Car dents come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and levels of severity. Each dent is unique and must be assessed for the best repair method, but the following can help you know what to expect.
1. Hail Damage
Hail damage can vary greatly in severity. If the damage is minor, which means it doesn't crease the metal or chip off paint, then paintless dent repair is an option. Severe damage that leaves multiple pits in the panel may be best repaired by replacing the whole panel. In moderate cases, dents can be hammered out and smoothed with body putty. Then the damaged panel is repainted.
2. Door Dings
Much like hail, door dings can vary in severity. Often they leave little denting but do scratch through the surface layers of paint. Patching the paint may be all that is needed. For those that just leave behind a small indent with no paint damage, paintless dent repair may be an option. If there is a crease, then the damage needs to be hammered out. Auto body putty may be used to smooth out any remaining damage and then the paint is touched up.
3. Minor Collisions
A minor collision is one that occurs at a low speed and tends to only result in minimal body damage. Often the dent is in the plastic bumper cover, not in one of the metal body panels. Your repair service may be able to use heat to perform a paintless dent repair that pulls out the dent in the bumper. For dents in metal panels, suction is typically used to pull out the dent. It is then repainted if the paint was also damaged.
Sideswipes don't have to involve other cars, it is simply damage that gouges the side of your car. They sometimes occur when one hits a post, wall, or other obstruction, scraping the side of the car against the item. Shopping carts are also notorious for sideswiping cars and leaving gouges down the side of your car. Most side swipe damage scrapes off paint and leave a crease along the car panels. This requires a more involved repair, which usually includes hammering out the crease, smoothing it with putty, and repainting the panel.
5. Impact Dents
Impact dents can come from a variety of sources, such as a thrown baseball or a falling branch. These vary in severity. Minor dents can often be fixed with suction-based paintless repair options. Dents with paint damage can sometimes be suctioned out and repainted, but in other cases, they may require hammering and the use of repair putty.
Contact a dent removal service to learn more about the best repair option for your car.