If you have had a fender bender with another vehicle and don't think the damages are worth reporting the accident to your insurance company and taking your car for repairs, think again. Even a minor fender bender can cause significant problems with mechanical parts in your car that you may not realize until later down the road when your car breaks down. Here's what you need to know.
Report the Fender Bender to Your Insurance Company
Many people don't report minor fender benders to their insurance companies because they don't want their insurance premiums to increase. This is particularly true when the drivers figure the costs of the auto body repairs are below the deductible they would have to pay out of pocket before the insurance would kick in.
However, there could be hidden damages to the mechanical parts of your car that you may not realize unless you take your vehicle to an auto shop for a mechanic to look over. And since time is of the essence for reporting collisions to your insurance company, it's better to be safe than sorry and inform your insurance company as soon as possible after all accidents, including what appears to be minor fender benders. That way, the costs to repair or replace the damaged mechanical parts will be covered by your insurance.
Hidden Damages to Mechanical Parts
A fender bender can have a jarring affect on various mechanical parts in your car. The damages that a fender bender can cause can leave you stranded or cause another accident. Here are a few examples.
- Overheated engine. A fender bender can damage the radiator and other parts of the cooling system, including the coolant line, reservoir, fan, cylinder head, and the supporting parts of the radiator. These damaged parts can cause your cooling system to be ineffective, which will cause your car to overheat.
- Dead battery. Batteries have sediment in them, which can be displaced in the impact of a fender bender. The sediment can reach the lead plates and either short them out or break them off. If these types of things happen, the life of your battery will be significantly reduced and you could find yourself stranded with a dead battery.
- Loss of power steering. A fender bender impact could cause a crack in your power steering fluid hose. You will lose power steering if too much fluid leaks out of the hose, which could cause you to suddenly be unable to make turns while driving.
- Car pulls to one side. The force of the impact could cause your tire alignment to be off-kilter. This, in turn, can cause your car to pull to the left or to the right. Sometimes, this pulling can make drivers feel that it is unsafe to drive their cars due to having to wrestle with the steering wheel to keep the car in the lane.
- Powertrain failure. Damage can occur to a powertrain in a fender bender. The powertrain is what transfers the drive from your engine to your axles. It includes your transmission and drive shaft, along with all the various related parts, such as mounting brackets, torque box, and fluid hoses. If any of these parts are shifted or damaged in a fender bender, it can cause vibrations or fluid loss to occur, which can lead to complete failure of your powertrain at some point in the future.
After a fender bender, it's a good idea to assume that there is some damage to the mechanical parts of your car and have the car checked over by a mechanic. These types of mechanical problems can be covered by your insurance if your mechanic can prove that they were caused by the fender bender. For this reason, it's important to have your car looked over by a mechanic who works in an auto body repair shop like Central Body Co Inc.