Whether you bumped into your own garage wall or door, or another vehicle backed into you in a parking lot, you may think a fender bender is only a minor issue. Unfortunately, these minor accidents could become big problems if not addressed. This guide will help you understand a few major hidden dangers of a minor fender bender.
Decreased Appeal and Value
Minor dents, dings, and scratches may not seem like a big ordeal, especially if they are hard to see. However, when it comes to selling or trading the vehicle in, these minor cosmetic flaws will be problematic.
Private buyers and dealerships may not be expecting brand new vehicles in perfect cosmetic condition, but they will be judging whether the dents and scrapes on your vehicle affect its appeal and value. In most cases, these minor cosmetic problems will decrease the value of the vehicle, so you will end up selling the vehicle for less or taking less if you are trading the vehicle in for another one.
Working with an auto body repair tech can be a good investment since the cosmetic problems can be restored, which will restore the look and value of your vehicle, as well.
Alignment and Frame Damage
In addition to affecting the vehicle's appeal and value, a minor fender bender may have also affected the alignment and frame. While surprising to learn, even a small bump can knock the vehicle out of alignment or bend the frame. This damage may not be visible or noticeable when driving, but it could end up becoming a problem in the future.
If you notice the vehicle is not moving straight or is veering towards one side when in operation, the alignment is most likely off or you have sustained damage to the frame. Bringing your vehicle in for a full inspection is recommended whether you are noticing the veering or not. The vehicle can be realigned, but repairing the frame can be an extensive and expensive process in many instances.
Even if your vehicle is starting and running after a fender bender, the transmission or engine may have sustained some damage.
All-wheel drive vehicles, for instance, have drive shafts that can shift even if hit lightly during a fender bender. A misaligned or misconnected drive shaft will affect the function of your vehicle's transmission.
Also, minor impact to the vehicle can crack different reservoirs, causing gas, transmission fluid, or oil to leak, which could lead to dangerous conditions and serious engine failure.