When it comes to automotive accidents, everyone usually has one thing on their minds: frame damage. Although frame damage has a slightly different meaning when dealing with unibody vehicles, the bottom line is that structural damage is often expensive and challenging to repair. Even worse, unaddressed structural damage can seriously compromise the safety of your vehicle.
However, structural damage is not the only issue to worry about after an accident. Even if your vehicle has only suffered seemingly cosmetic damage, there may be many costly or dangerous problems lurking underneath those scratches and dents. If you think you can easily ignore non-structural collision damage, here are three reasons you may still want to get your car into an auto body shop immediately.
1. Future Collision Safety
Modern collision safety features are highly complex, and nearly every part of your car plays a role in keeping you, other motorists, and pedestrians safe during a collision. Seemingly minor damage can impact how your car reacts to future collisions, making it less likely to protect during even low-speed collisions.
Your car's bumpers are particularly important when it comes to collision safety. Seemingly cosmetic cracks or dents to your bumper cover may hide damage to the underlying impact-absorbing material. The only way to ensure your car will be safe during future accidents is to have an experienced body shop inspect your vehicle and look for potentially serious damage.
2. Long-Term Resale Value
Any collision will potentially reduce your car's resale value, which is why many states have laws to cover the concept of "diminished value." However, just because your car will lose some value doesn't mean you have to accept a drastically reduced resale price. In many cases, a professional repair (with documentation) is the best way to avoid taking a large hit on your car's sale or trade-in value.
More importantly, maintaining your car's resale value often means acting fast. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that unseen damage may cause additional issues affecting your car over the long term. Taking your car to a professional auto body shop following an accident will help you avoid these problems and maintain as much of your car's value as you can.
While structural damage may be the most dramatic outcome of an accident, rust can be just as costly and often far more insidious. Modern vehicle manufacturers take many steps to minimize the potential for rust to develop on their cars. Still, accident damage can undo these protective measures by leaving bare metal exposed to oxidation.
Minor scratches or dents can allow rust to form on any vehicle, leading to unsightly damage that can eventually compromise your car's structure and safety. At best, rust will substantially impact your car's resale value and will likely become challenging to repair once it takes hold. Dealing with minor collision damage now is the best way to avoid these serious consequences in the future.