Now is the time to mention the under-appreciated hood on your vehicle.  Known in the United Kingdom as the bonnet, in the U.S. the hood is that covering that protects the engine compartment.  It can either be opened from the front by releasing a latch or near the windshield, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

Most people take the hood for granted; it’s just part of the overall vehicle appearance.  About the only part of the hood that anyone ever notices is the hood ornament, that distinctive piece of metal or plastic that has become an icon for many vehicles.  The classic Mercedes hood ornament of the traditional Jaguar ornament, a favorite for vandals with nothing better to do.

About the only time we pay any attention to the hood of our car is when it is damaged.  We have all moaned after a rock has bounced off the hood leaving a sizeable chip, or when the neighbor’s kid bounces a baseball off of the hood.  Here in Texas we also have hail storms to deal with and a serious hail storm can completely destroy a hood.  The recent spring storms have done quite a bit of damage to hoods around the area and as anyone knows this can mean a great deal of expense in auto body repairs if you should go to an auto body shop.

However, there is an alternative and that is to do the repairs yourself.  Replacing a hood is a very easy process, usually as simple as removing two pins that hold the hood to the chassis.  The same can be said when replacing doors, the trunk cover or the grille.

As for the cost of the replacement part, why not go to your local salvage yard and buy a recycled hood?  What, you are worried that they can’t match your hood?  Don’t be silly!  With computer inventories there are literally millions of used parts available for delivery within one or two days.  What, you are worried that the replacement hood won’t be reliable?  Consider this: many auto repair shops buy their replacement parts from local salvage yards.  Why pay for a brand new aftermarket part when a reliable used, recycled auto part is a fraction of the cost and every bit as reliable?

If the spring storms left you with a damaged hood then take the option that thousands are taking in today’s economy and do the work yourself and buy the part at a reliable salvage yard for great savings. Whether it be a radiator or transmission, brakes of a bumper, big money can be saved by doing it yourself.