Minor Fender Bender Damage or Hidden Issues?
7 Common Ways a Small Car Accident Can Cause Big Problems
It happens to just about all of us. We run over a curb, tap a pole in the parking lot, hit a deer, or even lightly bump into another car. When a little accident happens and you go check out the extent of the fender bender damage, you are likely to find some dents and scratches. While it’s never great to realize your vehicle has been damaged, it’s likely a relief to find out it’s minor. It may seem that your small fender bender didn’t create any significant damage.
But did it?
Fender bender accidents are very common. A minor collision may not seem like reason enough to go to an auto repair shop immediately, but there is a good reason that it is. Sometimes the damage to your car from a very minor accident can actually leave you with real damage that will need to be addressed.
Why are fender benders sometimes big problems? Because many people don’t see the problem. Or they underestimate the damage and ignore it.
Let’s say a person has a minor accident that appears to have left behind a few scratches. So they decide their vehicle doesn’t need to go to the auto repair shop. But in reality, the vehicle did suffer damage beyond the paint. And, being left ignored, this damage gets worse and causes even bigger problems for your vehicle.
Leaving fender bender damage ignored for too long is the wrong thing to do. What could have been a small and inexpensive repair can quickly turn into a major, costly problem.
What To Look For
A fender bender can cause a surprising amount of damage to your car. A lot of these problems are not immediately evident. But days or weeks (or even months) after some slight run-in, you may discover something is definitely not right with your vehicle. Here is a list of just some of the problems that can be caused by even the smallest of fender benders.
Your car’s bumper is designed to best protect your vehicle from damage when it runs into another vehicle’s bumper. But take a look at the different types and sizes of vehicles out there – from Smart Cars to Hummers – and you’ll see bumpers don’t always line up with each other. Bumpers do a bigger job these days. Not only is your vehicle’s bumper supposed to absorb a relatively minor impact, it’s also housing several important sensors.
There are sensors on parts of your vehicle that could easily be impacted by a minor impact. These are the sensors that give you such assistance as your blind spot warning and cruise control information. You may have a minor fender bender one day to discover a week later that a lot of those high-tech components in your vehicle no longer work.
Sometimes a small accident can create a shift in your vehicle’s alignment. The impact may have put, even slightly, your wheels or suspension out of place. A slight amount of change can create large problems over time if left ignored. Your vehicle could have suffered structural damage from what seemed like a slight accident. That damage may be too minor to notice with a simple visual inspection, but structural problems could leave your vehicle less able to handle the impact of a future crash.
There are a lot of electrical components inside your vehicle. Even a minor fender bender could loosen some wires. Days or weeks after a small accident, you could suddenly find yourself with an electrical short somewhere in your car. Perhaps your power windows are stuck open or your locks are malfunctioning.
- AIR CONDITIONER
The air conditioner in vehicles is typically mounted in the front. An accident that affects the front of your vehicle could impact the AC. Over time, the condenser could leak refrigerant which will leave you in a hot car. But it could be worse than that. A damaged or broken radiator will likely leak coolant. Pretty soon you can find out that your engine is overheating.
Did your vehicle suffer a little scratch or rubbed-off paint? Even this is likely to lead to bigger problems down the road. The underlying metal may now be exposed to the elements, causing it to rust.
- WINDSHIELD CHIP
A tiny chip or crack in your windshield is almost guaranteed to grow. And with it, the cost to fix it. Once you notice even a tiny crack in your windshield, you will want to get that replaced.
When Does a Fender Bender Require Repairs From an Auto Body Shop?
Well, the safest answer is that you should head to a mechanic after any run-in where you notice any possible damage. If you were jarred by some impact or bump, it’s always best to have a professional mechanic check under the hood and elsewhere along your vehicle to ensure everything is fine.
Best case scenario: you leave paying a minimal fee for the inspection with nothing wrong. Even better, you take it to our experienced auto body mechanics at Collision Center where we do NOT charge a fee if we find nothing wrong. The next best-case scenario: an auto repair technician finds something relatively minor wrong that they can fix easily and cheaply. With this small problem fixed, you’ve avoided being suddenly surprised by a major problem down the road.
At Collision Center of Andover, we’re the team of qualified auto body shop technicians in south-central Kansas to handle everything from cosmetic damage to suspension work. From chips in your windshield, and dents in your hood to full-line collision repair, everything is handled in our state-of-the-art auto body shop. We’ve been servicing vehicles for people in Wichita, Andover, and surrounding communities since 2006. Give us a call at (316) 733-9310.
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