Fender benders happen frequently on busy roadways. These minor accidents typically happen at low speeds and result in very little visible damage. Some drivers don't even bother to take their vehicle in for repair after a fender bender because the damage is perceived to be minor. It's important to keep in mind that even the most minor car accidents have the potential to create major mechanical problems for your vehicle. Monitor your car closely for the following signs of serious damage if you have been involved in a fender bender.
Your Battery Dies Frequently
The battery serves a vital role in helping your vehicle startup each day. Batteries supply the power needed to turn the engine before the alternator kicks in and takes over. Most drivers don't give their batteries a second thought until these components begin to malfunction. Your battery can be affected by a fender bender in a variety of ways. The accident might have jarred the battery loose, causing it to shift positions. This shifting can result in a battery that shorts out or refuses to hold a charge. Early indicators of battery problems include dim lights, sudden stalling, or a battery that dies frequently. You will need to have a collision repair specialist examine your vehicle to determine the extent of the damage and replace your battery to restore full functionality to your car.
Your Check Engine Light Flickers
Modern engine components are complex and surprisingly delicate. Any impact to the front end of your vehicle, no matter how minor, could damage engine components under the hood of your car. Minor damage to essential engine components could create more significant performance problems down the road. You may notice that your check engine light is illuminated or flickering after your involvement in a fender bender. This light is designed to act as an early warning system of potential mechanical failure. You will need to have an experienced automotive professional identify the source of the check engine light and make the necessary repairs to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
Your Vehicle Rides Rougher
You should enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride when you are behind the wheel of your vehicle. Interruptions to the smoothness of your vehicle's ride can indicate serious alignment issues. Something as simple as driving through a pothole or hitting a curb can throw off the alignment of your vehicle, so you can imagine the potential alignment problems that might arise after a fender bender. Improper wheel alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly. Alignment issues also affect your driving experience, causing your vehicle to pull to one side while in motion. Take your car in for alignment repairs after a fender bender if you hear squealing tires and notice that your steering wheel is crooked when your vehicle is moving in a straight line.
Your Doors Don't Shut
A vehicle that has never sustained any serious damage should have components that fit snugly with one another. As you examine the exterior of your vehicle, you should not see any visible gaps between the doors and the panels covering the body of your car. If gaps suddenly start to appear after a fender bender, this could be an indication that your vehicle's frame is bent. Minor bends in the frame can go undetected at first, but they will always start to impact your vehicle sooner or later. If you are having a hard time shutting the doors to your car or truck, visit a collision repair specialist and have the vehicle's frame examined closely for signs of damage. It's best to have an experienced auto body shop to examine your vehicle after even the most minor accident. Contact Jim's Auto Body for a full evaluation and free repair estimate today.