You wouldn’t think that living in Mt.Ephraim, New Jersey meant dealing with wind, rain, and hail throughout the year, but it does! There are many weather conditions relatively common in NJ that take a toll on vehicles. Dents, dings, broken windshields, and water damage…it can all happen. Unfortunately, these issues can be more severe than they look at first glance. To ensure the safety and longevity of your vehicle, it’s important to assess and address any storm-related issues promptly. Let’s talk about the process of assessing weather damage and then how to get those issues properly repaired at an auto body shop in Mt. Ephraim, NJ.
What Kinds of Weather Damage Can Happen to a Vehicle?
Weather damage encompasses various issues that can affect your vehicle, including:
Hailstones may cause dings, dents, cracks, and shattered windows. Upon impact, it is not uncommon for hail to cause cosmetic and structural damage to vehicles.
Flooding or heavy rain can result in water-related damage to vehicles. Even driving through flood water can cause significant issues. This can include water seeping into the interior through compromised seals or leaks, leading to damage to the upholstery, electrical systems, and electronics. Water damage can also affect the vehicle’s mechanical components, such as the engine and drivetrain.
Strong winds during storms can cause flying debris, fallen tree branches, or other objects to collide with the vehicle, leading to scratches, dents, or even more severe damage. Additionally, high winds can cause objects like signs or poles to topple over onto vehicles.
Prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can cause damage to a vehicle’s paint, leading to fading, chipping, or peeling. UV rays can also degrade rubber seals and trim, resulting in deterioration and potential water leaks.
Extreme heat or cold can impact various components of a vehicle. High temperatures can cause damage to the interior, including fading or cracking of upholstery, dashboard, or steering wheel. In contrast, extreme cold can affect the battery, fluids, and engine performance.
How to Assess Weather Damage on a Vehicle
To assess the extent of weather damage on your vehicle in Mt. Ephraim, NJ, follow these steps:
The first step is to visually inspect the vehicle for any immediately visible signs of damage. This includes scratches, dings, dents, cracked or broken windows and mirrors, broken antenna, and damaged lights. You should also pay attention to the tires and rims. Check for bulges, punctures, or anything else that could become a hazard. Once you have done that, look at the undercarriage for leaks, dents, or damage.
Hail Damage Inspection
If there was a hailstorm, examine the vehicle’s surface for hail damage. Carefully inspect the roof, hood, trunk, and sides of the vehicle. Hail damage typically appears as small dents or dimples, but it can also cause more significant dents with cracked or chipped paint. Take note of the size and severity of the damage to determine the appropriate repair method (some methods only work on shallow hail dents).
Wind and Water Damage Evaluation
Recently driven through a hurricane? Even if you didn’t, strong winds and heavy rain cause a variety of issues, such as cracks and chips in the windshield from flying debris or water damage. Look at the doors, windows, and seals around the windshield for any leaks or compromised weatherstripping. Next, examine the body panels for scratches, dents, or other damage resulting from falling tree branches or other objects.
While most weather damage is visible on the exterior, it’s also important to assess the vehicle’s mechanical components. Check the brakes, suspension, and exhaust system for any signs of damage or abnormalities. If you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations, or handling issues, consult a professional mechanic for a thorough evaluation.
Weather Damage Repair Options in Mt. Ephraim, NJ
Based on what you find when assessing your vehicle for weather damage, you may need one service over another, such as:
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)
PDR is a technique used to repair small dents and dings without the need for repainting. Skilled technicians like those at Elmer’s Auto Body in Mt. Ephraim, NJ manipulate the metal back to its original shape, preserving the vehicle’s factory finish.
Windshield Repair or Replacement
Cracks or chips in the windshield should be addressed promptly to prevent further spreading. In many cases, small chips can be repaired, but larger or severely damaged windshields may require replacement.
Traditional Body and Paint Repair
Severe scratches, dents, and other cosmetic damage can be repaired through traditional body and paint techniques. Skilled technicians will sand, fill, and repaint the affected areas to restore the vehicle’s appearance.
Upholstery and Carpet Replacement
In cases where the water damage has extensively affected the upholstery or carpeting, it may be necessary to replace these components. Professional upholstery services can help restore the interior to its pre-damaged condition.
If specific interior components, such as electronic modules or control units, have been damaged by water, they may require replacement. The same is true for other moving parts, including the engine, transmission, suspension, and so on. A qualified technician can diagnose the affected parts and replace them with new or properly functioning components.
Fluid Checks and Changes
Storms and flooding can contaminate or degrade fluids in the vehicle, such as engine oil, coolant, or brake fluid. Checking the fluid levels and condition is crucial, and in some cases, fluid changes or flushes may be necessary to ensure proper functioning of the vehicle.
Alignment and Suspension Adjustments
If the vehicle’s alignment or suspension has been affected by storm damage, realignment or adjustments may be necessary. This helps ensure proper handling, tire wear, and overall safety.
Looking For Weather Damage Repair in Mt. Ephraim, NJ?
Storms can cause significant damage to vehicles, requiring prompt attention and repair. Conducting a visual inspection, assessing hail, wind, and water damage, and seeking professional assistance are essential steps in addressing storm-related issues in Mt. Ephraim, NJ. By working with a trusted auto repair service, you can ensure a thorough assessment and receive expert repairs to restore your vehicle’s safety, functionality, and appearance.
Elmer’s Auto Body has extensive experience and expertise when it comes to repairing mild and severe weather damage. Whether your car has some dents and dings from hail or the interior was flooded, our technicians can help. Give one of our South Jersey locations a call or fill out the contact form to schedule your appointment today!