auto hail repair

How to Remove or Repair Car Dents From Hail Damage

On-the-ground hail in the Denver area was observed by trained spotters 144 times in the past 12 months. This means that you may incur hail damage to your vehicle following a storm.

When your automobile looks like the outside of a golf ball, how do you repair car dents without breaking your wallet? Out-of-pocket professional hail damage repairs range from $30 for each small dent to $75 for each large dent. When all dents on a vehicle are fixed, professional repairs can cost $3,000 or more.

We're sharing information on DIY remedies, the risks of DIY, and why to consider a professional hail damage repair service.

DIY Repair Expectations

With DIY hail damage auto repair, you may see various results. Factors influencing repair success include:

  • The number of dents and their location
  • Depth of dents
  • Location of dents
  • Method of repair

The first DIY step is selecting your repair method.

Hot Sun

Hail damage dents result from the vehicle's metal surface being stretched out of place. To repair dents, use mother nature.

Park your car in the hot summer sun and let the metal heat up. As the metal gets hot, it expands, and minor dents may pop out. You may need to park in hot sunlight for several days for this to work.

If sunlight isn't sufficient, you can boost it using a hair dryer. Keep the dryer a few inches from the surface to prevent paint discoloration.

This method doesn't require skill but only sometimes produces results. It may work on minor dents; deep or large dents need more work.

Sun, Hairdryer, and Dry Ice

This combines the hot sun and hair dryer method above with a cooling element. Once the metal surface is hot from the sun and hair dryer, place dry ice on it. The rapid cooling changes the surface temperature, causing the dent to pop out.

The key is a rapid temperature change. If the surface doesn't get hot enough, it won't expand during cooling.

Aluminum Foil

Some DIYers find taping aluminum foil over the dent and heating it with a lighter works. This transfers heat from the foil to the vehicle metal.

There is a risk of excessive heat damaging the paint. You can't see through the foil and can damage the paint without knowing until you remove the foil.

After the metal is hot, apply something cold to the dented area. Cold application options include a washcloth chilled in cold water, spraying compressed air over the dent, or applying dry ice.

As mentioned above, the key is a rapid temperature change, causing the dent to pop out.

Heat Gun

Using a heat gun, warm each dent on a medium-low setting. Be careful not to overheat the vehicle's surface, which can damage the paint.

Once warmed, immediately apply a cold element, such as dry ice. The rapid cooling effect causes the metal to contract, pushing the dent out.

Suction Cup Puller

The automotive suction cup tool comes in a variety of sizes. Purchase a cup diameter comparable to the hail dents you need to remove.

Heat the metal using the sun or a hairdryer, then cover the heated dent with a bit of water. The moisture helps seal the suction cup to the vehicle's surface. After sealing the suction cup over the indention, pull it up to bring it level with the vehicle's surface.

This process is time-consuming and physically demanding. Depending on the extent of damage, it may take hours, if not days, to complete the repair.

Glue Puller Kit

This system uses adhesive and a puller to remove dents. To get good results, you must be extremely gentle.

Select a glue tab that fits the dent, then use the hot glue gun to apply a glue dot to the tab. Attach the tab to the dent without squishing the glue into the panel. Press the tab against the vehicle surface, ensuring the glue creates a barrier between the tab and the vehicle.

Allow the glue to dry, then attach the pulling device to the glue tab. Keep the feet flush with the panel, ensuring a secure bond between the puller and the tab.

Standing in a position providing the most leverage, grab the handles and pull back. The dent should rise slightly. Pulling too much may cause high spots, which you can tap down with a rubber hammer.

Glue puller kits advertise as being paintless. The glue adhesive may remove vehicle paint, and there is a risk of creating more dents.

Slide Hammer

Slide hammers are available with a suction cup or glue pull base. These require little upper body strength, making them easier to use than glue pullers.

You attach the slide hammer to the glue tab or suction cup, then pull back slowly, moving the handle to release the dent.

Use caution when operating. It's easy to produce enough force to bend the vehicle's body panel. If this occurs, you must repair the new damage with a rubber hammer or DIY kit.

Pushing Tools

This is similar to what body shops use. Kits are sold at hardware stores and auto body shops.

The thin metal pushing tool reaches under the vehicle's body panels. You apply leverage in a gradual, pulsing rhythm until the dent disappears. Use caution; applying too much force at once can cause further damage.

Risks of DIY Hail Damage Repair

DIY hail damage repair costs are lower than professional services, but disadvantages exist. Depending on your skill and patience levels when using the necessary tools, you may cause more damage to the vehicle.

If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, DIY is not advisable. Your insurance will likely refuse to reimburse you for the cost of repair tools. Adding to that out-of-pocket expense is the value of your time performing the repairs.

Forgo DIY methods if there are severe dents, the paint is scratched, the windshield or side windows are cracked, or your mirrors, headlights, taillights, or trim show damage.

By using professional hail damage repair services, your vehicle's appearance and integrity are restored. Auto hail damage does not appear on your Carfax history report. If your insurance submits it in error, contact Carfax with your repair documentation showing this was hail damage only, and they will correct your information.

Advantages of Professional Hail Damage Repair Services

You may worry about the time approval will take when filing an insurance claim, plus the length of time you'll be without your vehicle waiting on repairs. Here are the advantages of using professional services:

  • Paintless dent repair (PDR)
  • Certified technicians
  • Lifetime warranty on repairs
  • Insurance claim coordination
  • Additional repair options, including windshield replacement

Professional hail repair is a sound financial decision, ensuring the value and integrity of your vehicle.

Repair Car Dents Easily

Before committing to repair car dents with a DIY method, weigh your options. DIY repairs don't provide a professional finish and may cause additional damage.

The professional technicians at Express Auto Hail Repair successfully removed 1,131,450 hail damage dents in 2022. We offer 48-hour repairs, restoring your vehicle's value with a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee.

Check out our services and request a free 3-minute express or 1-hour custom estimate today.


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