If you live in a state that suffers from a heavy hailstorm season, then you need to be prepared. Drivers in Nebraska, Texas, and Colorado are usually very aware of how much heavy hail can damage their property, and that includes their cars. Even less violent hailstorms can cause severe car issues, no matter how brief they or how light they may seem. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to ensure that your car is ready to face whatever hail conditions Mother Nature throws at it. When hail season is on the way, here is how to get your car ready for the very worst.
You should always make sure that your car battery is holding a full charge. If it is not, then replace it as early as you can. This is particularly important during hail season because the last thing you need is for your vehicle not to start when it is exposed. If a heavy hailstorm is happening and you cannot move your car under cover then the damage is going to be much more serious. If you are not sure how to test your battery strength then there are many online guides for every make and model that will walk you through the steps.
Your wiper blades may have to do a lot of hard work if you get caught driving in a hailstorm. You need to make sure that they are up for the task. Test them regularly, and if they have stopped working then it may be a simple case of replacing the wiper motor. However, the wiper blades themselves also need looking at. Ideally, they should be flush against the glass, so make adjustments if they are not. If the rubber is worn, then replace the whole wiper arm. In a worst-case scenario, you may get caught driving when a hailstorm hits, so you need your wipers to be working so that you can see well enough to find somewhere safe to park.
While it is always a good idea to have repairs made on your car as soon as they happen, it is very easy to ignore that damage. Dents in your chassis, malfunctioning lights, or a crack in your windshield may seem like something that can wait. But it’s far from the truth. When leaving unrepaired, hail dents can lead to metal rust, which costs thousands more dollars to fix. Another nightmare is that your insurance may not refuse to pay for collision damage down the road when they detect “unrepaired damage” like this. Existing hail damage on your vehicle should be repaired as early as possible, especially if there is more hail on the way. Before a new hail season hits, have your car checked over by experts who specialize in auto hail repair. The healthier your car is before hail season, the more chance that it will survive to the end of it.
When your car is parked, it is always a good idea to have some kind of cover for it. There are plenty of car covers available that are designed to protect your car from hail damage. Of course, not everyone can afford the expense of these, but there are alternative ideas available. Place layers of blankets and sheets over your car when you know that hail is on the way, or anything else that will minimize the effects of hail impact. Some people use cardboard layers before putting a waterproof tarpaulin over their cars and this can be extremely effective. However, do not make the common mistake of covering your car in protective layers and then securing them in place with heavy stones or bricks. In high winds, they could end up causing more damage than the hail!
Finally, always make sure to have a look at your existing car insurance policy before hail season. Check that you are up to date on your payments and that your policy is not going to expire partway through the season. What you do not want is to find that your car has been damaged by hail and that you are not covered. Not every kind of policy covers hail damage either, so make certain that yours does. You will usually find that comprehensive car insurance does include damage caused by hail, but this is not always the case. If you find that your existing policy does not cover hail damage then it is worth upgrading to one that does. Although this might cost a few hundred bucks a year extra, that is a lot less than the cost of repairing serious hail damage.
Hail is often overlooked when it comes to extreme weather, but the damage it can cause can be very extensive. The more that you work on weatherproofing your car before the arrival of hail season, the more likely it is that you will keep yourself, your car, and your passengers safe.