Even the smallest accidents can have a big impact on your car and you do not have to see the damage either. Some of the most dangerous issues can occur underneath or inside the car without you ever knowing about it. The smallest accident can seriously damage the structural reliability of your vehicle, for instance, meaning that the next accident you are involved in could cause serious damage to you and your vehicle.
Even low-speed accidents like backing into another car or bumping into a pole in the parking lot can cause unseen damage to your car. A trained collision repair specialist can give you piece of mind if the damage is just cosmetic, or advise you of internal problems that could be costly if not attended to. Some damage may be invisible but there are also several warning signs if you know to look for them. If you have been involved in a collision, take your car to a reputable auto collision repair center if you notice any of the following:
If your battery is rapidly losing energy…
Whether your battery dies suddenly, your car will not start, or you notice you lights are less powerful than before, your battery issues may have been caused by a minor collision. Even a minor impact can loosen wires for your battery, brake lights, taillights or starter. In addition to the fact a loose engine wire could leave you stranded, those disconnected brake lights will keep you from alerting drivers behind you that you’re stopping.
If your check engine light flickers…
The infamous engine light has significant purpose and warning. If it is illuminated, it is never a good idea to ignore it. Small issues may be symptoms of larger ones, or, they can expand and morph into big issues when ignored. Have you vehicle examined if you notice your check engine light is illuminated or flickering. If a check engine light illuminates, the vehicle should be checked by a trained auto body repair technician to determine the problem and have it fixed. If the light is blinking, there is a serious problem with the vehicle, such as a misfiring engine, and the car should be stopped as soon as possible. A steady light could be one of the less urgent issues, but the car should be taken to an automotive body repair shop for a diagnostics check.
If you notice the alignment is off…
Alignment is another issue that can start small and quickly spiral out of control. If, however, your alignment is noticeably off following a minor crash, have it examined immediately so you do not cause unnecessary wear on your tires, suspension, brakes and most importantly your safety.
If you notice a new leak under your car…
Sometimes the smallest accidents can happen in just the right place and nick the oil line, the radiator, or the air conditioner… Cars are not meant to leak liquids – they need them to run properly! If your vehicle is leaking oil or coolant, do not drive the vehicle. It is highly recommended tow it to your trusted auto body and collision repair facility not a traditional auto mechanic repair shop. Auto body and collision repair shops are very familiar with the insurance repair process and how to facilitate the claim with insurance companies. Once the insurance company authorizes a preliminary estimate. The auto body shop can move forward with assessing the damages and submit a supplement on any additional findings of damaged parts or concerns.
Here are some problem areas to focus on when you have a minor accident.
If you are involved in an accident which caused the airbags to deploy in your vehicle, do not drive it. Not only will be unsafe to drive but you may cause additional damages to your vehicle. Instead tow it to a reputable auto body repair shop and wait for the insurance company to assess the damages. If the repairs are not being filed with an insurance company, still have it towed to your preferred auto body shop and ask them to assess the damages and provide a preliminary estimate to repair the vehicle to pre-accident condition.
Any accident can cause unseen damage to your car’s frame and unibody, damage that only a reliable autobody collision specialist will know to look for. Will slight damage be a big deal if you don’t have it looked at? The answer is yes, slight damage can affect the proper deployment of an airbag in a crash when you will be relying on it and it can negatively effect how the vehicle drives.
Typically, the bumper is the first part of the vehicle to get damaged in the case of an accident. While a strong bumper assembly is the first line of defense in preventing greater loss, it typically needs to be replaced after an accident if it has been compromised. The damage obtained during an accident depends upon the force or impact of the collision. Modern bumpers often are filled with energy-absorbing materials like plastic or Styrofoam. When the bumper is hit with enough force to trigger its energy absorption characteristics, it needs to be replaced because it has served its purpose; it will not work a second time. Damages to the exterior of the vehicle can be obvious to the untrained eye but an expert assessment is essential to discover lurking and hidden damages.
As you probably know, virtually everything in your car is computerized. Modern vehicles have up to 100 sensors onboard; soon that number could top 200. Even with a small fender-bender, these systems can become damaged. A quality body shop like VIVID Auto Body shop has specialized equipment that allows us to check your vehicle’s diagnostic codes. This is important even if your check engine light isn’t on because you may have pending codes. It is worth the trip to the shop to be sure.
Warping of the frame will often cause fit issues with the rest of your vehicle. One of the most obvious places where you will notice this is the doors. If the doors refuse to shut and there are no obvious problems with the latches, you should have the frame inspected. You may also see gaps between the frame and the doors when they are shut. If the vehicle frame is bent, there may be gaps between the body panels, or the panels may shift or dent inward and outward easily when you press on them. Frame repair can be easily assessed and repaired with professional auto body repair technicians utilizing state-of-the-art automotive frame repair equipment and computerized measuring systems.
