How to recognize hail damage on your vehicle
Hail damage is hard to spot, but necessary to handle in most cases. So here are a few key visual tips to help you rapidly and accurately spot hail damage.
Here are some signs to look for if you suspect your vehicle might have hail damage:
- Dents on the Hood, Roof, Trunk or Doors
- Stuck/Dented door jams
- Cracked Windows/Mirrors
- Missing/Out of place rear-view mirrors
*HINT* The mirror being slightly moved can often signify minor hail damage..
(An example of minor hail damage)
(An example of major hail damage)
Hail damage hits just about every part of your car -depending on how bad the storm was- and typically hail has to get up to the size of a golf ball (1.75 inches) to cause any hail damage. So to give you an idea of where to start looking, here’s a list.
- Major areas –
- Roof, Hood, Trunk, Doors
- Places you might miss
- Fenders, Rails, Door handles
- Places you definitely missed
- Window linings
The best way for inexperienced people to spot hail damage on a flat-enough surface is to run your arm adjacent over the surface looking at the panel straight on, if you notice any part of your arm wobble or become distorted (and it’s not from the crease your car already has) it’s safe to assume it’s a dent.
Another great technique is to stand at your taillight and look at your doors and fenders from that angel. Dents become more obvious when not looking straight on at where you assume they might be.
Lighting & Angle is EVERYTHING! (Same car: The first image… Nothing; Look closer at the second, you’ll find at least five)
Major, Somewhere in the middle, and Minor hail damage; Add it all up and you’ve got a 10% chance of a cracked windshield. Not bad odds!
*With minor hail damage you won’t see anything wrong with your windshield unless there was previous damage affecting the integrity.
If you’re on the path to getting this damage repaired, the best place to start is to take pictures of all the individual places listed above, in the best lighting possible.
It is preferable to most hail repair companies to have these pictures taken without flash as the glint isn’t as helpful as you may think.
If you would like you could also jot down some notes on where the hail that you can see is. This will all be helpful in the future for not only your insurance company, but the repair facility you choose to go through as well.
How paint less dent repair (PDR) can help…
If you do experience hail damage, and you’ve scoped your car using these techniques, not to worry: You can file 3 hail claims a year through your insurance, and PDR is here to help.
Reasons to choose PDR –
This form of repair (PDR) is not a time commitment because it takes only a 3rd of the time as normal repairs.
It is highly economical due to the fact that this repair restores your cars parts, instead of replacing, skipping the off looking parts and paint.
…Leaving your car looking brand new with all of it’s original integrity and parts in tact.