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Can Minor Fender Benders Conceal Serious Problems?

March 21, 2018

 

Your car was recently involved in a low impact fender bender which dented the bumper and scratched some paint.  Because the accident was so minor, you’ve decided to skip taking it to an auto body shop.  But is that wise?  Even minor fender benders can cause more serious underlying problems to your car that may not show up until later.  And when those issues finally present themselves, repairs can be costly.  Whenever your vehicle sustains body damage that’s more than paint scratches it’s wise to have it inspected at a collision repair shop.  Here’s why.

 

Potential Electrical System Failure 

Your car’s electrical wiring is delicate, and even a minor jolt could have loosened wires.  Those won’t be noticeable at first, but could potentially cause a short.  Shorts can lead to power windows and door locks that malfunction, along with your vehicle’s antitheft system.  In the event of a front-end fender bender, a battery connector could get knocked loose, meaning that the battery may not recharge properly and/or the aforementioned electrical components on your car may start acting up.  A body shop technician can inspect your wiring after removing the damaged body panel or bumper cover.

 

The Alignment May Be Off

This occurs more frequently in front-end fender benders, as they commonly will cause misaligned tires.  As a result, your car could begin pulling to one side or the other, or the ride will seem rough and uncomfortable.  This could lead to uneven tire tread wear and vehicle handling difficulties.  And, replacing a set of tires is an expensive undertaking.  After a fender bender of any kind, your alignment should be professionally checked.

 

Your Car’s Frame Could Be Bent

If your auto is involved in even a low speed accident, the frame could sustain damage.  Although unnoticeable by you, a slightly bent frame can cause your vehicle’s structural integrity to be compromised.  When that happens, it can adversely alter how effectively your air bag deploys in an accident.  Additionally, your car’s ability to absorb an impact, especially a more serious one, is jeopardized.  Collision repair shops have equipment that can measure how straight your car’s frame is, and whether it matches OEM factory specifications.

 

Other Lingering Fender Bender Issues

In addition to the fender bender issues mentioned above, there are other lingering and potentially expensive problems that may be concealed from your view.  Those include:

  • Transmission problems- All-wheel drive (AWD) autos are especially susceptible to these even when rear-ended slightly. AWD cars have drive shafts that can easily get pushed into the vehicle’s transmission, creating the potential for expensive repairs.

  • Rust opportunities- Even minor scratches or dings may expose underlying metal, as paint serves to protect the body from water. When it comes in contact with water or road salt, your car’s metal structural materials can rust.

  • Wheel well rubbing- If your car’s body panel gets manipulated at all during a fender bender, metal or plastic material could possibly start rubbing a spinning tire and cause damage to it.

  • Suspension & steering problems- On most vehicles these are very delicate and even low speed impacts can knock them out of whack. That will negatively affect how your car handles or rides.  Hitting a pothole can also cause damage to your suspension and/or steering systems.

  • Engine mechanical performance- If you are involved in even a low speed front end accident, modern engine components are complex and intricate. Minor damage to any of those systems can cause more serious mechanical issues later.

Get Your Fender Bender Damage Checked by a Pro

Even low impact fender benders can disrupt your car’s mechanical performance and compromise safety.  And, any required future repairs can be costly as opposed to getting your car immediately inspected.   When a fender bender strikes have your car checked out by a professional auto body technician right away.  

 

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