You may be tempted to ignore small chips in paint or other imperfections like dents on your car’s exterior. Unfortunately, the likelihood that an appraiser will feel the same way is slim. When you turn in your vehicle for resale, appraisers will grade your car’s condition as Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor. An ignored scratch, a slight ding or an unrepaired dent can bring your car down from a good or fair rating to a poor rating.

Know the top causes of dents, scrapes and scratches, and what to do about them.

Nature: Falling Limbs, Debris and Hail

Nasty storms bring high winds and potentially even hail. More frequently, high winds during storms may result in fallen limbs and flying debris – factors that certainly might result in damages. Generally, hail needs to be as large as a golf ball to cause significant damage to your car, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Take precautionary measures when possible. Park your car in the garage if you can. Trim tree branches and prune bushes around your home, and if you expect a particularly nasty storm, avoid parking your vehicle near trees when out and about. In some cases, there may not be much you can do to avoid storm or hail damage repairs.

Parking Lot Woes: Car Doors and Shopping Carts

Numerous parking lot hazards provide plenty of opportunity for your car to be damaged, by yourself or others. Always pay close attention when driving around lots and while parking. You or someone else can accidentally bump your car, whether into another vehicle or a light pole. Similarly, distracted shoppers or kids may whip open doors forcefully and leave a lasting mark or two on your car after you’ve parked.

In many cases, people abandon their shopping carts in the middle of a parking lot or in unoccupied parking spaces. That may seem innocent enough until the wind picks up. Winds can easily send a shopping cart careening into your vehicle, leaving dents and scratches behind. Try to avoid any spats with unattended shopping carts, and don’t squeeze in too tightly for a closer spot. Parking too close to the vehicle next to you only tempts fate.

Stray Items On The Road

Sometimes items on the road are unavoidable. You’re driving along when suddenly a rock strikes your car. Other vehicles kick up rocks or dirt, and debris may fall off of open truck beds even if you’re not right behind the truck or in its direct path. All kinds of objects end up in the road, including tire pieces, car parts, tree limbs, broken glass, signs, metal debris and trash. All of these things have the potential to cause harm to your vehicle if you don’t see them right away or avoid them quickly enough. You’re most likely to encounter debris on highways and highly trafficked roads, but unexpected objects can pop up almost anywhere.

Repairing Dings, Dents, and Scrapes

No matter how carefully you drive, some car dents, dings and scratches are inevitable. Scratches in your paint need to be taken care of quickly since the underlying metal is now exposed to the elements. A variety of factors will determine if a professional can repaint over the scratch or if replacement panels are needed.

As for dents and dings, thankfully, there are quick and cost-effective ways to fix them! Paintless dent repair (PDR) takes around two hours and is an effective repair solution for 80% to 90% of dings and dents in vehicles. Professionals will look for an entry point to the dent, take apart headlights or panels for direct access if need be, and apply pressure – slowly and carefully – until the metal panel is pushed back into its original place. Plus, PDR drastically reduces dent removal costs. Other methods use longer, cosmetic repair processes that rely on environmentally damaging paints and fillers for a labor intensive and costlier repair.

Dents and dings can happen no matter how careful you are. Take preventative measures if you can and seek out technicians in your area that offer low dent removal costs and environmentally sustainable repairs like PDR. At Dent Shop California, our specially trained technicians take pride using their PDR techniques to remove dents and make your car look like new.