Hail can be a huge problem for car owners. When it strikes, it leaves behind deep dents and scratches that are very hard to remove. Some types of insurance may help pay for the cost of repairs, but if you’re looking for an affordable way to fix your hail damage on your own without having to rely on insurance money, this article will provide tips and tricks that may be able to help.
What does hail damage do to a car?
Depending on the severity of the hail storm, the following damage can occur:
- Dents to roofs, side panels, doors
- Smashed windows
- Chipped paint
- Broken headlights or tail lights
How important is it to repair hail damage?
It’s important to repair hail damage as soon as you can because it may be much more expensive to deal with in the future. The longer the car is left with these dents or scratches, the more problematic they may become. You’ll have your car for years in most cases so why not fix the problem now while you still can?
Does my insurance cover hail damage?
Many insurance policies cover hail damage to your vehicle. However, not all plans are the same so you’ll want to check with your provider and see if there is coverage for this type of incident or what ramifications they may have before taking any action on repairing it yourself.
The most important thing that anyone who has hail damage on their vehicle should do is report it immediately to their insurer. They might be able to provide an estimate over the phone so that you know how much money will need to go towards repairs.
How is hail damage repaired?
There are a few common methods for repairing hail damage on a vehicle. Always consult a professional before trying out any methods yourself as there is a risk you will cause more damage to your vehicle.
Method 1: Paintless Dent Removal
The hail damage repair process is a delicate one. With the help of gentle pushing and pulling tools, it can be accomplished in stages by gradually and repeatedly applying pressure from under to push out any dents that are inside or underneath body panels until they disappear completely. Carefully applied leverage will ensure success while removing them a tiny bit at a time. For results with this not-so-easy task, it’s best left to the experts.
Method 2: Heating and Cooling
The Heating and Cooling method involves using a heat source such as a heat gun or hair dryer to heat up the metal, which causes it to shrink. This process is then repeated with an ice water bath that will help expand the car’s metal panels so they are back in place. This is generally not considered a reliable method for hail damage repair and comes with risk of causing more damage.
Method 3: Pulling Tools
Some people have success using a plunger or a dent pulling removal kit to fix hail damage on their vehicles. This process involves applying a suction force to the dent and pulling it back to its original position. There are some examples of these tools in the section below.
What tools can you use to repair hail damage?
Here are some various tool kits you can try at home for hail damage repair:
- 29 Piece Dent Repair Tools (including T-Puller, Slide Hammer and Bridge Dent Puller)
- Professional 95 piece Auto Car Body Paintless Dent Repair Tool Kit
- Bridge Dent Puller for Minor Dents and Hail Damage
How much does It cost to repair hail damage?
Expert bodyshops in Australia will generally charge between $1000 and $10,000 for hail damage repair and in some cases, the car will unfortunately be a write-off.
How can you protect your car from hail damage?
Here are our top tips for protecting your car from hail damage:
- Get a car cover: Protect your paintwork from dents and scratches with a hail-proof car cover.
- Park in a garage or carport when there is hail or storms forecast: If possible, park in a garage or under a shelter to avoid damage.
- Park under a large tree: If there is no other shelter available and it is too late for hail protection solutions, find an area in your yard where the trees above the vehicle will reduce the impact of hailstones when they fall.
Should you buy a car with hail damage?
Buying a car with hail damage can be risky. It is important to examine the car over thoroughly before buying it, as there may be hidden damage that can’t be seen at first glance. Keep in mind that the cost to repair a hail-damaged vehicle may cost more than its value.
What does hail damage look like on a car?
When trying to determine if a vehicle has hail damage, consider the following:
- Dents on the vehicle’s body
- Rusty or discolored metal that may be caused by hail damage
- Obvious repair work