuring there's no distortion, no highs, or lows left. I'll give the panel a quick polish by hand to clean up any residue and small marks on the surface. Overall, the repair has come out really well. Now, I'm moving on to that nasty crease in the boot lid. For now, thank you for taking the time to watch this real-time repair with me, and I'll see you in the next one.

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