When All Hail Breaks Loose: How Do You Repair The Dents In Your Car?
Getting caught in a hail storm pretty much guarantees that your car is going to have some dents and a dinged up finish, especially on the hood, trunk and roof. Even if the damage isn't extensive, you don't want to let the dents go unfixed. They not only ruin the look of your car, there's usually microscopic fissures in the finish that can let rust take hold. Here's a guide to 3 different ways to handle the problem.
Hair Dryer Or Heat Gun
Get out a hair dryer or heat gun and park your car in a sunny location. The extra heat from the sunlight will help the process. Hold the hair dryer or heat gun about 6 inches from the dent, on its highest setting, for no more than 2 minutes at a time.
The heat will help the metal expand, eventually causing the dent to pop back out. Be cautious, however, that you don't damage the paint on your vehicle by applying the heat too closely or too long in one spot.
This isn't a good solution for particularly deep dents, or ones with sharp creases. It's also going to be ineffective if your car has numerous small dents, so only try it if you have a couple minor dents to fix.
The Dry Ice And Heat Method
If you have access to dry ice, you can use it along with the hair dryer or heat gun.
Heat the dent the same way you did before. Then, using gloves or tongs (because you should never touch dry ice with your bare hands), apply the dry ice for 20 seconds to the dent. Apply the heat again. Keep repeating the process until the dent pops. The rapid expansion and contraction of the metal caused by the rotation of the heat and cold should make the dent pop more quickly than using just heat alone.
Again, you need to be cautious about the paint on your car - if the first three or four passes with the heat and ice don't prove successful, abandon the attempt and seek professional auto body repair help. Using the ice does allow you to tackle somewhat deeper dents, but only if they're fairly smooth, and only if you are trying to fix one or two, not dozens.
Paintless Dent Repair
If your attempts to repair the dents yourself aren't successful, it's time to seek professional assistance at the auto body shop. Ask about paintless dent repair, as an alternative to the traditional dent repair, which typically involves adding body filler to the dents and repainting the vehicle.
Paintless dent repair can only be done if your finish isn't damaged, but it pushes the dent out a little at a time, from underneath. Using special tools for the process, the auto body specialists massages the dent out of the metal.
If your finish is damaged, there's no point to trying paintless dent repair, because you'll have to repaint anyhow in order to benefit from having the dents removed. However, if your finish is good, paintless dent repair can be done faster than traditional dent repair with fillers, and for less money.
If you've had a significant amount of damage to your vehicle from hail, don't attempt any repairs on your own. You can end up damaging your car further, and it'll cost more to fix the additional damage once you take it to a professional. Contact a company like Collision One to get your car back in shape in no time.