What Is Hidden Auto Body Damage?
Hidden auto body damage is vehicle damage that lives beneath the surface, and can cause major issues if not detected during the repair process. More often than not, we find hidden damage after the initial estimate of a vehicle. It’s difficult to know what damage lies beneath the surface of vehicle dents and cracks from the original impact without completely tearing it down. Cars are built to bend and flex during an accident, to ensure the person inside isn’t the one taking the majority of the impact. We at Colorado Coach Auto Body advise that our customers bring their vehicle in for a full inspection, even when they’ve been in a low-speed collision.
Common Problem Areas for Hidden Damage:
Frame damage is the worst-case scenario in an accident—especially if it isn’t caught during the teardown process. When the frame of your vehicle bends in an accident, it causes it to not function properly. In some cases, frame damage totals a vehicle. If frame damage isn’t caught it can result in alignment issues, and even disable airbags.
Bumper & Reinforcement Bar
Your vehicle’s bumper or reinforcement bar is usually made with materials that help alleviate the stress of impact on the rest of your vehicle. If you’ve been rear-ended, even if your bumper cover looks minimally damaged, it’s possibly that your rebar is severely damaged. If so, you’ll need a bumper replacement to ensure that the next time you get into an accident, it works like new.
This type of damage is more likely than most and happens from very minor collision impacts. When your wheels aren’t aligned properly, they can wear unevenly, meaning more wheel replacements over time.
In rear-end collisions, it’s common for trunks to become misaligned, causing a variety of issues with your trunk. This can include the inability for your trunk to close, the trunk opening while driving, or even water leaking issues.
Other common problem areas for hidden damage during an auto accident include electrical issues, vehicle monitoring system issues, diagnostic code issues, and transmission issues.
Immediate Signs of Hidden Damage
Knowing that hidden damage is a possibility, and even more of a likelihood, you should be prepared after an accident to spot the common signs. At Colorado Coach Auto Body, we do not recommend that our customers drive their vehicle away from the scene of the accident, especially when they notice anything that’s off. Towing the vehicle to your collision shop of choice is always a good call, ensuring that you aren’t causing any additional damage. Here are some signs to look out for after you’ve been in an accident.
Your Vehicle is Making Strange Noises
If your car is making strange noises after you’ve been in an accident, do not drive it away from the scene. This could mean a large variety of things – like transmission issues, wheel misalignment, and more.
Vehicle Lights Aren’t Working
Make sure to check if your lights are still working right after your accident. If you’re having issues with headlights, turn signals, rear lights or brake lights, you may have electrical damage.
The Trunk or Door Won’t Close Properly
As mentioned before, if your trunk isn’t closing properly after your accident, it’s likely there is additional unseen damage. This could even include frame damage.
You See Damage Under the Vehicle
If there is visible damage underneath the vehicle after an accident, other areas of the car were likely impacted like the frame or alignment.
Fluids Are Leaking from Your Vehicle
If you notice any fluids leaking from your vehicle, this is another sign of major hidden damage. In this case, be sure not to drive your vehicle, and let your collision repair shop know that you noticed this.
Make sure that you partner with an auto collision repair facility that you can trust. You’ll want to ensure that your preferred shop will look out for any and all hidden vehicle damage. At Colorado Coach Auto Body, our skilled estimators catch a majority of the hidden damage during the estimate, and our technicians find all additional damage when tearing down the vehicle. We also back all repairs with a lifetime warranty!