Hail Damage? Do NOT Do It Yourself!

Chicago. It’s our home. And there’s nowhere like it.

But for auto owners, Chicago living comes with its own unique challenges – one of those being Chicago weather. Of specific concern right now is the prospect of hail damage.

Certain parts of the world are more prone to hailstorms than others, and Chicago is definitely one of them. So it only makes sense to maintain a relationship with a quality autobody repair shop like Gold Coast Auto Body that can handle any damage in the most cost-effective and reliable way possible.
Of course, there are always those adventurous types who want to take the “do-it-yourself” route. And if you scan the Internet, you’ll find no shortage of DIY repair techniques. But do they work? Let’s take a look.

One popular DIY approach to hail damage repair is through the use of heat and cold. It’s a little more technical than applying ice and heat pads to a sprained ankle, but the principles are the same. Basically, the theory is that applying the right amount of heat will cause metal to expand. This will, in turn, theoretically cause small dents to “pop out.”

Dry ice is another method that is rumored to work to a certain degree. The story is that the extreme change in temperature from applying dry ice can sometimes result in dented metal popping back into something approaching original condition – with emphasis on the word “sometimes.”

Even if these methods work, keep in mind that the work will almost always require an expert touch-up by a body shop professional. It’s equally likely you’ll make the damage even worse and wind up with a lot bigger repair bill.

If you’re like most GCAB customers, you want your vehicle returned to showroom condition and that will involve bringing it in for expert repair.

The hood, roof, and trunk are the most likely places to absorb damage from a hailstorm. In most cases the preferred remedy is paintless dent repair, which we’ve covered extensively in an earlier Shop Talk post.

Of course, there’s also the reality that the hail damage to your car may be so severe that it will require repainting. In some extreme cases, entire panels may have to be removed and replaced. Obviously, that’s no job for a do-it-yourselfer.

According to this article in Auto Trends magazine, the average cost of repair for a passenger vehicle damaged in a hailstorm is $2,500. The article also reiterates the fact that Midwestern states are most prone to hail damage.

You may also want to reference this video from Excel Dent Removal in Blaine, Minnesota. It does an excellent job of showing how an experienced, professional shop like GCAB will repair hail damage the right way.