If you were involved in a low speed front end accident, you may think you dodged major repair costs. However, in new vehicles there is more technology, sensors, and modern engine components. Minor damage can cause serious mechanical and safety issues later down the line and stem from the minor hit. Depending on the impact of a front-end collision, parts such as the radiator, condenser, oil cooler, transmission cooler, and other essential parts may become damaged. It is crucial to keep this in consideration because ignoring these damaged parts will cause major issues down the road.
One of the most common problems following a minor accident, especially from the rear, is exhaust damage. Even something as small as the tailpipe being bent cause lead to the exhaust system failing to remove toxic fumes, cause overheating and reduce your fuel economy. If you have been in a minor accident and are noticing a rattling noise, an odor inside the vehicle or a change in the exhaust, you must have the vehicle inspected right away.
After an accident, inspect your vehicle for any damages to the windshield, back glass, or side glass. The first place to start when looking for auto glass damage is where the windshield meets the frame of the car. It is possible for hairline cracks to develop in this area, and cracks that reach the frame’s edge can quickly grow if they go unnoticed. For example, a windshield that developed hairline cracks upon impact may look perfectly fine, but those hairline cracks were caused because the collision bent the car’s frame. Do you want to wait weeks or months to discover this damage, then have to explain to your insurance company that you never filed a claim? By investigating the details and determining the source of damage to your car — even minor auto glass damage — you are protecting yourself from bigger, more expensive repairs.
You get a minor scratch from a fender bender and you think its so small it really isn’t a big deal. However, that minor scratch can eventually start to rust especially living along the coastline and being close to humidity, water and salt in the air. Rust issues must be remediated as soon as they occur because rust spots can travel under the paint and eventually eat holes into the body panels and fasteners and then your small little scratch is a huge expensive problem.
A rear-end collision not only affects your car’s body, it can also harm mechanical parts. All-wheel-drive (AWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles have transmission components located near the rear that can get damaged even during a low-impact crash. If the transmission is not checked out immediately after an accident, your car could start shifting roughly, leaking transmission fluid or experience poor acceleration. Transmission repairs or replacement can be very costly and potentially lead to a dangerous scenario.
A small impact to the back of your car can mess up the trunk’s locking mechanism and seal. Left unaddressed, you could have trouble opening the trunk, water could leak into the storage compartment, or the trunk lid may even pop open while you are cruising down the highway.
Vehicle Monitoring Systems
Bumpers also often house components for vehicle monitoring systems such as impact to the bumper can affect blind spot monitoring, parking and back-up cameras, lane assist, airbag deployment, and other safety features.
High Speed Collisions
The worst type of accident is one that occurs at high speeds. These generally result in massive damage the the vehicle’s body and frame and require extensive repair. To fully restore the vehicle’s looks and safety, body panels may need to be replaced, new glass installed and frame straightening and measuring will be performed.
Choosing an Auto Body Shop
There are many other factors for example, dent repair, hail damage repair, repainting, full vehicle servicing in addition to internal body checks. The cost of everything depends on the quality of materials being used, the cost of new, used or aftermarket parts, and the amount of labor involved. Hence the choice of a credible service provider is of utmost importance.
One must realize that only a credible and trusted auto body repair shop can bring the vehicle back in the position it was in before accident. If the vehicle goes through a repair which gives only temporary help to recover from the accidental condition, it clearly means one’s repeated and regular visits to repair companies.
Bumpers are made by the manufacturers from a particular type of plastic, ‘thermoset’, which means that you will need a knowledgeable technician to bring the bumper back into the pre-accident condition. In addition, sound auto body repairs ensures that the car will be brought back to its drivable condition.
Accidents can vary from minor repairs to full auto collision repair. How the vehicle is handled after a minor car accident determines the actual loss. You need to do your due diligence when looking into an auto body shop to bring the car to its pre-accident condition and not only their experience is essential but also their professional customer service and transparency. If your vehicle has been subject to some sort of accident, no matter what the cause, it is important to let a professional take on the job of restoring the car. For professional repair in McKinney, TX, reach out to VIVID Auto Body Shop. We offer complete service collision repair for all makes and models. Give us a call at (972)737-3288 to request a quote for auto body repair in McKinney. If you have a busy schedule, feel free to use our online estimate request tool and we will respond with a free estimate within 1-business day.
Thank you very much for visiting VIVID Auto Body!