If you're not rich or don't feel like visiting the mechanic right away, you may question whether a dent or two are worth fixing. Especially if the damage doesn't look severe, it can be hard to tell if the dents had any impact on the way your car, truck, or motorcycle actually works. Here are a few details to help you understand when collision repair is necessary, just to make sure you're not getting into an even more expensive situation by doing nothing about the repairs.
Underlying Damage Can Be Hard To See
Are you sure that it's just a dent? Are you sure that the dent is small, or not a sign or bigger damage? Automobile damage can be tricky, because not all serious damage will have obviously crumpled, cracked, or dented appearances on the outside.
Accident impact can sometimes be swift and direct at a specific angle that leaves a uniform, localized, and limited dent on the vehicle. What you may not see is a series of loosened bolts and joined metal underneath the chassis, or loosened wires because of the sudden shock.
Tire alignment can also be affected by a hit that leaves barely a dent. Side swipes are a good example, since being hit from the side while driving at highway speeds can cause your vehicle to move to the side and forward at the same time in ways that the vehicle isn't designed to move.
Aerodynamic Drag And Mileage Issues
Auto body designs have to merge form and function. Your vehicle must "cut" through the wind, meaning that it needs to move forward while reducing as much wind resistance as possible. If you put your hand outside of the window while driving, you can feel the pushing force of the air. That happens to your vehicle in a much more controlled way with the right auto body.
When the auto body is damaged, it changes the aerodynamic profile or the way that the vehicle is designed to handle wind resistance. Aerodynamic drag is handled in different ways depending on the type of damage, and it's hard to tell what kind of change will happen.
In some cases, the problem is too small to notice, or you may not have to tools to record the problem easily. In others, your vehicle may move from side to side while driving, and the direction depends on how the air is hitting a particular damaged area.
If your vehicle has to do any extra work to move forward while maintaining speed, it means spending more gas money and speeding up the wear and tear of the vehicle. Contact a collision repair professional to discuss repairs to keep your other car maintenance costs down.