Damage to your car from hailstones can occur in a matter of minutes. Thunderstorms can produce marble-sized hail, which can leave significant dents in your car’s metal surfaces. Large hail can also crack windshields leaving small star-like cracks or even spider cracks throughout the entire windshield.
Hail damage can quickly devalue your car unless the damage to the car’s finish and glass is repaired. Cracked windshields can be dangerous to the occupants in an accident. Depending on the extent of the damage, there are a variety of kits and methods available for car owners to try fixing the dent on their own. However, for a professional hail repair that restores the value of your vehicle, most car owners turn to a professional body and auto glass repair shop.
Going to an Auto Body Shop For Professional Help
If your car is insured for hail damage, your insurance company will insist on your car being repaired by a conventional body shop. Even if your car is not insured and you must pay for car repairs out of your pocket, a professional auto collision center should be used to fix hail damaged panels and return your cars finish to its original condition. Choose a shop that has a good reputation for collision repairs.
There are several approaches an auto body repair shop will consider before repairing hail damaged vehicles. These include: Remove and Replace; Finish Glazing; Body filler, and Traditional Heat Repair. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages depending on the severity of the damage, the age of the car, and the condition of the current finish on the car. While your vehicle is in for repairs, have them also focus on scratch repairs to other vehicle areas. They have all of the repair tools needed to match every repair process needed.
How do body shops repair hail damage?
Removal and replacement of body panels is a traditional approach that completely replaces all of the damaged panels. Minor damage can be repaired using a finished glazing approach that involves light sanding and then filling the dented area with filler. Larger dents may need sanding down to the metal and then filled with body filler before being repainted. Heat repair involves applying heat with an oxyacetylene torch to enlarge and restore the metal. The repair time for each approach, along with the density and depth of the dents, determines which is the best approach to take.
What is the cost to repair hail damage on your car?
Repairing car hail damage can be quite expensive. The repair cost varies based on the number of dents, their size, and the paint needed to refinish the car. With each dent costing as much as $100 or more, replacing a panel may be less expensive than repairing numerous dents. The auto repair shop can prepare a repair estimate for you.
Using Paintless Dent Removal or PDR Kits for Hail Damage
Paintless dent repair for cars is becoming more popular because it eliminates the need to sand the area, add body filler, and re-sand the area before repainting the entire panel. Paintless dent repair involves manipulating the metal from the inside to reshape small dents as long as the paint and metal are still intact. Even larger dents can be repaired using this technique.
The advantages of paintless dent repair include lower costs, faster job completion, and avoiding potentially hazardous chemicals. Both insurance companies and uninsured owners prefer this approach due to the lower cost of hail damage repair.
DIY Home Techniques To Remove Hail Damage
DIY car hail damage repair is attractive to many car owners who do not have auto hail damage repair insurance or those who want to avoid a claim on their car insurance. There are several techniques, such as leaving your car in the sun or applying dry ice to the dents left by hailstones. They do not work uniformly or completely and can even cause more damages to your car’s finish, effectively lowering the value of your car even further.
Car owners can try sanding, applying body filler, and re-sanding before repainting their car. With the right tools, time, and clean conditions, DIY owners can complete a reasonable job. However, for maximum resale value, car owners are better off to hire professionals for hail damage repair jobs.
Will the sun pop out hail dents?
Many owners suggest you should park your car in the hot sun after experiencing hail damage. The metal expands in the hot sun and sometimes can cause the dents to pop back. You may have to try this approach for several days as well as reposition your vehicle to ensure that the remaining dents are in the direct sunlight.
Note that this approach does not work for all dents. Also, if the paint finish has been penetrated, exposing the metal, the area will be subject to potential rust over time. Inspect each dent to determine the depth of the dent and the overall damage. There may also be some dents that do not react to this method.
Does applying dry ice on dents really work?
Another method involves the application of dry ice to each dent caused by the hail. The dry ice causes a significant change in temperature and may cause the dent to pop out. Note that dry ice can damage the skin on your fingers. Wear protective gloves while using this method.
Also, not all of the hail damage on cars will respond to this method, and some will still have remnants of the dent, which will require further repairs, as mentioned earlier in this article involving sanding, the application of body filler, more sanding and then repainting.
Can you fix hail damage on car roof with a hairdryer?
Using a hairdryer is also popular, especially if you cannot expose your vehicle to the heat of the sun. Apply heat from the hairdryer for no more than two minutes at a time, while holding the hairdryer from five to seven inches away from the area. Do not touch the exhaust of the hairdryer to the surface of the car to avoid damage to the paint from overheating.
Immediately withdraw the hairdryer from the treatment area if the paint begins to discolor. Over application of heat can damage the finish requiring the application of rubbing compounds or even a full re-sanding and painting of the surface.
Windshield Repair From Hail Damage
Large hail can damage windshields causing everything from a small star-like chip to cracks that run the entire length of the windshield. Large hail can even break the window entirely. Make arrangements to have small chips repaired immediately before they expand across the entire windshield. They are inexpensive to repair, and a small chip in the windshield can quickly expand to stretch the length of the window. Once this occurs, the entire window must be replaced.
Car insurance usually covers window damage, and many auto window repair shops fix hail damage by coming directly to your home to make repairs.
Can you get hail dents out of a car?
Hail damage car dents can be repaired. Deep dents where the hail has also damaged the paint surface will require sanding, body filler, and repainting. Smaller dents may be repaired by leaving the car in the hot sun, causing the metal to expand and the dent to pop out, while some dents respond better to dry ice. Dent remover repair kits can also be purchased for those who wish to make repairs themselves.
If you can apply pressure from the inside, a paintless dent repair approach can be used. Hairdryers can also be used; however, avoid overheating that can damage the paint finish.
A professional auto body repair shop may also replace the panel and paint it to avoid spending hundreds or thousands of dollars. To save time, they try to fix or remove many hail damage to car with PDR tools.
Wrapping It up
Driving tips include protecting your car by parking inside or on the less side of a building during thunderstorms that may produce hailstones. If your car is damaged by hailstones, there are numerous ways to fix the car dents, depending on their location and density. If the paint has been damaged, repair the dent and repaint the panel to avoid future rust damages.
Hail damage repair typically includes sanding, applying body filler and painting, paintless dent repair, and several DIY solutions. These include leaving your car in the hot sun, applying dry ice, and using a hairdryer to manipulate the metal. A professional body shop hail repair will always improve the value of your car if your planning to sell your vehicle or trade it for another one.