Eyes on the Prize: A Guide to Inspecting Your Car for Dents

Your car, a faithful companion on the road, might endure a few bumps and bruises over time. From rogue shopping carts to unexpected encounters with nature’s elements, dents can be an inevitable part of your vehicle’s journey. Regular inspections are essential to catch these imperfections early, preventing potential issues and preserving your car’s aesthetics. Let’s embark on a step-by-step guide to help you inspect your car for dents like a seasoned detective.

1. Choose the Right Lighting: Adequate lighting is crucial for a thorough inspection. Park your car in a well-lit area or, if needed, use a flashlight to highlight different angles of the vehicle. Shadows can accentuate dents, making them more visible.

2. Start with a Clean Slate: A clean car is not just visually appealing; it’s also easier to inspect. Give your vehicle a thorough wash to remove dirt and debris, allowing you to spot dents more effectively. This step is particularly important for identifying minor imperfections.

3. Methodical Walk-Around: Begin your inspection by taking a slow and methodical walk around your car. Examine each panel closely, including the doors, fenders, hood, trunk, and bumpers. Pay attention to varying angles, as dents might be more noticeable from specific viewpoints.

4. Hands-On Exploration: Use your hands to gently run over each panel. Your fingertips can detect irregularities that might not be immediately visible. Be cautious not to press too hard, especially if the dent is sharp, as this can damage the paint.

5. Utilize Reflections: The sun can be your ally in the inspection process. Use reflections on the car’s surface to spot distortions or inconsistencies. Move around the vehicle, observing how the light interacts with the panels to reveal potential dents.

6. Check for Paint Damage: Dents often come hand-in-hand with paint damage. Inspect the affected areas for scratches, chipping, or cracks in the paint. Identifying these issues early can prevent further deterioration and potential rusting.

7. Explore the Interior: Open doors, the trunk, and the hood to inspect the interior surfaces for dents. Sometimes, dents occur from the inside, and these might not be immediately visible from the exterior.

8. Document and Prioritize: As you identify dents, document their locations. Take photos if necessary, noting the size and severity. Prioritize addressing larger or more noticeable dents first, and then consider whether minor imperfections warrant attention.

9. Consider Professional Inspection: If you’re unsure about the severity of a dent or if you suspect underlying damage, it’s wise to seek a professional inspection. Auto body shops have the expertise to assess and advise on necessary repairs.

10. Regular Check-Ups: Make car dent inspections a routine part of your vehicle maintenance. Perform these checks every few months, especially after adverse weather conditions, parking in crowded areas, or other situations that might increase the risk of dents.

By adopting a proactive approach to inspecting your car for dents, you not only preserve its aesthetic appeal but also ensure the longevity and integrity of its structure. Catching dents early allows for timely repairs, preventing potential issues from escalating. So, don your detective hat, grab a flashlight, and give your car the attention it deserves – a dent-free journey awaits!

Storms and How They Can Impact Your Car

One absolute thing about the weather is that it is always unpredictable. Severe storms can wreak havoc on your house and your car. A car can easily be pounded with unsightly dents if a storm unleashes a barrage of hail. Storms can do a variety of damage to your vehicle when it’s left outside. No one wants a car that looks like a golf ball, but that’s exactly what one bad hail storm can do. It not only does damage to your car but to your bottom line as well. Even very light hail damage is devastating to your vehicle’s value. $5,000.00 to $8,000.00 is very typical, even when you can barely see it.

Hail and the damage it does to your vehicle

Hail can cause a great deal of damage, and can often start with little to no warning. Most of us have seen hail at some point in our lives. Hailstones vary in size, shape, and hardness. In general, the larger the hail size, the fewer the hailstones there are and the farther apart they fall. Most hailstones are relatively smooth and nearly spherical but sometimes they can be jagged or even elliptical in shape. Hardness is a key factor as well as shape. The harder hailstone is the greater its ability to damage your vehicle panels. The wind, as well as the duration of the storm, can also have an impact on your vehicle. Surfaces left uncovered or unsheltered from the elements during a hailstorm can get blasted in random patterns. Those surfaces facing the wind typically receive greater damage than the other sides. This is why one side of a vehicle may have extensive hail damage while the opposite side may have very minimal damage. By the end of the storm, your car can be left looking like a total wreck.

What about insurance?

Many assume that their insurance premiums will be affected if they file a claim but hail damage is a “no-fault” claim or an “Act of God”. It’s not your fault, and you cannot be singled out for a rate increase simply because you get the hail dents on your car repaired. Hail damage falls under your comprehensive coverage. The money is there in a pool, available to fully and properly repair your car- whether you choose to take advantage of it or not. Every moment that your vehicle goes “unrepaired”, you are driving around with “pre-existing damage.”

How will you best Repair the Damage?

The best way to repair your vehicle with a process known as Paintless Dent Repair (PDR).
This is an industry-recognized, universally considered a favored method of repair. PDR uses specialized tools to manually apply pressure to the underside of the panels thus restoring the finish to factory perfection, without disturbing the original factory paint. There’s no Bondo, (Bondo is a polyester putty product originally marketed as an automotive body filler) grinding, resins, fillers, primers, and painting involved. It is the only way to return your vehicle back to full book value.

The Best and most Trusted Repair Company

Dent Ambulance is a Paintless Dent Removal company located in Gastonia, NC. We service the entire Gaston County area. Our PDR technicians are highly trained and experienced and we guarantee our work. We offer PDR repairs and collision repair at your location or at our shop just off of Franklin Blvd. We can also work with your insurance company to repair hail damage, windshields, and more. Visit our website and use our Dent Repair Estimate and let’s get your vehicle on the road to recovery and bring your vehicle back to its full book value.

What is PDR? (Paintless Dent Repair). A brief history about PDR

Paintless Dent Repair was started in 1931 by Frank T. Sargent. At the 1960 International Motor Sports Show in New York City, Oskar Flaig made the first display of PDR. At the time he worked for Mercedes-Benz as a painter. In the evenings after the cars were presented, his job was to fill in any dents and repaint the vehicles to new. He pushed out the dents and made the vehicles look like new without the filler. After this show, Oskar Flaig flew back to Germany and began to develop the techniques and tools for paintless dent repair. Flaig was eventually promoted to foreman at the Mercedes Sindelfigen plant where he was known as the “golden tinsmith” and started training programs that are still taught to this day.

Why use PDR? It is certainly convenient. We can come to you, and in most cases we will get the work done in the same day. PDR is usually covered by insurance so be sure to contact them to verify it is on your policy and schedule an appraisal. Have the pertinent information ready that will needed for the insurance company such as where the damage occured, what part of the vehicle the damage occurred and make sure you get a claim number. Hail damage can be fixed with PDR as long as there is no paint damage, however, it may take more time and you will likely need a rental car depending on how bad the damage is.