Fender Bender? Internal Damage You May Not See
So you had a fender bender? You might assume the damage isn’t worth filing a claim with your insurance or paying out of pocket to fix, but that may not be the case at all. While the damage might appear to be nothing more than a cosmetic flaw, it could extend much deeper than the paneling or bumper of your vehicle.
Even a seemingly minor fender bender accident can negatively affect various internal components of your vehicle. But you probably won’t know if that’s the case without taking your ride to an auto body repair shop for a thorough evaluation.
What kind of damage might you be dealing with? Read on to learn about the most common types of collision-related internal damage we see at Minnetonka Collision, and why it’s so important to have your vehicle professionally inspected and repaired.
If you notice changes in the way your vehicle handles after a fender bender, one or more of your suspension components may have been thrown off during the accident.
If that’s true, and you don’t have the vehicle inspected and repaired promptly, you could accidentally do irreparable damage to the shock towers. If you blow those, you might end up needing a whole new vehicle.
A collision repair shop can inspect your vehicle to determine the extent of the damage, and if your ride does have a suspension problem, they can take care of that, too. Your collision insurance will more than likely take care of the auto repair bill.
Unsure how to choose a good collision repair center? Here’s what to look for in a quality auto body repair shop.
Have you noticed strange, clunky sounds coming from your vehicle when you switch gears after a fender bender? If so, your ride may have suffered transmission damage from your seemingly small accident.
All-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles are particularly susceptible to transmission problems after collisions, even if the accident was only minor. And a damaged transmission that’s left unrepaired can quickly snowball into a non-functional vehicle.
If you continue driving without handling the necessary repairs, small pieces of your transmission components can shear off and become stuck in other systems throughout your vehicle. When that happens, instead of simply repairing your transmission, you’ll be forced to purchase a brand-new one.
Even a minor collision can cause frame damage that’s exceedingly difficult to see unless you’re a trained technician. A compromised frame can affect the way your vehicle’s airbags deploy, putting you and your loved ones at a higher risk of future injury.
Similarly, damaged frames do not absorb impact according to their initial design. In the event of a more serious collision, you and your passengers could be left to absorb the brunt of the impact, potentially leading to serious injury.
If your vehicle’s paneling suffers damage during a fender bender, you could end up with potentially damaging rust buildup. Minor, barely-visible cracks can quickly build rust when exposed to the elements, and that rust can spread to other areas of your vehicle.
When the buildup becomes more severe, the structural integrity of your vehicle may suffer, putting you and your passengers in danger. If you do notice minor cracks or dings after a fender bender, it is important that you have your vehicle examined by a qualified auto body repair shop. A professional can repair your vehicle’s paneling, restore the paint, and prevent rust from ever taking hold.
If you own a newer-model vehicle, chances are it has advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features that rely on sensors and cameras to function. Those sensors and cameras are positioned at various points on the exterior and interior of your vehicle, and even a minor collision can damage them or throw off their alignment.
Aside from damaging sensitive cameras and sensors, a fender bender collision can also damage your vehicle’s electrical wiring. If that happens, the damage can affect airbag deployment, tail and headlight functionality, battery connectivity, and several other components that rely on the electrical system to function.
Obviously, improperly functioning electrical components put your vehicle at a significantly increased risk of further problems that could put your and your passengers’ safety at risk. But again, you may not notice any issues at all immediately after the collision. That doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t present, though. And if you leave them undetected and unrepaired, they’ll only cause problems down the road.
Even when a collision does not involve a considerable amount of force, it can negatively impact the braking components of your vehicle. That’s especially true even when the impact occurs anywhere near the tires or edges of the front or rear bumper.
Anytime your vehicle hits something (or something hits your vehicle), the impact can loosen up sensitive parts of the braking system, such as the calipers, control arms, nuts, bolts, and others. If that happens, you may notice a difference in the way your vehicle brakes, but if the damage isn’t severe, you might notice nothing at all. But that doesn’t mean it’s fine to leave things as they are.
Only a thorough inspection from an auto body repair shop will reveal whether or not your vehicle sustained brake damage during the accident. If you allow that damage to sit unrepaired, it’ll only worsen over time and can put you and your passengers at increased risk of injury.
For more helpful info on this topic, check out our blog, Is It Worth It To Fix a Fender Bender?
Need Auto Body Repairs in the Twin Cities?
If you’ve been in a fender bender, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Minnetonka Collision Center.
With decades of experience in the auto body repair industry, our technicians know exactly what to look for to make sure your vehicle is safe and functional after a minor accident. Whether you just need a simple paintless dent repair or a more complex specialty vehicle repair, we can restore your vehicle to its pre-collision condition and get you back on the road safely.
To get a free repair estimate or schedule service for your vehicle, give us a call today at 763-230-7805 or request an estimate online, and we’ll get in touch!