I had to send my vehicle to the dealer for car body repair.
My car has aluminium front fenders.
I thought the fenders could be easily repaired.
To my surprise, I was told that car body repair is not possible, and that the fender has to be replaced.
Why can’t a panel beater repair it?
Most car body repair shops cannot remove dents from aluminium.
Aluminium has less than half the density of steel and is therefore popular among car companies looking to save weight on their vehicles.
Aluminium is also comparatively resistant to corrosion.
Although it is possible to repair dented aluminium panels, the methods and skill sets required are vastly different from those for the traditional steel panels.
A dented steel section can be easily hammered back to its original shape and contour using simple tools.
More serious indentations can be mechanically pulled back into shape.
A decent car body repair shop can cut out sections of steel from the body and replace them with new steel sheets if necessary.
But beating aluminium dents with a hammer can easily cause “stretching” of the metal, which cannot be rectified.
Even if there are minor dents which can be panel-beaten to original form, the work requires a highly trained craftsman specialising in aluminium sheet-metal repairs to achieve an acceptable result.
With increasing popularity of aluminium, it may be a matter of time before specialist aluminium car body repair shops emerge.
Till then, there is no alternative but to replace damaged sections.