BUDGET TIP: HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAR FROM HAIL | PJ Danita
How to Protect Your Car from Hail
A hail storm can do a lot of damage to the windows, metal, and paint of your car, but there are steps you can take to protect your car from damage. If a storm is coming, park your car somewhere safe. Your garage or car port will protect your car, and so will covered public parking like parking garages. You can also cover your car as best as you can – you can use a car cover if you have one, or blankets or tarps or even your floor mats if you don’t.
Driving in Hail
Pull over under a freeway overpass for cover if you can.If you’re already driving and hail starts to come down, look for the closest cover for your car. Freeway overpasses and gas stations with canopies are great options for last-minute coverage if you're caught in your car when hail starts.
Drive into hail if it's already coming down to protect your side windows.Your windshield tends to be made of stronger glass than the windows on the side of your car. If you're driving and it begins to hail, drive into the hail, so it hits your windshield instead of your side windows.
Park on the opposite side of a building from where the wind is blowing.If a storm is blowing in from the east, parking your car on the west side of a large building can protect it from hail. Strong winds might blow the hail right past your car.
Parking Your Car Outdoors
Park in your garage if you have one.If you have a garage, it’s the best place for your car during a hail storm. Make sure you have enough space to fit your car (or more than one) in your garage – you might have to do a quick clean job if a storm is coming. Make sure you get your car parked before the storm hits.
Park your car in a covered lot if you have time to prepare before.If a storm is coming, you can park your car in a nearby covered lot. Some malls or shopping areas have covered parking or garages. You can ask someone to follow you in their car so they can bring you home after you’ve parked your car safely.
Covering Your Car
Throw your floor mats over your windshields if you don't have a cover or blankets.If you're away from home when you get stuck in hail, you can place your floor mats over your car windows. They probably won’t cover your entire windshield or back window, but they can offer some coverage.
- Place the floor mats on your windows with the fabric side facing up. This way the feet or grippers on the bottom of the mat will be on the window, and the mats won't slide around as much in high winds.
Use a car cover.You can find car covers at most auto supply stores and some grocery stores with automotive sections. You’ll need to know the make, model, and year of your car, because most car covers are specific to those classifications.
Cover your car with blankets or tarps if you don't have a car cover.Blankets or tarps can shield the car and absorb the impact of the hail, which can help prevent cracked class, dented metal, or chipped paint. Drape the blankets over the top of your car, from the back window all the way over the windshield. If you can, you should also hang blankets down the side to protect your smaller side windows, too.
- The more blankets you can use, the better. You should have at least one layer of blankets covering your whole car, but if you can double or triple up the blankets, it will give your car more protection.
- If you’re short on blankets, cover your windows first.
- Duct tape the blankets at the bottom of your car. It shouldn’t damage your paint, but you might have a sticky residue after you remove the tape.
Taking Precautions Against Hail
Sign up for weather alerts so you have time to protect your car.Most smartphone weather apps will send you notifications when severe weather is coming. Make sure you have that notification turned on. It will tell you as soon as possible when hail might be coming, and give you time to protect your car.
Build a car port if you don’t have one.Some homes come with car ports. If yours does, park your car under it if a storm with hail is coming. If you don’t have a car port already, you can get a low-cost port you can build yourself from home improvement store websites.
- Low-cost ports usually cost between 0 and 0 (compared to thousands of dollars for the more expensive versions). You should be able to construct one in two hours or so.
- A full-coverage port – with side walls – is best, since it will protect your car from any hail getting blown sideways.
Purchase a car cover if you live in an area where hail is common.If you've moved to a new area, check what the weather history looks like. If the area where you live gets a lot of storms with hail, invest in a car cover. You can find them at most auto supply stores.
- You can purchase a generic car cover, or one specific to the make and model of your car.
Video: How To Protect Your Car From Hail Damage
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