If you've noticed that your vehicles today seem to receive many more door dings and other bits of minor body damage than vehicles you've owned in the past, this problem isn't your imagination. Many of today's vehicles are made from a primarily aluminum body, which significantly decreases the car's weight and improves fuel economy. However, this switch from steel to aluminum often means that the exterior of your vehicle is more easily damaged.
What are the least expensive repair options?
Unfortunately, aluminum body panels can be expensive to repair. If you're replacing a part of the body panel, you could find yourself paying more for parts than you'd pay for an older steel vehicle. Because aluminum is so light and fuel-efficient, it fetches a higher price on the market than steel parts, which are often considered outdated. You'll need to pay labor costs associated with removing and replacing the dented aluminum panel as well.
However, in some situations, replacement of the panel may not be required. If a body shop can simply bend the aluminum back into place without needing to paint the panel, this fix can be accomplished in fairly short order -- saving you a significant amount in labor costs, as well as avoiding the cost of a new panel. If this repair is needed, you'll generally be able to be in and out quickly in the same appointment.
In other cases, the aluminum may have been bent too far in one direction, leaving a loose or flappy look once it's hammered out. In this situation, the body shop professionals will "shave" the excess aluminum and apply a thin layer of touch up paint to minimize any flaws in the appearance. Although this fix is a bit more time-consuming and expensive than a simple dent repair, it's still much cheaper than replacing the full panel.
When should you have body damage professionally repaired?
Although some dents are simple and small enough for you to bend them out yourself, using kits you can purchase at an auto supply store, in most cases you should seek professional advice. It often costs more to have a professional fix your DIY attempt than it would cost to simply have the vehicle professionally repaired in the first place. Hail damage is particularly tricky to repair, and this may be a situation in which you'll need professional advice and guidance from a company like Exoticar Paintworks Inc.