Fall is a wonderful time of the year, full of pretty colors, cooler temps, and lots of hail. Hail season lasts into the winter and gets us ready for our busy season. That being said, hail season can often be just as busy as the winter season, but offers an unpredictable flare to the year. When hail storms hit, all kinds of storm chasers come up from the south and set up shop in the cities. Those storm chasers perform a special kind of auto body repair called PDR, or paintless dent repair. Paintless dent repair is exactly as it sounds, these technicians, and some of our own, remove the dents in your vehicle without painting it. Sounds crazy, we know.
PDR is a lot simpler than you’d imagine. Picture big bright lights, a disassembled vehicle, and little (sometimes large!) rubber mallets. Your PDR technician is actually using pressure from inside the panels of your vehicle to slowly pound them out, reforming the metal to its original shape. The transformation is incredible to watch, and we highly recommend checking YouTube for a severe hail repair! The reason you can perform PDR in hail dents is because the hail pieces leave ridgeless dents in the panels of your vehicle. Dents from things like backing into a pole or getting rear ended aren’t typically candidates for PDR as the paint has been pushed to the point of breaking. However, we can occasionally fix a dent via PDR even if it has a ridge, as long as the paint has not cracked at all! The beauty of having an auto body shop look over your vehicle and repair it is that we can work directly with your insurance on the damage caused by the storm!
We understand though, you may not have full coverage on your vehicle, may not have the time to drop off the vehicle, or you may just want to experiment yourself! There are certain things you can do at home to attempt to repair hail damage. Heat is one way to get the metal panels on your vehicle to flex and return to its preformed shape. By parking your vehicle in the sun, sometimes certain dents can pop out themselves. We’ve heard of people trying hot water methods and using their hair dryers as well. These are all great DIY techniques if you don’t mind some paint discoloration. The other option here would be to chill the dents, some people have been said to use dry ice. They circle the dent with a piece of dry ice, attempting to coax the dent out of the metal. All these techniques have seen varied results, and we do not recommend attempting to repair your vehicle untrained at home, unless you’re not worried about how the vehicle looks afterwards. Attempts to repair the vehicle yourself could result in voiding your warranty, or loss of insurance coverage for the hailstorm.
Naturally, we suggest bringing your vehicle into your local body shop, which is hopefully ours! There is no way to guarantee that these home remedies will work for your vehicle, and we always have time to help! Whether you’re just coming in for an estimate, or coming in for repairs, we are here to try and solve your problems as best we can.