If you were recently involved in a minor accident that left a few dents and scratches on your car's body, you may feel that the damage is only cosmetic and that you can continue to drive it without fixing it. However, there are several reasons why you should have your car's body repaired even if you believe the damage is only superficial.
1. Scratches Lead to Rust
Anytime you are involved in a collision, scratches in your car's paint are almost inevitable. However, you may decide that a few scratches do not warrant a trip to an auto body shop since they only affect the appearance of your vehicle.
However, scratches can lead to further damage down the road. Even if the paint is only removed in small areas, these spots will have exposed metal that will be subjected to extra moisture.
Eventually, the exposed metal will start to oxidize and rust. As the rust eats further into the body panels, holes will form and spread. And, not just the body itself is at risk. If the holes form next to the engine bay, parts of your motor and transmission will be subjected to extra moisture, potentially causing damage.
While looking at the scratches, however, you may see that they the are not deep enough to reach the underlying surface and feel that you are safe from the above scenario. However, since the outer protective coating is gone, the paint will wear down quickly when subjected to moisture, salt, and sunlight. Eventually, the paint will wear away and still put your car's body at risk for rust.
2. Dented Fenders Weaken the Body
Along with scratches on your car's body, you may have a few dents in the panels. While these may look ugly, you may think that the dents cannot possibly affect the safety of your vehicle.
However, even the body panels play an important part in your car's ability to withstand impact. When you were struck, the body absorbed some of the shock, helping to decrease the overall damage to your vehicle.
Now that the panels have been damaged, however, they may not be able to fully absorb this shock. If you were involved in another accident, the body, windows, and interior of your car may sustain serious damage, such as cracks in the body and glass.
And, if the body is struck at the same point of impact as the previous accident, the body could cave in. This could potentially hurt anyone sitting nearest this section of your vehicle.
3. Unseen Frame Damage Can Cause Driving Issues
Not all of the damage to your car will be visible. If you have dents and scratches, there is the possibility that the frame underneath the body panels was bent. When you have a bent frame, it is imperative that you do not drive your car for a couple of reasons.
First, a bent frame will knock your car out of alignment. Not only may you have trouble steering, but the rubber on your tires will wear down faster in sections.
Second, once the frame is bent, the structural integrity of your vehicle is severely compromised, increasing your chances of being hurt if you are involved in another accident. Even if you are struck in a completely different area on your car's body, the weakened metal frame will not be able to stand up to the impact.
Even a minor fender bender could cause serious damage to your car's body and should be fixed before you attempt to drive it again. Take your car to an automobile body repair shop so that they can determine the full extent of the damage and discuss with you options for fixing it.