Sunday, January 10, 2016

Dent Removal: Can I Fix My Own Dent Damage?

Statistically, we are all expected to get into three to four accidents in our driving lifetime. Hopefully, none of those are serious accidents with injury. When you are in a serious accident, you take your car to a collision repair shop to fix it and get it back to the way it was before the accident. But, what about minor accidents? If you and the person you were in the accident with don’t feel the damage was enough to call the police or alert your insurance company, how do you handle those repairs? You may be asking “can I fix my own dent damage?” Do I take it to a place that just does dent removal, or bring it in to a body shop?

When is DIY a better option than bringing your car to a shop? There are three main factors that go into answering that question; price, extent of the damage, and condition of your car afterwards.

Price: This will probably be the largest factor for most people, but it isn’t necessarily the most important. Before you invest in a “do it yourself” dent removal kit, get a quote on how much it will cost to get it professionally repaired. Then, do the math to figure out how much more expensive it is to have it professionally repaired. As stated earlier, the average person gets into three to four accidents in their lifetime. So, if you buy a DIY dent repair kit, don’t expect to get a ton of use out of it like you would if you were buying anything that is used for “regular” maintenance of a vehicle. So, if the cost of having the dent professionally removed is more than four times that of the kit, doing it yourself may be the less expensive route. That being said, make sure you know what you’re doing before taking on that task. If you purchase a kit and find that either you can’t get the dent out on your own, or you do further damage to the body or paint in trying to remove the dent, you will then need to spend even more on the follow up repairs.

Extent of the damage: This is vastly more important than price in the long run. The reason it is more important is because the dent may be an eyesore, but what about damage you can’t see? Was there frame or suspension damage? If you were rear-ended, does your trunk leak? What about the seal around your doors and windows? All of these things can end up costing you a lot more money down the road. Worse than that is if one or more of your car’s safety redundancies was damaged, it won’t be there the next time you’re in an accident and could put you or your passengers at greater risk of injury. It is the job of a body shop to repair your vehicle to as close to its pre-accident condition as possible. This not only keeps your diminished value to a minimum, it also prevents further damage from occurring.

Condition of your car afterwards: This is similar to the previous factor, but applies directly to how your car operates. Does it pull to one side? Does the steering wheel shake at a certain speed? Do you hear an unfamiliar noise that wasn’t there before the accident? These are all signs that your vehicle is in worse condition after the accident than before it. Just as a body shop repairs the visible exterior of your vehicle, they are also tasked with making sure it drives as well as it did before the accident.

If after assessing your situation you decide that the dent is just a dent and you can take care of it on your own, or if you opt for a place that just does paint-less dent removal, you can still give yourself the peace of mind that your car didn’t experience any further damage by getting a post-accident repair inspection done at Medine’s Collision Center. A post-accident repair inspection will reveal anything wrong with your vehicle that wasn’t visible to the naked eye.

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