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We currently have a very strange weather constellation with recurring thunderstorms with hail - the current warning says "hailstones up to 4cm". The frequency of these storms had me wondering:

Is there a hack to protect my car?

I'm looking for solutions that

  • don't involve a garage (because I don't have one and public ones aren't always close if I'm travelling) and
  • are reasonably wind-proof. I have considered the tarp I use in winter to protect the car from snow, but I don't think it would hold in strong gists of wind.
  • Possibly putting the tarp on then carefully driving over two diagonal corners could secure it. – seadoggie01 Jul 5 '16 at 4:13
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They sell padded car covers which are specifically marketed for "hail protection".

Product Search: Padded Car Cover

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But if you need something in a pinch, you can adapt your winter tarp for that purpose.

If the tarp itself provides little protection, add a thick blanket or comforter underneath to add a little padding. Even a few pillows will effectively lift the tarp up off the car to avoid that "solid on solid" impact when ice starts falling from the sky.

To keep the tarp from blowing away, you can thread some ropes through the corner grommets. If you pull them tight enough below the thickest part of the car, it should keep the tarp from blowing off. Alternatively, if you tie a rope to each corner of the tarp and place the loose end under each tire, you can pull the car forward an inch or two and it will effectively trap the ropes under the tires. That tarp is not going anywhere.

  • Some sheets of corregated cardboard (4x4 from refrigerator shipping box) under this pad and/or your tarpaulin will help absorb some of the blows. You can get 2 squares from each side that are easier to position than a large sheet. A couple of wraps of plastic twine or rope as above to steady the shock absorbing pad. – Stan Jun 24 '16 at 23:45

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