auto hail repair

A Guide to Vehicle Hail Damage Repair: DIY vs. Auto Body Shops

A Guide to Vehicle Hail Damage Repair: DIY vs. Auto Body Shops

Are you trying to decide between an auto body shop or DIY dent repair for your car's hail damage? This is how to choose the best hail damage repair option.

With over 4,000 hail events across the United States in 2022 alone, it is only a matter of time before you become a victim of this weather pattern. Even Florida has seen hail from time to time, so you need to be ready for when your vehicle suffers from the impact of icy strikes. Though, when it occurs, how should you undertake hail damage repair?

This article will delve into the pros and cons of the different options available to you. As you learn more, you will likely see why getting a professional to repair your vehicle is the best option possible.

DIY Heat and Cold

Of the many repair options, the cheapest is to use a simple hair dryer or boiling water to heat the area. In theory, increasing the temperature of the metal in the vehicle's body around the damage will "pop" the dent back into place.

At the same time, you should cool down the dent itself. Using water ice, dry ice, or another method, you can shrink down the metal in that area, pulling it tight. As both the heat on the edge and the cooling in the center happen at the same time, the metal pulls like pulling the edges of a bedsheet, straightening it out.

Pros of heat and cold. One of the reasons this is often a very popular choice is its affordability. You do not need to go into an auto repair shop to enact this method, and people can instead do it at home themselves.

Most people can also boil water in their own homes or have access to a hair dryer. If you want to use dry ice, you can even get that for cheap online.

Also, doing such repairs is not going to cause any intentional damage. You do not need to drill anything or repair any area if everything goes well.

Cons of heat and cold. While this method is very simple, it is only so effective. You cannot do this in large areas of damage, and any serious dents will not pull back into place without more thorough work.

At the same time, you need to be careful of the paint on the vehicle. By heating it and cooling it down fast, you may end up at risk of causing bubbles or cracks to appear.

DIY Shop-Bought Repair Kits

Using a DIY kit is more involved than using only heat and cold, and you need to try to find a store that sells such a kit. All such kits may be different, so you should follow their instructions each time you pick one up. Despite this, there are common elements you can find in every dent repair kit.

Most of them will need you to use a suction cup or similar device to "latch" onto the vehicle's body where a dent is. It is likely to involve the use of some kind of adhesive to either give the suction cup a good seal or to help it hold onto the vehicle.

You will then need to pull on the device to tease the dent back into place. Some might demand that you take other steps to give a bit more pressure, though this is not always the case.

Pros of repair kits. Much like hot and cold repair, this method is often affordable. While it might cost more to go out and buy a specialized kit, you can have the assurance the device exists for that purpose.

You can also often find these kits in both many major retailers that offer vehicle utility items, or in a local auto parts store.

Cons of repair kits. While you might buy them for repairing dents, not all kits can deal with more major damage. Deep or very large dents might need professional care.

As you are not an expert at vehicle repair, there is always the chance you might end up causing more damage than existed before. Always be very careful, and if you are ever unsure you might be better off with the peace of mind of hiring a professional.

Professional Repair

Because of their level of expertise, there may be many different ways an auto body shop would approach the repair of your vehicle. Though, the most likely for smaller hail damage would be paintless dent repair, also known as PDR.

This technique uses specific, professional tools to push any bumps or dents back into place. This is a very slow process, applying controlled and consistent pressure over the area instead of brute force. Depending on how large the dent is, they might even use several different methods to apply PDR to the vehicle.

Pros of professional repair. Bringing in an expert means they have a high level of experience and training they can apply to the situation. If anything goes wrong, the chances are high that they know how to handle it and prevent further damage.

They are also focused on the job at hand. They can dedicate the time to giving you a high-quality result, knowing your patronage depends on the level of service they offer.

Cons of professional repair. One of the hardest things about getting hail damage repair is scheduling a time you can be without the vehicle. This becomes even more difficult because, after a hail event, you are unlikely to be the only person needing sudden repairs.

A professional service will work around your schedule. They can ensure you can be without your vehicle for the least amount of time and get back on the road as soon as possible.

Where to Get the Best Hail Damage Repair

You should now have a much more comprehensive understanding of why working with a professional auto repair shop is your best bet. As such, we want to offer our services as hail damage experts to make sure your vehicle receives the best treatment possible.

Our car damage specialists can talk to you about your options. They can work out a time and plan to get your vehicle back on the road looking as beautiful as ever. So, get in contact and book a quote today to ensure you get the best deal possible.


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Team member using specialized tools to work on dent repair on a bright orange 4-door sedan