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Repair Or Replace: Hail Damage Guide For Your Car

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The best way for a car to weather a hail storm is to be parked under a cover, but this isn't always possible. If your car suffers damage, you must decide whether to repair or replace the damaged parts. 

Body Panels

The most damage-prone area of a car during a hail storm is the body panels, particularly the hood, roof, and trunk. The side panels can also suffer damage on the wind-exposed side of the vehicle. 


Repair is possible if the dents are shallow and smooth without any type of creasing. In this case, your repair shop may be able to pop the dents out using tools such as suction cups and mallets. Any minor paint damage can be touched up. Body filler can also be used to fix more severe dents with creases, but this may not be the ideal solution as repairs can sometimes fail.


Replacement is often necessary for severe hail damage, particularly if the dents are creased or if the car has plastic or fiberglass panels that were cracked or pierced by the hailstones. Sometimes only a couple of panels require replacement, or you may be able to repair some panels while replacing others. After replacement of the damaged panels, the entire car is painted; otherwise minor differences in color between the replaced and repaired panels will be noticeable. 

Auto Glass

Another common area of the car that suffers hail damage is the windshields of the car, particularly the more exposed front and rear windshields. Side mirrors may also suffer damage if struck by hailstones. 


If there are only one or two glass chips per windshield and they are less than an inch or two across, repair may be a possibility. Your auto body repair technicians will simply fill and repair these in the same manner as that used for rock chips. As for the side mirrors, these are repairable if only the glass is damaged but the housing is okay. In this case, a new mirror is placed in the housing.


Multiple chips or large cracks in a windshield mean that replacement is the only safe option. Repair attempts typically fail with larger cracks, plus these cracks can compromise the structural integrity of the window and pose a hazard later. As for mirrors, the entire housing assembly must be replaced if hail has dented or broken any part of the housing beyond just the mirror glass. 

Contact an auto body repair shop if a hail storm has damaged your vehicle.