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“Bent Bumper Repair: Minor Issue or Major Deal?”

 

     

Small dent in rear bumper on silver car

        Your car’s bumper is critical component. Contrary to popular belief, although they aren’t safety features, bumpers do have a specific role and appropriate bumper repair is very important for reasons listed below.

       According to the NHTAS, they are “designed to protect the hood, trunk, grille, fuel, exhaust and cooling system as well as safety related equipment such as parking lights, headlamps and taillights.” Bumpers serve as an armor-like protection system for many of a vehicle’s important parts.

Bumper History

       But this hasn’t always been the case. Vehicle bumpers have evolved greatly over the last half century. In the days of American muscle cars, bumpers were merely for appearance and could absorb little impact during a crash. In the mid-1970s, new laws were created that mandated car manufacturers to strengthen the bumpers so that they could absorb shock energy and minimize damage to other parts of a vehicle during a low-speed crash.

       Because of their location and purpose, bumpers often end dented, dinged, and otherwise damaged. Rarely do drivers worry about bumper damage. After all, it doesn’t affect the overall performance of the vehicle. But that statement is only a half-truth. This is why correct bumper repair is so important.

Damage Details

       The dented or dinged portion that you can see is only the surface or cosmetic part of the bumper. Right past that outer portion lies Styrofoam and metal which provide the real bumper structure. What looks like minor damage on the outer portion of the bumper could be hiding deeper inner bumper damage that will need to be fixed. Some times the damage can be repaired within hours.

       Sometimes the outer portion of the bumper will show no damage at all. However, when the bumper cover is taken off, collision specialists often find that the inner bumper can no longer absorb energy. If this problem is ignored, a future accident could prove extremely dangerous. This is a major reason for appropriate bumper repair.

Accident Example

       Still not seeing the big picture? Consider this example:

       You’re driving home at a low rate of speed. You don’t notice a car stopped at the intersection and boom, you rear end them. Your front bumper as suffered a medium sized dent, but since everything seems to be working properly, you exchange insurance information and move along. You fail to realize that disaster is brewing under the hood of your car.

       During the crash, your bumper has a portion your radiator into the engine space and created a crack. Now your engine’s belt is now also rubbing against the pushed-in portion and it is leaking fluid. Within a few days, there is major damage: all because of a slight “fender bender”.

What to Do

       When it comes to bumper damage, the “better safe than sorry” rule applies. Even though the situation outlined above is the exception, it is meant to demonstrate how small outer damage can lead to internal issues.  Proper inspection and bumper repair is very important for both safety and resale value of your vehicle.

 Instead of just assuming everything is fine and hoping for the best, you should seek an inspection and schedule repairs if necessary. One of our auto body specialists at Orlando Auto Body can tell you if the damage is simply cosmetic or something much deeper. Fixing the damage now can save you hundreds of dollars down the road and stop further damage to your vehicle if another accident were to occur. To schedule an inspection, give us a call at 480-485-4653.

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