Let’s set the scene. You park your car somewhere and return to it a few hours later. To your horror, you discover that someone (or something) has dented your bodywork! After a few choice expletives, you get in your car and begin your journey to your next destination.
Meanwhile, you have to figure out what to do about that dent. Do you get it fixed or should you just “live with it”? At that same time, when your anger subsides, you might wonder why your car got so easily damaged. In fact, you may even ponder why most modern vehicles feel like they’re fragile and made of paper?
After all; today’s cars are meant to be strong and withstand impact, right? Well, while it’s certainly true that today’s cars are safer than older ones, there is more to the story. Let me explain:
Today’s cars are designed to crumple
I can guarantee you that if you press your thumb or finger hard enough on your vehicle, you’ll crease the metal. Before you go off and conclude that you drive around in a death trap, there’s something you need to know.
Cars get built with an inner chassis and an outer body shell. The former gets constructed with sturdy steel and other materials. It keeps your vehicle straight and in one piece, even in a collision.
The exterior bodywork is a different story! That’s because it gets constructed using lightweight metals like aluminum. The outer shell of your car gets designed to crumple and collapse on impact.
Why? The answer is simple: to minimize damage to your vehicle occupants and other people/vehicles. People have a higher chance of surviving an impact with thin metal and glass than thick chassis metal!
Car manufacturers are cheapskates
I’m not suggesting that car makers “cut corners” to save on costs. Of course, running a business means spending as little as possible to make big profits! The happy balance between quality and cost is to use thin, lightweight metals on a car’s exterior.
Sure, they could use thicker or stronger metals. They could even use body panel materials that wouldn’t always kill people on impact! However, that would mean spending more money and selling cars at higher prices.
Repairs need not always cost a fortune
You might assume that each time your car has a dent, you need to take it to a body shop. And you may even think that you’ll have a big hole in your wallet afterward! The truth is, there are many ways to repair dented body panels for less.
One innovative method is paintless dent removal. As the name suggests, the repair gets done without any filler or paint going near your car! In a nutshell, PDR involves the “massage” of metal to its original shape.
Some cars also have easy to remove body panels. That means you could replace it with one from a donor car with the same color as yours for less.
How to prevent your car’s bodywork getting new dents
The only real way to guarantee you’ll never get any dents is to not drive your car outside of your garage! But, that’s not a viable option for most of us. So, how can we prevent our cars getting dented?
One thing you can do is observe where you park your vehicle. In a parking lot, for example, park away from everyone else. Another option is to “wrap” your bodywork in vinyl. Doing so will reduce the risk of damage from rocks hitting your car as you drive.