aluminum body damage

aluminum body damage

Just arrived home the other night before a major hail storm hit. The hail was ping pong ball sized. Does anyone have experience with body panel damage from hailstones since its aluminum not steel? I escaped the storm but it got me thinking.

Anthony J. Parisio | 05. Juli 2014

Aluminum gets destroyed the hailstorm! Avoided at all costs.

LEvans | 05. Juli 2014

Would a film shield like XPel offer any protection from this?

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 05. Juli 2014

Aluminum is very soft compared to steel and will dint much mor easily at the thickness used for any car. A thin film like XPel will not help at all. It's a good scratch and chip protector however.

RFD | 05. Juli 2014

Unfortunately, my Model 85 did get caught in a hail storm on June 24 in Fort Collins, CO. I believe the insurance estimator counted 55 dents in the hood alone. It was parked next to my daughter's Honda Element which was totaled. There are several new car dealers nearby that had every car in their inventory damaged, except for those that were inside. I don't think steel cars held up any better.

I am still looking for a shop in the Washington, DC area to get it fixed. | 05. Juli 2014

@EdwardG.NO2CO2 - fortunately, since cars are not made the same way aluminum beer cans are, I believe the type and thickness of aluminum used in cars is somewhat less likley to dent than steel, but not impervious. With 16,000 miles, I still have yet to get a door dig, while all my prior steel cars got dings usually in the first few thousand miles.

@RFD - from those two cars next to each other, do you remember if the hailstone dents larger or smaller between the Honda (steel) car and the Tesla (aluminum)?

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 05. Juli 2014

RFD and Tesla Tap, I believe you and probably should have kept quiet since my experience was with a 1956 MG which had an aluminum Hood. It was beat up worse than my Dads 61 Pontiac in a severe 1962 Alberta hail storm. Modern cars and particularly Tesla would likely benefit from new alloys. I do know aircraft do suffer serious damage at times but their wings are probably thinner material.

Does make me wonder though about the wrinkling/dinging of the frunk hood, although I have not experienced it yet myself!

akikiki | 05. Juli 2014

I have some first hand experience with damage to a door on my MS. My local Paintless Dent Repair specialist made it all go away. I know a little about doing body repair. I watched them work. I could not believe my eyes. It was amazing what they did. | 05. Juli 2014

@EdwardG.NO2CO2 - I'm sure things have changed since '61 :)

Still interesting to hear your comments! I don't know for a fact aluminum is better or not - although there are reports to suggest that current aluminum used in cars is better. Sounds like RFD was in a unique (and sad) situation to have two cars pounded at the same time, with likely similar hits. He appears to have has a first hand experience and hopefully can report on Honda's steel vs. Tesla's aluminum and how it holds up.

Mark E | 05. Juli 2014

In my experience the aluminium seems to do a little better than steel - surprisingly. Everything on my a Porsche 928 ahead of the windscreen is aluminium, as are the doors. I have a few dings around, but none on the aluminium.

I'm part of an owners club with these and overall the experience seems similar to mine.

mattbult | 17. Mai 2019

Not a scratch:


SoCal Buzz | 17. Mai 2019

Yikes! I would have been throwing blankets, clothes, anything I could get my hands on over the hood +. Or maybe park in a garage.

DonS | 17. Mai 2019

Saying steel or aluminum is stronger is a completely pointless discussion because a manufacturer using either material chooses a gauge just thick enough to get the strength they need. For example, the prototype Ford pickups with the aluminum beds were getting dented too easily, so the production went to a thicker gauge. The steel hood on my Toyota is light, but it flaps like a flag when driving on windy days; it should have been a thicker gauge.

Hammonddave | 18. Mai 2019