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Body Panel

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Your vehicle is composed of hundreds, even thousands, of auto parts-under the hood, in your car interior, in your car's undercarriage, etc. All these parts make up a jumble of connections that might look like a mess when exposed. Good thing you have a complete body panel set in your auto-all the said parts are properly concealed. Body panels are steel materials that make up the outer shell or covering of your vehicle. These are the panels that make up the overall shape of your car-its body. Not only do the panels determine the shape and overall appearance of your ride but they also offer protection to all the important components concealed underneath them, the parts that make your vehicle run. There are different types of body panels in your auto, depending on function and location. One is the quarter panel, the panel that covers the area between the car's rear door and trunk. Another is the cowl panel that covers the area below your car windshield. Your car hood and fender are other examples of a body panel. All the sheets of metal that you see enclosing your vehicle make up this part.Due to their location, it's easy to tell that body panels are among the most susceptible components of your vehicle to damage. They are exposed to the elements like the sun's rays, rainwater and snow, salt, and dust. They are the first parts of the vehicle to get damaged in case of a collision-strong impacts can cause dents on even the toughest body panel. Road debris such as rocks and tree branches can also cause scratches that can damage your car paint. And when the paint of the vehicle is scratched, no matter how small the scratch, it makes the panel underneath it vulnerable to the elements. Exposure of the metal to moisture can cause rusting, and this is not easy to detect under the vehicle paint. You may not be aware of it, but underneath all that shiny car paint may be metal that is slowly being eaten by corrosion. And when you find out about the problem, it could be too late. It's therefore important that you pay attention to the smallest damage on your car's body panel and that you address any problem at once. If you need a replacement panel, no matter what the type, Auto Parts Warehouse is one resource that you can trust.

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Car Body Panels: How to Replace Them

Your vehicle might be a road accident survivor but the daunting dents and dreadful damages will always remind you of that dreaded day, unless you have your car body panels replaced. Repairs and replacements used to be stressful and expensive. But with the arrival of hundreds of companies that sell car-specific body panels, gone are the days when you still have to bring your vehicle to wallet-emptying body shops. Whether you want to get rid of an unattractive dent or you just want to change a rust-infested part, a hassle-free replacement is now possible in the comfort of your own home.

Difficulty level: Moderate

What you'll need:

  • New body panel
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Screwdriver
  • Lubricant spray with rust inhibitor
  • Rags

Step 1: Remove the plastic skirting of the old body panel using the screwdriver. You may need to reach under your car to completely take out the protective skirting.

Step 2: Reach for the metal tabs behind the panel and remove the nuts and bolts that attach the panel to the vehicle. Spray a small amount of lubricant if the bolts are too tight. Remove the old body panel.

Note: The lubricant spray will also help clean the rust that accumulated around the bolts. If the bolts are gravely damaged by rust and are already beyond repair, replace them with new ones.

Step 3: Position the replacement body panel on your car and compare the location of the bolt holes. Re-install the bolts through the tabs but leave the nuts loose. Check all the sides of the panel and make sure that all the gaps are even.

Step 4: Tighten all the nuts to secure the new body panel in place. Re-install the protective skirting under your vehicle.

The installation process can be done by one person. But it is advisable to ask for someone's help in carrying the replacement body panel. The entire process can take a few hours even for expert DIYers.