Hidden Hail Damage On The Sides Of Your Car

After a damaging hailstorm, your greatest concerns might be the windows and windshields, along with the hood and trunk lids. Too much damage could make the edges rise up a bit, allowing water into the trunk and engine. But another place to check is around the sides of your car toward the ground. Hail does not fall straight down, and once it's on the ground, it doesn't exactly evaporate into nothing immediately. As you inspect your car, check these lower areas too, and don't be surprised if you see at least some minor damage.

Hail Kicked up by Passing Cars

One issue with hail is that, if it sticks around, it becomes like a bunch of rocks in the road. Small hail, or graupel, melts pretty quickly. But moderate and large hail can stay on the ground for a bit, at least until enough has melted to wash away the remaining hail. That means that passing cars can drive over hailstones, kicking them up like rocks that fly into your and other cars nearby. If the passing car is going relatively slowly, you might not have any damage as the hailstone won't fly up with much force. But a fast-moving car can spin one of those hailstones right into your door panel where it leaves a dent.

Hail Bounces

Another thing to keep in mind is that hail bounces when it hits the ground. Small hail and even moderate hail aren't really much of an issue here; they bounce fairly slowly and don't have very large arcs. Larger hail that comes down with a lot of force, though, could be an issue if it bounces in the wrong direction. This is less of an issue than the hail-rock problem mentioned before, but it's still a possibility.

Hail Can Fall at an Angle

Also remember that hail, like rain, can fall at an angle if the wind is strong enough. That leads to additional damage on the side of your car, even potentially denting hubcaps. Also check your tires' sidewalls. If your tires are very worn and in need of changing, large hail can be the final straw. When you bring your car in to have the hail damage fixed, try to have the tires checked out, too.

Hail is an unexpected phenomenon that doesn't always behave the way you think it should. If you find yourself with a hail-damaged car, bring it in for vehicle hail damage repair as soon as possible, and discuss ways to avoid hail damage with the repair techs at the shop.