With more than 300,000 claims filed for hail damage with insurance companies in 2016, according to CarInsurance.com
, knowing what to do when it happens can save you a lot of money and headaches. In this article, Part 1 explains how to remove small dents caused by hail, Part 2 describes how to use a car dent repair kit, and Part 3 explains paintless dent removal and how car body repair shops use it to remove dents.
Method 1 of 3: Removing small dents from your car
You have many options at your disposal when removing small dents, including the heat of the sun or heat generated by a hair dryer. Allowing the natural process of expansion and contraction to pop out the small dents is the primary idea behind this method.
You can also use a hair dryer, heat gun, or other heating method to generate large amounts of heat in a short amount of time. Working in intervals of two minutes, apply heat to the dented area, leaving a two-to-four inch gap between the surface of the car and the device.
You can also use dry ice or water to cool the surface of the car for a more drastic reaction. Cooling the surface of the car body in this way causes the material to contract, hopefully popping out tougher dents.
Method 2 of 3: Using a car dent repair kit
A car dent repair kit
represents another option for removing more extreme dents from hail damage. You can find a car dent removal kit at a local auto supply store. To use a car dent repair kit, take the following steps:
Step 1: Attach the pulling tab. Attach the pulling tab to the deepest part of the dent using the provided hot glue.
Make sure the glue is dry before tightening. You can do this by touching the glue to test its tackiness. Glue that is slightly tacky is ready for the next step of the process.
Step 2: Connect the tab to the puller. Place the threaded portion of the pulling tab through the hole in the center of the puller.
Most pullers have two pads on either side of the hole where the tab goes through. This allows the puller to provide counter pressure as the pulling tab is pulled via the handle.
Step 3: Tighten the handle. Attach the handle to the end of the pulling tab and begin to tighten it.
As you turn the handle, the pulling tab is pulled up and away from the body of the car.
The glue keeps the tab attached to the car body, pulling the area of the dent along with it, pulling out the dent.
You might need to tap down any raised areas using a hammer and taps specially designed for this process.
Step 4: Cleanup. After the dent is removed clean up the area.
This includes removing the glue used to attach the pulling tab to the dent area using a cleaner.
Method 3 of 3: What is paintless dent removal?
If the dent is severe enough, you might have to take your car to a car body repair shop. You should look for a shop that uses a process called paintless dent removal, which uses some of the same special tools used in car dent repair kit. In addition, many repair shops use a special light board to let them know exactly where they need to place their tools for best removal.
While using a dent repair kit to remove dents yourself is an option, it can often leave a slight blemish on your vehicle’s surface. Most professional car body repair shops can do such a good job using the same tools that you can’t even tell a dent was there in the first place, making it worth the extra cost.
While you have many methods at your disposal to remove car hail damage, keeping your car under cover represents the best option. In addition, if you have the appropriate comprehensive insurance coverage, have a car body repair shop do the work. Keep in mind that if the damage to your car from hail costs less than the deductible to fix, then you are better off not even filing a claim to help keep your premiums down.