Small Fender Bender, Big Problems – What You Need to Know

Posted on: September 14, 2019

Busy intersections, crowded parking lots, and hidden turns are all common places where drivers and their cars end up getting into fender bender accidents. Among the most common types of automobile collisions, fender benders may appear to cause minimal damage, but they are often hiding bigger issues than the cosmetic appearances on the outside.

If you, a friend, or a loved one gets into this kind of accident, it can lead to body damage, a higher insurance deductible, and even potential injuries. There are some clear things you can look for if you’re ever in a fender bender to ensure full repairs are made afterward.

What Is a Fender Bender?

A fender bender is generally considered a minor accident. It happens at a low speed and typically involves the car’s bumper or fender. While these may seem insignificant on the surface, the fender bender cost can be surprisingly high.

Front of car after a fender bender accident.

Despite the lower speeds, these accidents can cost anywhere from $2,995 to $9,867 or more, depending on the types of vehicles involved and the level of damage to both. 

The difference in the fender bender cost is primarily related to the bumper height. So, when a small car and an SUV are in this type of accident, the damage tends to cost more than if two cars or two SUVs were to run into each other.

Potential Problems Fender Benders Can Cause

Auto shops are used to seeing a wide variety of fender bender problems. Thankfully, most of these common problems can be fixed quickly, leaving your vehicle in just as good of shape as before.

Alignment Damage

One of the most frequent issues after a fender bender is with the car’s alignment. This kind of accident can throw your tires out of synch and cause your vehicle to pull to one side or another. This can make riding in your vehicle rough, uncomfortable, and dangerous.

If you don’t get fender bender repair to restore the alignment, it can cause your tire treads to wear unevenly and lead to the need for new tires more frequently.

Bent Car Frame

Another one of the most frequent fender bender problems involves the metal framework of your vehicle. Even when the accident happens at a low speed, it can cause frame damage. This damage may be unnoticeable to you, but it can harm the structural integrity of your vehicle.

Auto technician working on a car engine.

Frame damage can even make your airbags deploy improperly when you are in an accident. If you are in another crash, the damage could make your car unable to absorb the crash’s impact and cause further injury that may have been avoided otherwise. At a repair shop, you can see how straight your frame is and get any dents or cracks fixed.

Scratches & Dings

After you get in an accident of any sort, your car will most likely sustain some cosmetic damage. While this damage may look harmless, it can lead to problems later on. Scratches and dings break down the protective layer of your car, which allows outside elements to cause additional damage and even lead to rust.

Luckily, repairing these scratches is fairly straightforward. Once your paint is repaired, you won’t have to worry about your vehicle’s exterior breaking down or leading to other issues.

Wheel Well Rubbing

If a crash affects your wheel well, it could cause metal or plastic to rub against your tire. Before long, this could cause your tire to pop at any point while you’re driving down the road. And a blown tire could lead to yet another accident if it occurs in a dangerous or busy location.

Suspension & Steering Issues

While most people never think about their suspension or steering, both of these systems are integral if you want your vehicle to work properly. Unfortunately, they are also extremely delicate. A simple fender bender can cause your suspension and steering to stop working properly.

If something happens to these systems, it can impact the way your car rides or handles on the roadway. But an auto body repair shop has the tools need to ensure they are working as needed.

Electrical System Failure

Electrical systems are fairly easy to damage. Even the most minor collision can harm your anti-theft system, cruise control sensors, blind-spot warning, and backup cameras. All of these devices are in locations known for being fairly easy to damage.

Charging car battery with jumper cables.

Even when the car accident doesn’t directly harm the electrical systems, it can cause problems with your wiring or connectors. If this happens, you’ll end up with system failures and other problems. Until you get a fender bender repair, your vehicle’s systems may refuse to work properly and pose numerous safety concerns.

Engine Component Damage

After a fender bender, your vehicle can suffer from a range of different engine problems. Modern vehicles are particularly intricate, which means minor damage can make multiple engine systems stop working all at once. A minor accident today can lead to serious problems in the future.

When you are in an accident, the impact can cause your axle to shift and push into the transmission. While front-wheel drive vehicles are less susceptible, this problem can happen to any vehicle. You may want to check the axle joints, drive train, transmission, and axles to make sure they don’t need to be part of the fender bender repair.

Choose the Best Fender Bender Repair Shop

Being in a crash is hard enough. The last thing you need after getting into a fender bender is a high repair bill. If you can’t afford the repairs you need, your car may be more likely to get in another crash because of the damage to your frame, mechanical, steering, or other systems.

If you want to prevent further problems and get your car thoroughly checked out, the right auto body shop can help. To learn more about how we can quickly repair your vehicle, call Todd’s Auto Body today at (217) 431-7209.

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