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Repairing Hail Damage

Hail can pose a serious threat to our vehicle’s exterior… well, actually, a million little ones.

On the West Coast, hail is one of those things that can come out of nowhere. One moment, it’s a crisp sunny day, and the next, it’s raining down golf-ball sized chunks of ice. Unless you have a garage or covered car port, there is little you can do to protect your car from a sudden onslaught of hail.

Here are a few DIY tricks to fix hail damage that you can try out.

1. Temperature Differentials

Metal expands and contracts when it is heated and cooled. We can take advantage of this property of metal and use it to our advantage. Here are 3 different ways you can try to use thermal expansion to fix hail damage.

  • Dry Ice. This is probably the simplest way to go about fixing hail damage. Dry ice is so cold that simply holding the substance near the dents can get them to pop out. Move the ice around the dent to get the area super cold, and you might see it pop back into place. When working with dry ice, make sure to use gloves because you can seriously damage your skin just by handling it.
  • Sun. This one seems too good to be true, but that means it’s worth a shot! Using the same principle as the dry ice method, but in reverse, you can get dents to pop out simply by letting the area get exposed to the sun. Thermal expansion caused by solar heat may be enough to get shallow dents to pop out.
  • Hot Air. Unfortunately, the sun isn’t always shining for us on the west coast. If you can’t expose your car to direct sunlight, you can create heat by other means. A common hairdryer can create air that is hot enough to be useful. Wave the hair dryer a few inches away from dented areas and see if you can get them to pop out. Don’t use the hair dryer on a single spot for more than a minute though, as you could generate enough heat to seriously damage the paint. You must always use extreme caution when applying any kind of direct heat source to your car, as you risk damaging the paint.

2. Dent Repair Kits

You can find dent removal kits at any major auto supply store. They usually come with several tools to help you pull out minor dents and are quite easy to use. Follow the instructions that come with the kit, but we only recommend that you use these DIY kits for minor dents. For anything deep or serious, you’ll want to keep reading below.

3. Find a Reputable Auto-body Shop

You can’t beat a professional job. For minor damage, it’s worth giving the DIY routes a shot, but if you’re in a hurry or will only be happy with a flawless result, then just take your car to the pros. A good shop, like Island Color, will not only be able to pull out even the biggest of dents, but we can also do professional-quality paint correction so there is no sign that your car has ever been damaged – in fact, it may look better than ever.

If you have any questions about the process, cost, or timeline, just give us a call. As an all-in-one small collision repair, paint restoration, and detailing service, we can get your car back to beautiful in no time.

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