Tuesday April 3, 2012 was a tumultuous weather day in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Spring storms brought heavy rains, hail damage, and at least a dozen tornadoes, some wiping out entire neighborhoods. Winds reached 110 miles per hour in places according to the National Weather Service.
Whether you live in North Texas or any other area that has intense storms, here are some tips should your car become damaged:
1. Call your insurance company immediately to report the damage.
2. Discuss your repair with your insurance company and your body shop. Hail damage to sheet metal may need to be hammered and painted. However, trained technicians may recommend paintless dent removal (PDR), which involves using specially-molded metal tools on the underside of a damaged part that won’t disturb the factory finish. This method is often utilized by manufacturers and dealers to repair new vehicles and will not invalidate paint warranties.
PDR cannot be performed if the dents are too large or if there are too many dents or if the paint finish is damaged. Prior body damage that required plastic fillers or bonding may also make PDR difficult. Your insurance company will be able to determine the severity of your damage and consult with you and the body shop on which repair method makes the most sense for your vehicle.
3. Find a reputable facility. We recommend Dent Geeks and under the SPECIAL SAVINGS section of this newsletter, they offer our DFW listeners discounts. The preferred method is to pull the dents from the outside rather than drilling holes to access the dent from beneath the panel.
4. Find out how long the repair will take. Paintless dent repair is an efficient and effective technique for repairing damage to your vehicle, and may be completed within a day. However, lots of cars were damaged, so the work may take a little longer due to the volume of vehicles that need to be repaired.
5. Make sure your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction. Before accepting your vehicle, look at the surface in fluorescent lighting and from several angles so that you can see all the details. Check for any remaining dents before you take your vehicle home.
6. Ask if the shop guarantees its work. If you notice a flaw in your vehicle’s repair, you should be able to have it fixed at no additional charge. Know how your body shop will handle any problems you might have with your vehicle after the repair. Get guarantee and contact information in writing. Ask your insurance company if they also guarantee the work for their preferred body shops.
By the way, many of our dealers have body shops and of course we always recommend Herb’s Paint and Body with 7 DFW locations if the repairs cannot be made paintless. What you want to avoid is fly by night paintless dent repair companies. Usually they will contact you, or set up in vacant lots and closed service stations. They will hit DFW today in full force and then will be gone in short order. MAKE SURE YOU ARE DEALING WITH A REPUTABLE REPAIR FACILITY. If you have any concerns or questions, email me ASAP.
At newsletter deadline, only Park Place Lexus Grapevine and Classic Buick GMC in Arlington are reporting hail damage to their inventory, and both say it was light damage.