If you own a car with aluminum body parts and it has cosmetic damage, you may have been told by an auto body shop that aluminum is harder to repair than steel. This is because aluminum poses specific problems when it comes to reshaping it. It makes some car owners wonder why car manufacturers do not opt to make cars from steel only. One reason aluminum is favored despite it being a material that is hard to work is that aluminum is lighter than steel. The differences in weight can impact gas mileage and other factors, such as tow capacity. The following information will help you understand more about getting aluminum areas of cars repaired.
Aluminum or Steel
Most vehicles are composed of steel and aluminum parts. If you are wondering if a damaged area is made of steel or aluminum, you can perform a simple magnet test in the affected area. If the magnet sticks, the area is made of steel. Steel can be welded and altered in a different manner than aluminum.
Paintless Dent Repair
Aluminum damage can occur due to a number of issues. Sometimes inclement weather events, such as hail, can cause dings. Dents can be caused by fallen tree branches, a minor wreck, or a grocery cart hitting a car. The marks left behind are usually unsightly. Some of these cosmetic defects can be repaired with paintless dent repair (PDR). The area of the vehicle that is affected will determine if PDR can be utilized. Panels are sometimes a difficult area to utilize PDR. Technicians will assess your vehicle to determine if damaged panels are made from aluminum or steel. If they are made from aluminum, an attempt may be made to "pop the dent." If PDR does not work, a new panel will likely need to be ordered to replace the damaged one.
Due to the extensive labor that aluminum requires, an auto body shop may make the suggestion to you to replace aluminum portions of your vehicle that do not respond well to PDR for a number of reasons. Excessive small dings on a hood are another example besides dented panels of auto body damage that may not respond to PDR well. Replacements may be ideal from a labor cost perspective or due to excess damage.
An auto body shop like Exoticar Paintworks Inc is an excellent resource to use to determine what your aluminum repair options are. They can also provide estimates for insurance claim purposes.