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Risks of Hail Damage

I have a question about hail damage. I’m considering purchasing a 2012 Flex with 2,500 miles on it - a good deal, except that it was hailed on. The dealer has sent the car to an auto body shop, optimistically saying that it’s no big deal to get those little dents out. He may be right, but I’m concerned. My understanding is that this process can lead to small cracks in the paint - barely noticeable, until they get bigger and you end up with a rust problem a few years down the line. Since I live in South Dakota, this is a problem. On the other hand - the discount is steep, and the car is otherwise in good condition with plenty of warranty left. If the hail damage can be dealt with, the car is a great deal.

So: when the car comes back from the body shop, what do we look for? How could we recognize signs of future problems down the road? Any other dangers we should be aware of?

I assume the damage wasn’t bad enough to have “totaled” the car to require a salvage title? An experienced PDR man should know which dents can be removed safely (without painting) and which can’t. There is a slight risk as with any body repair, but you would have to weigh that against the discount he’s giving you. You might also check with your insurance agent to see if it could affect your claims in the future.

I wonder if the dealer would pay the body shop to paint an extra layer of clearcoat on the car, or at least the hood, roof and trunk.

The dealer sending it to a body shop most likely means they will be repainting the damaged panels. If they use paint less dent removable the paint wont crack. Todays paint are flexible. Painting a extra coat of clear is not a good idea. to many mill’s of paint can lead to declamation of the clear. I would not worry about the repair. Just ask for a warranty on any paint work. Also don’t wax the car till 30 day after is was painted. It will take that long for the paint to be fully cured.

I had PDR do my car from hail in SD and don’t see any problem whatsoever with it. I’ll let you know in a few years though. Much better than destroying the factory paint in my book though. You will want to just make sure that the factory 5 year warranty or whatever it is with Toyota for paint and rust issues is still in force or underwritten by the dealer. Either way you should be hand waxing once or twice a year anyway.

I recommend listening to oldbodyman, he is spot on. In the old days, the paint used on cars was not flexible, so if the metal underneath it got distorted, the paint would separate and crack. The paints of today tend to follow the metal and not crack or separate.

Bing also makes a very good point. The factory paint was applied right after the metal was treated for corrosion. If at all possible, you do not want to break this bond and give corrosion a second shot at the metal.

Oldbodyman is correct. Except at my shop we tell people no wax for 90 days. Sometimes to much clear will change the color sine the clear has a little amber in it.