Luckily, not all vehicle collisions are serious—and many times, vehicles can leave the scene completely unscathed. But even the most minor fender benders can cause serious, underlying issues down the road. Without physically seeing them, how can you tell that there’s anything wrong with your vehicle?
We put together four signs of hidden vehicle damage that could be impacting your car, your driving ability and your safety.
1. Uneven tires.
Uneven tire wear can point to the fact that your vehicle is out of alignment, but it can also mean that the car’s body has been damaged. If a car is out of alignment, it will generally pull to one side when you’re driving it. But if the steering wheel is off center and it doesn’t pull to one side, it could be hidden collision damage—indicating that the vehicle’s body isn’t straight.
If you’ve noticed that your tires are unevenly worn and suspect that there may be something wrong with the vehicle’s body, contact your local collision repair shop to schedule an appointment right away.
2. Small leaks.
Another sign of hidden vehicle damage that you may not notice right away is leaks. Your vehicle contains many essential fluids (including oil, radiator fluid, air conditioning and power steering fluid) and one minor accident is all it takes for these liquids to flow out of your car’s system.
While your car may appear to be in perfect shape after an accident, it’s tough to spot leaks seeping from tiny cracks. Be sure to visit professional collision repair experts to evaluate the internal damage to your vehicle—not just the external damage.
3. Electrical malfunctions.
Even the lowest-impact collisions can loosen your car’s wires. Since these wires impact the electrical systems that keep your car operating, it’s crucial to pay attention to any small issues or abnormal behavior.
Electrical issues could affect the following:
- Car speakers. If you notice that you’re not able to use your radio, there could be an underlying electrical problem.
- Tail lights. Without properly working brake or tail lights, drivers may not be able to spot your vehicle during poor visibility conditions—affecting the safety of you (and others).
- Battery life. Without a fully functioning electrical system, your battery could fail. This could leave you and your vehicle stranded on the side of the road.
If you’ve recently been involved in an accident or notice any flaws in your electrical system, be sure to get your vehicle checked out by certified collision professionals.
4. Trunk issues.
When functioning properly, your trunk should open and close without an issue. After a rear-end collision, however, many issues can arise because of damage to cabin components. And not all of these issues are easily noticeable. While this doesn’t necessarily affect the way your car is handled and operated, it’s an issue that should be taken care of as soon as possible.
Your trunk opening in the middle of driving, for example, can obstruct your rearview vision. If your seal is damaged, water can also seep into the trunk. For anyone planning to resell their vehicle, these issues can reduce the car’s resale value. So if you’ve noticed any loose hinges, had problems opening or closing the trunk, or experienced any other new issues, visit a collision repair shop avoid any further damage to your vehicle.
Do you think you have hidden vehicle damage?
Whether you’ve been involved in a minor fender bender or a major rear-end collision, it’s important to evaluate the vehicle damage—because often times, that vehicle damage isn’t blatantly obvious. Northeast Collision is a local, trusted body shop that’s committed not only to repairing these issues in a timely manner, but to getting you back on the road safely.