How to Deal With Auto Body Damage
Auto Body Damage
No matter how safe and careful a driver you are, there’s nothing that can prepare your car for serious damage to the body.
From dents to full-on ruptures, damage like this can disfigure your car and leave you with a hefty repair bill to shoulder. You might not even have been the one to cause the damage, or maybe you bought a classic car with damage that you want to restore.
But let’s face it, the money you pay to have your car’s exterior fixed will be worth it. You just need to follow these simple tips for dealing with auto body damage.
Assess the damage
There are a lot of factors that can cause dents or other damage to your car’s body. Collisions with another vehicle are a good example, although your car can also be damaged in other uneventful ways.
Backing up to a tree, getting hit by a tennis ball or hitting an animal while driving at night can also leave dents on the body. While many of these incidents are avoidable, there are times when you are caught off guard and you will need to have your vehicle serviced.
On the other hand, there are situations that are out of your control. Environmental factors such as hail or falling debris can also chip away at the paint job and disfigure your vehicle. This often happens when you are driving straight into a storm or parking somewhere that’s supposed to be safe.
In all cases, you need to assess the damage to your car so you can have a clear understanding of what you need to do and how much it would take to bring the car’s exterior back to its original state. Whether it’s an actual dent, a scratch, or a damaged bumper, you can bring your vehicle back to its original shape if you know the kind of repair it needs and put in the effort to get it done.
If you don’t have the luxury of time to do it yourself, you can hire a mechanic to inspect the damage for you. The mechanic should be able to give you estimates for the cost of repairing your car and how to get the best value for your money.
See if you can fix it yourself
Consider yourself lucky if you get away with minor damage such as a small scratch or a detached side mirror. You can actually repair both of these issues with the right tools.
Here are the basics for how to repair these issues:
- If it’s a minor dent on the side, you can use a dent puller. Although it doesn’t guarantee to smooth out the vehicle’s body, a dent puller can still do a great job in fixing deep depressions on your car.
- For scratches, there are repair kits you can buy that have all the tools you need to erase ugly markings on your car. If you don’t have one lying around, there are other alternatives you can try out, like toothpaste. It sounds crazy, but toothpaste can actually fill in cavities within the scratches, giving your vehicle a smoother finish. Take note that toothpaste won’t work on deeper scratches.
- Broken windshields can also be a quick fix, but this will depend entirely on the severity of the damage. If it’s a minor crack, you can always seal it using an age-old lifehack involving clear nail polish. Simply apply the substance on the crack and wait for it to dry. This will help protect the glass from further damage when the vehicle reaches very high speeds.
- When it comes to bumper damage, you have a difficult situation to deal with, unless you use the right approaches. If a collision caused the bumper to crack, you might want to clean and sand the area first before preparing a sheet of fiberglass. But that’s only the start of it. You also need to do a bit of sanding and priming to achieve a perfect finish.
No doubt, fixing the exterior of your vehicle is not just a matter of using WikiHow or visiting DIY blogs for step-by-step instructions. Often, it’s better to leave it to the experts than attempt to fix it on your own.
Contact your insurance provider
Your current auto insurance policy may or may not include dents. It depends on the type of coverage you have. Many comprehensive insurance products only cover dents if they were the result of a falling object or a collision with an animal.
Regardless of the cause, dents can be very expensive to repair even if they do not directly affect the performance of the vehicle. Still, you should be able to contact your auto-insurance provider to see if you can get a check after the deductible is paid.
Find the right repair center
When looking for a repair center to fix damage to the exterior of your car, make sure to work with one that is accredited by your insurance provider. But going down this route usually takes longer since you need to shoulder the deductible before the insurer pays up.
One important tip here is to find dent repair specialists who can also handle your insurance claims for you if you don’t have the luxury of time. This makes the repair move faster so you won’t have to move back and forth for follow ups.
See if you can find one that handles dent repairs for door dings, hail damage, and other uncommon damage to the exterior of your car without painting, sanding, and filling. This is important if you want to maintain the vehicle’s value and ensure a quality (and speedy) recovery if you are planning to sell it.
As a motorist, you know how important it is to keep your car in good shape. And while they are not as important as a leaky radiator, the exterior features also deserve some love. All you need is some patience and the tips above to make your car look great on the road.