Taking Care of Your Car Keeps You Safe

Taking Care of Your Car Keeps You Safe

3 Surprisingly Costly Consequences Of Bumper Damage

by Kent Alvarez

If you're old enough, you might remember when bumpers existed primarily to protect the rest of your car from severe damage. These chromed components could usually take a beating with only minimal cosmetic damage, keeping your car's body from suffering the brunt of the impact. Unfortunately, they could also be bad news for whatever (or whoever) you hit.

Modern vehicle bumpers serve drastically different purposes, and manufacturers now design them as critical features in your car's collision protection systems. If you've received some minor bumper damage in an accident, the costs might be much higher than you expect. Here are just three consequences of damage to your car's bumper that may surprise you.

1. Internal Damage

The part of your car that you probably call your bumper is likely nothing more than a plastic cosmetic cover typically known as a fascia. Your bumper's fascia keeps your vehicle looking good and provides some aerodynamic benefits, but it's rarely much more than a thin veneer on top of the real meat. The metal impact bar, energy-absorbing foam, and other essential critical components are underneath it.

After an accident, you might only see minor cracks or chips on the fascia, but these blemishes can hide more substantial internal damage. This damage can reduce the effectiveness of your bumper in future collisions, making your car unsafe to drive. A damaged bumper can also be dangerous to other drivers or pedestrians in an accident.

2. ADAS Problems

ADAS stands for advanced driver assistance systems. This category broadly includes many modern technologies that help you avoid accidents. Common examples include lane departure warnings and distance-aware cruise control. While these conveniences can make driving safer and more pleasant, they also rely on many crucial and high-cost sensors.

Since these sensors need to see the world around them, manufacturers often mount them in the bumper fascia. Unfortunately, this positioning leaves them vulnerable to even minor accidents. A low-speed collision can easily damage your car's sensors, leaving you with ADAS components that may malfunction or not work at all.

3. Frame Damage

Can a minor accident damage your car's frame? It depends. Unibody cars are structurally very different from old-style body-on-frame vehicles. Your car's underlying structure includes its outer body panels, so any accident can potentially cause the frame to bend or move out of alignment. While this damage may not be typical for low-speed accidents, it can occur.

An auto body shop can check for frame issues without disassembling your car, making it relatively easy and painless to determine if your minor bumper damage hides something much more severe. Driving a vehicle with a damaged structure can be dangerous and costly in the long run, so it's always better to err on the side of caution following a collision.

Contact an auto collision repair shop to learn more. 


About Me

Taking Care of Your Car Keeps You Safe

When I was a teenager, my dad taught me to care for my car well. After I grew up and started a family of my own, I taught my teenager how to take care of his car, and I thought he was listening to everything I said. One day, he told me his car was "acting funny" and asked me to take a look at it. I asked him when he last changed the oil. He then told me that he had never changed it after he bought the car almost two years before! I am very grateful his lack of car maintenance did not get him injured, but it could have. I know there are a lot of other young people out there who neglect their cars, so I decided to make a blog to share auto tips and help everyone stay safer on the road!