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Prevention Is Better Than Repair: 8 Ways to Protect Your Car From Dents, Dings, & Damage

Nothing compares with the feeling you get when you’re driving a car you love.

A steering wheel that feels just right in your grip …

An interior that smells rich and warm …

An engine’s purr that gives you command of the open road.

You look out over the hood and see the sunlight reflected in your vehicle’s clean curves, and all’s right with the world.

And it only takes a little ding to shatter all that bliss.

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s certainly true in the case of your vehicle.

While not every dent is preventable, there are ways to minimize your risk and protect your car — and that joy you feel when it still looks showroom new.

Follow these tips to save money, and to save yourself from that sinking feeling of seeing a ding in your shiny new ride.

1.   Park farther away.

Most preventable dents happen while your car is parked, so consider parking in a remote area of the parking lot, in an end spot if one is available. By choosing an end spot, you’re less likely to have others parking near you because of the distance, and if they do, there’s a spot on only one side of your car, cutting your damage risk in half.

Parking in a remote spot at the supermarket is also a good way to avoid dings from runaway shopping carts, as they rarely make it out to the edges of the parking lot.

2.   Be a detective.

If you’re parking next to another vehicle, take a look at the length of its doors. Is there room to fully open them without hitting your car? If not, consider another parking spot. When you must park next to another vehicle, minivans with sliding doors are a better option.

Take a peek inside the neighboring vehicle for child seats. A child is more likely to swing a door open haphazardly, damaging yours. Furthermore, parents need extra space, possibly fully extended doors, to properly strap their children into car seats. Minimize your risk by finding a different parking spot.

3.   Use covered parking when possible.

Covered parking is always a good idea, but particularly so if there’s a storm on the horizon. Don’t risk hail damage or dents from wind-thrown objects by leaving your vehicle exposed to the elements.

If you don’t have a garage or covered parking where you live, invest in a quality car cover. Many car covers are specially designed to protect your vehicle even in strong storms.

4.   Educate your children about car care.

Protect your own car and others’ by teaching your children to open car doors slowly and carefully each time they enter or exit the vehicle.

Make sure your children know to avoid playing with bats and balls near the vehicle or parking their bicycle next to it.

little girl sitting beside a car under maintenance to protect your car

5.   Open your door slowly.

Sounds obvious, but if you’ve ever scraped your door along an unusually tall curb, you know it can happen to anyone. Take particular care at gas stations not to swing your door open into an island, trash can, or post.

6.   Keep your distance.

If you follow the car in front of you too closely, you’re not only at increased risk of an accident in a sudden-stop situation, but you’re also at risk for debris being thrown from their wheels. Give yourself at least three seconds of following distance for proper reaction time.


It’s important to exercise great caution driving in a parking lot as well. In a large lot it can be tempting to ignore arrows and cut across spaces, but this puts you and others at risk of low-speed collisions that can be expensive. Always drive slowly and watch for others backing out of spaces — parking lot visibility can sometimes be low.

7.   Don’t put items on your car.

As tempting as it can be to treat your vehicle like a table when your hands are full, resist the urge to place your phone, keys, purchases, or anything else on your car. It just takes one mistake to scratch your finish or leave a little dent.

8.   Watch out for car washes.

Automatic car washes are commonplace to wind up with dents and damage to your car. Make sure you only use reputable car washes with protections in place to prevent damage while cleaning your vehicle.

Despite all your efforts to protect your investment, dents are sometimes simply out of your control. Don’t worry — at JM Dent Repair, we know how much it means to you to get your car looking new again, and that’s why we’re trusted in the Lafayette area for affordable paintless dent repair.

Paintless dent repair eliminates the worry of a color mismatch or uneven fading and preserves your vehicle’s appearance and resale value. If you’re driving a leased vehicle, it also helps you avoid expensive “wear and tear charges” on your lease return. Contact us for a quote and see why we’re the best around.

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