Cars play a critical role in our lives, but they are also expensive. There may come a time when you need to replace your car hood, and one of the first questions that may arise is how much it will cost to replace it.
Car hood replacement usually costs $800 to $2,000 depending on the necessary parts, hood material, your car’s make and model, other restorative costs, and the labor and installation fees.
So, let’s look at some examples of how much it will cost to replace a car hood and break down the other associated costs. I’ll also talk about the importance of a car hood, causes of car hood damage, and other parts and repairs associated with a car hood.
Car Hood Replacement Cost
As mentioned above, replacing a car hood can cost as little as $800 and as much as $2000. The prices vary due to various circumstances, which I will discuss below:
The Cost of the Hood
The cost to replace a hood first starts with the actual part, the hood. You can purchase a hood from a junkyard or OEM (original equipment manufacturer).
The difference between the price of a junkyard hood and an OEM hood will be substantially different.
A hood from the junkyard, considered scrap parts, may cost $100 or less. On the other hand, an OEM hood can cost upwards of $500. That’s why some people will check the junkyard first before purchasing OEM hoods.
Read: Car Full Service Cost // Whats included?
The Hood Material
Car hoods are typically made from one of three materials– steel, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. However, some older cars may have aluminum hoods, but this is uncommon since aluminum isn’t very sturdy.
These materials vary in costs, listed below in order from least expensive to most expensive:
- Steel: Averages $104- $199
- Fiberglass: Averages $189- $347
- Aluminum: Averages $310- $489
- Carbon fiber: Averages $700-$1100
While steel is the least expensive, it is heavy and can dent if hit with enough force. Fiberglass is slightly more costly than steel, but the trade-off is that it is lightweight. However, fiberglass lacks the durability of steel.
Carbon fiber brings the best of both steel and fiberglass together, and it is five times stronger than steel. Despite its strength, carbon fiber is lightweight, similar to fiberglass. The downside is the cost of carbon fiber, which is significantly steeper than steel and fiberglass.
Lastly, we have aluminum. Aluminum doesn’t rust, but it’s pretty bendy and prone to damage. Aluminum is far less common in modern cars than older ones, so you can expect the price to be high due to low supply.
Read: Car Gas Tank Leak Repair Cost
The Labor and Installation To Replace the Hood
Once you have purchased the hood, the subsequent cost you will encounter is labor.
Pricing may vary slightly between a collision center and a dealership, with dealership installation costs usually on the higher end. Still, overall, the price for labor can range between $700 and $1500.
Depending on the damage, simply replacing the hood will not be enough to restore the aesthetics of your vehicle. The junkyard hood you found may not match your car color, and the OEM hood will likely only have a primer finish.
So, you’ll probably have to have the hood, and often the fender, repainted. The cost of automotive paint is similar to regular paint, ranging anywhere from $20 to $50. A professional paint job can cost $300 to $500, but you will have a quality paint job in the end.
If you choose to paint the hood yourself, you will need the proper equipment, namely a spray gun. Spray guns also vary in price. Prices may start at just $40, but others are as much as $200. So, it usually ends up costing about as much as a professional painter in the end.
The quality of the paint can also move the needle on costs. A high-quality paint may only require one coat. Lower quality paints may require two to three coats, which means you’ll have to buy more paint.
Read: Car Diagnosis Cost
The Make, Model, and Year
Yet another factor that plays a part in car hood replacement is the vehicle itself.
The year, make, and model of your vehicle will all play a role in the overall price. Imported and luxury car parts are always pricier than state-made parts. In addition, if you have an older vehicle or classic car, it may be challenging and expensive to find the proper hood.
The Importance of a Replacing a Damaged Car Hood
A car’s hood serves a vital role for any vehicle. The hood protects the engine and powertrain components. The hood acts as a barrier between the engine and the elements, including rain, wind, snow, ice, and debris.
The hood of a car is a crumple zone. A crumple zone is a structural safety feature recently integrated into vehicles. Crumple zones, also known as crush zones or crash zones, absorb forces sustained during a collision.
Additionally, a damaged car hood can damage the engine and engine components. When a hood is bent or otherwise crumpled, it can rub against the engine and engine parts. Gaps caused by a crumpled hood also expose those critical parts under the hood to the elements.
A badly crumpled hood also poses other risks. In some cases, it obstructs visibility. It could also cause the hood latches to malfunction, and the hood could pop up unexpectedly.
Primary Causes a Hood Needs Replacing
Car hoods get damaged in so many different ways. Often, the damage comes from the elements, vehicle accidents, projectiles on the roadway, or just wear over time.
Car hoods are frequently damaged in a vehicular collision. The hood is often left crumpled, bent, or unable to open and close during a crash. That’s because hoods are designed to crumple, preventing the hood from entering the vehicle’s passenger compartment.
Hail produces rounded dents to the vehicle’s hood (and roof). While some think that hail damage is only unsightly, it can lead to long-term damage. Damage to the paint layers makes the hood susceptible to corrosion from oxygen and moisture, weakening the hood over time.
Read: Why Is There No Air Coming Out Of My Car’s Vents?
Steel is particularly susceptible to rust. While you may be able to correct the early stages of rust without replacing the hood, that’s not always possible. When the hood is rusty, crumbling, or rough, replacing it altogether is the best way to protect you and your car from further damage.
Sitting on the Hood of the Car
While sitting on the hood of a car may seem like an American pastime and is often depicted in movies, you should avoid it. Sitting on the hood of your vehicle can damage the hood permanently. Unlike other areas of the car, a car hood is unable to hold a person’s body weight.
Paintless Dent Removal
Sometimes the damage to the hood is minimal. Minimal damage can come from small rocks striking the hood or small-sized hail. In these instances, paintless dent removal may be a more practical option. Fortunately, this option is relatively cheaper.
To repair a small area, it may only cost $75 to $125. A more prominent damaged spot can cost about $150 to $450.
Other Parts That May Need Replacing
Sometimes, you won’t need to replace the hood itself. As long as the hood is properly functioning and is not hazardous, you may be able to avoid the inconvenience and costs of a complete hood replacement.
Here are other smaller and less expensive parts that may suffice if your hood is malfunctioning:
- Hood hinges: Approximately $2
- Hood latch: $95 to $350
- Hood release cable: $156 to $182
How To Protect Your Car Hood From Damage?
While it is not always avoidable, you can protect your car hood from damage to some extent. However, there are a handful of precautions you can take to keep your car hood in the best condition possible.
The first, and most easily avoidable, is not sitting or allowing others to sit on the hood of your car.
Next, do not park in dangerous situations, like under trees where limbs, sap, and other things may fall onto your car.
If possible and available, park in a garage. A garage will protect your car from the elements, preventing hail damage and impact dents.
When on the roadways, flying debris can strike your car’s hood. Some of this debris may be unavoidable, such as birds or loose gravel. However, if you are behind a vehicle full of materials, equipment, or furniture, be sure to put enough distance between that vehicle and your car.
Read: What Is the Best Anti-theft Device for a Car?
So, there are many reasons you might have to replace your car hood. Whether your hood has hail dents, crumples from a crash, or rust, keeping the hood in good condition is crucial since it will protect you and your car from injury.
When considering cost, where you get your part, who installs it, and your car’s make and model will impact the price of a hood replacement. Still, you can expect to pay between $800 and $2,000 to get your car’s hood in tip-top shape again.