I guess you didn’t remember to park your car in the garage when that hail storm came, and now it is full of damages. I know how you feel. But don’t worry, there are many ways to repair your car hail damages at a body shop in order to get it back into its regular shape. This article is going to talk about the different techniques on how do body shops repair hail damage.
Auto body shops are becoming smarter when it comes to car hail damage repair. They are now using more advanced techniques which allow them to remove dents without having to repaint the entire car.
When a car is damaged by hail, it can be extremely challenging to repair. Hail typically causes dents and holes in the body of a vehicle that are difficult to see or fix without damaging more of the paint work. The following techniques are often used by body shops when repairing hail damage in cars.
6 Ways on How Auto Body Shops Repair Hail Damage
The best way to go about fixing hail damages is going to depend on the severity of the damage. Body shops will use different techniques to remove dents and small holes in a car’s body. Some techniques will allow them to remove the dents without having to repaint them completely.
#1 Replacing body parts that have too much work
Before any PDR technician can start fixing hail damages, they will need to inspect the vehicle’s body and determine what parts need replacement. This is usually done by looking at all affected areas of the vehicle and calculating the amount of work it needs.
An auto body shop calculates the hail damage repair cost based on the amount of time that it is going to require them to get the car back to its original shape. Paintless dent removal or other techniques can take a lot of time to complete, which makes the dent repair process expensive for you.
That is why most auto body shops decide to replace some body parts that have severe damage. It is a simple way to reduce the estimated average cost for the client, and they save repair time as well.
#2 Paintless dent repair (PDR) techniques
PDR is a technique that body shops use to fix hail damage without having to paint the car. A technician will cover the affected area with liquid plastic (PDR glue) and then remove it quickly, which pulls out small pieces of metal from within the dent or hole in order to make them disappear.
This method can take several hours depending on how many dents your car has and how deep they are, but it is a great way for body shops to repair most hail damage on cars. It is a less invasive process in which the technician does not have to remove the car’s panel in order to repair, often saving time and money.
Typically this technique works best on vehicles with metallic paint. It involves using PDR rods to press dents out from the body of a car without damaging any paintwork, and so it’s great for hail damage where there are many small dents.
#3 Using body fillers to repair holes
If a body shop is unable to use PDR for whatever reason (for example, if there are too many dents or they’re too deep), then it may be necessary to use body filler as a temporary solution.
The main difference between using PDR or body fillers is that if you use PDR, the dent will be gone forever without having to repaint the car (unless there are more than one dents in close proximity). Whereas if you use body fillers, it will be necessary to repaint the car after all of the repairs have been made.
#4 Filling damaged area with primer
Sometimes there are some small wholes leftover from hail damage or other damages which need to be repaired in order for a vehicle’s paint job to look good again. However, it is recommended for technicians to use a reflector board to check the small holes caused by hail damage.
Most body shops understand that it is better to make sure they fix the dent completely before they apply primer because this can add a few more steps to the repair process. If the wholes are affecting the shape of the body part, then they use body filler or glaze to fill the dent.
This is a little more time-consuming because it will take several hours for the body filler to dry. Afterward, they can use a primer to cover the small holes that are not visible to the naked eye.
#5 Old school method: Using heat to raise the metal
Sometimes a body shop will have to use more invasive methods for hail damage repairs. This particular process requires the dented area to be heated up and slowly moved around through the hole until it pops out on its own – this usually takes about 30 seconds but can take minutes depending on how deep and how big the hole is.
The use of heat is common in older models because the metal used in the past was thicker. Body repair shops used to fix hail damage by using this heating technique together with hammers and dollies to push out the dented panels.
Now, this heating method is not used as often because it can cause more damage than just leaving the hail untreated, but sometimes it’s necessary for larger dents or when a technician cannot reach behind panels on newer models.
#6 Replace or fix any cracked windshield damages
A cracked windshield is common when an auto body shop receives a vehicle that requires hail damage repair. Usually, the technician will replace or repair any cracks before they can go on to other parts of the hail damage.
If not redone properly, a crack in your windshield could lead to problems with visibility and even compromise the structural integrity of your car. Your insurance provider will inspect your front windshield before renewing your policy, so it is important to get the damage fixed as soon as possible. This is why it’s recommended that technicians do this first when fixing a vehicle that has damages caused by hail storms.
An insurance company that offers comprehensive insurance will typically include windshield repair in their insurance policy. On the other hand, if you have liability insurance or basic collision coverage, hail damage would not be covered.
Paintless dent removal vs. Bondo repairs
Overall paintless dent repair is a more effective way of fixing hail damage on your vehicle. The process is also less invasive, so it will not compromise the integrity of your car’s bodywork as much as a Bondo repair would.
Your best bet is to find an auto body shop that offers a combination repair of paintless dent repair and Bondo repairs. Find a body shop that has experience with mirror image body fillers or foam-injection techniques.
What is the preferred auto hail damage repair method for insurance companies?
Paintless dent repair is the preferred auto hail damage repair method for insurance companies. It’s a labor-intensive process that takes time and skill, but it is less expensive than the alternatives. The technique is less invasive, and it is more effective when dealing with hail repairs that are located on the roof of your vehicle.
Can hail damage be completely repaired?
Yes, hail damage can be repaired completely, but If there are any major issues with your car’s exterior paint, the auto body repairman may have to sand it down and repaint it before moving on. So, expect to pay an estimate of a lot of hours in labor for these types of repairs.
Should you try to fix hail damage with a do it yourself method?
Yes indeed. Most newer model vehicles come with thin metal auto body parts that are easy to repair using paintless dent repair (PDR tools). Another method used to fix a dent without hurting your cars paint is by applying ice (Dry Ice) directly into the body panel of your vehicle.
However, hail damage won’t be completely repaired with a do it yourself method. Be prepared to pay more money at a collision repair center if you want to restore your vehicle to its original shape.
How much does it cost to fix hail damage on a car?
Large dent repairs will be around $30-$75+ and small ones $10-$15, depending on the size. The average estimate cost of hail damage repair is between $2,200 to $2,600. If there are only a few small dent repairs to be done and it doesn’t exceed your deductible amount, filing for hail damages is not worth the trouble.
How long does hail damage repair take?
PDR requires a lot of manual work. It can take anywhere from five minutes to a few days or weeks, depending on the size of the vehicle damage.
Sometimes technicians need to spend hours on the ground with their hands and knees scrubbing at that car paintwork, but it’s worth it because you know your vehicle will be structurally sound when they’re done.
Do insurance companies cover car hail damage repair?
Hail storm repairs are typically not covered by a conventional insurance company, and if you do have coverage for such natural disasters, your deductible may be significant. If you need this type of storm coverage for your truck, you should look for comprehensive insurance.
How can I protect my car from hail hits?
Protecting your vehicle from hail damage can be achieved with different methods. You can try buying a hail protector. Try finding a rubberized cover that fits over your vehicle’s exterior and protects it from hail by preventing the stones from hitting your car during the storm.
If you cannot afford such covers, we recommend using DIY methods to protect your vehicle from hail damage, like the pool noodle cover or the air mattress ones. Learning how to protect your car will save you from paying an expensive estimate from a local auto shop later on.
The cost to repair damages caused by storms will be expensive if you do not take the necessary precautions. A repair estimate from a shop to get your car repaired is not the same as regular vehicle maintenance.
It is not cheap to return your car looks when it has suffered from this type of damage. Repairing your vehicle to its original factory looks can be expensive. We suggest using comprehensive coverage to minimize losses.