If your vehicle has been in a hail storm, odds are good it has some noticeable dents. Depending on your insurance policy, this damage may or may not be covered. If it is not covered, you will have to pay to have the car repaired out of your pocket. Unfortunately, auto body work is not cheap. While there are some "tricks" claiming to quickly and easily fix small dents, most of them do not work well, if at all. Here are a few repair methods that will have your vehicle looking good again.
When the damage has been done to parts that can be easily removed, such as the hood, trunk, or fenders, you can simply replace them with undamaged pieces. You may be able to find these parts in a junk yard or online. If you are lucky, you can find parts in the same color as your vehicle. If you have to buy parts in a different color, you can purchase a can of paint and repaint them to match your car. It is best to do the painting before you put the part on so you do not get any overspray on the rest of the car.
If the dents are in parts that are hard to remove, such as the roof or quarter panels, you can use body filler to fix them. Body filler is to a car what spackle or mud is to drywall. To ensure the filler sticks to the car, you will need to grind the area down to bare metal. You can then apply the filler and sand it to be smooth and even with the rest of the car. All that remains is painting the area.
Paintless Dent Repair
Some dents can be repaired from the inside of the part. Heat is applied to make the metal malleable and then the dent is "massaged" back in place. If you are not experienced in auto body repair this work is best left to a professional. However, since no painting is required, it is less expensive than having the dent pulled out. This can be especially true when the paint color has faded due to the sun or exposure to the elements.
Regardless of who has to pay for the repair, it is important that any dents be fixed as soon as possible. Any compromise of the integrity of the car increases the chance for rust and more damage.
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