Everyone knows this: Accidents happen, whether we like it or not. While you may be the most careful driver on the road, not everyone on the road would be as cautious as you are. So, although an accident may not always “originate” from you, you could still figure in its receiving end. Now, why should you be interested in knowing what parts of your car are most likely to get damaged in an accident? It's not like it prevents accidents, right?
Why It’s Important to Know these Car Parts
For one thing, knowing that an accidental impact results in spending some accidental dollars may be all the motivation you need to drive with caution and care. Beyond making you more careful, however, here’s one more thing it’ll do.
When your car sustains an impact, the damage done may be merely cosmetic – by this I mean, paint chips, dents, and dings. Or it could be internal, such as when the structural integrity of your automobile has been compromised. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can probe for faults and estimate what changes would need to be made to get your beat-up car back in shape after an accident.
Extra budgetary expenses aren’t fun. When an accident happens, natural human tendency is to want to put it behind you at the cheapest way possible, financially speaking. There’s the temptation to focus on less crucial body repairs such as aesthetics and leave out the more critical ones. Knowing the extent of possible damage will remind you of the need to ensure that you have your car’s structural integrity intact during the repairs process—even when every vein and blood vessel in you is screaming “go frugal!”
Convinced on the importance of the posting now? If that’s a yes, then let’s get to the essence of this post.
Most Frequently Damaged Auto Parts in Accidents
When you get the misfortune of figuring in a motor crash, whether minor or major, your car responds in predictable ways. We’ve found that there are 8 parts of a vehicle most susceptible to damage during an accident situation. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Front & Rear Bumper
Topping the list of the most frequently damaged parts is the front bumper. And that should be no surprise since most car accidents involve a vehicle reversing or travelling forward. Bumpers protect the car from shocks. As such, be it a front or back-end crash, your bumper is the first to take the whipping.
Tell me you haven't backed into a dumpster or a signpost before, and I’m telling you it's only a matter of time.
Tailgating is illegal in Australia and can cause heavy fines and demerit points to offenders, and it’s one of the common causes of damage to car bumpers. A foam layer beneath the light metal plate on the bumper helps absorb the jolt or shock in a crash. When your bumper gets cracked, be sure to replace it in time. Else, that’s one less layer of protection for you and other commuters.
Safety tip: To keep your bumpers "un-bumped" for longer, maintain a safe distance between you and the next driver, especially during heavy traffic circumstances.
The term fender bender is commonly used to describe a bumper-to-bumper type accident. This causes the layman to consider fenders as synonymous with bumpers. Not so; fender and bumpers are two distinct parts.
Fenders are a part of the vehicle body framing the wheels. If you’ve driven through muddy roads before, you’ll recognise the fender as a region over your tyre area with plenty of mud logged on it. The fenders fend off dirt by preventing rotating tyres from throwing mud, sand, liquid, rock or any other form of road spray at other pedestrians and other road users.
Fenders are more likely to get damaged or bent during side-impact accidents. However, they could be damaged as a result of frontal impacts, too.
3. Headlights and Taillights
Headlights and taillights are also frequently affected by the impact. They are made of plastic and so easily cave in upon impact. If any lights are broken, fix them up as soon as possible not only to avoid cops from pulling you over but more so to keep you and other road users safe.
4. Bonnet and Boot
A crumpled bonnet is quite common after a front-end accident. In severe circumstances, the damage can be so extensive and render the part beyond repair that a replacement will be needed. Other times, you knock it off and decide to live with it. If your hood or boot props open after an accident, chances are, the latch is destroyed. So be sure to have (at least) your latch checked. You don’t want your boot or bonnet propping open while you’re cruising at top speed.
Grilles allow the air to enter and exit the engine, but during frontal crashes, they are among those parts that get damaged first. Since airflow is vital for keeping the engine cool and maintaining effective functioning of the car, the grilles need to be fixed as soon as possible.
6. Windshield, Rear Windshield and Other Glass Parts
If you live in regions with open roads like Queensland and Western Australia, glass damage is quite common. Debris from a car can fly off and hit the windshield or windows of vehicles behind it. Of course, in high-impact vehicle-to-vehicle collisions, shattering of glass structures may result too.
During side impacts, doors get damaged. Automakers throw tremendous weight on the design of car doors to ensure that it protects passengers against side impacts. The inclusion of anti-intrusion beams which span the length of the door is an example of a safety system put in cars.
The point is, damages done to a door during a collision aren't always completely visible on the outside. Straightening a door doesn't equate with straightening the anti-intrusion bar. If your door gets impacted, you are better off changing it.
8. Inertia Switch
Not all cars have an inertia switch. But if yours does, it could get tripped during what you’d have considered minor vibration. The inertia switch cuts off the fuel pump when a collision occurs to prevent a fire situation.
If your inertia switch is triggered, it would be impossible even to move your car off that spot, let alone get it to a repair shop. To find out if your vehicle has an inertia switch and how to start your car after the switch has been triggered, read your car's manual.
Drive with care. Even when you do and things still go south (as they most likely will), get a qualified auto technician to inspect it for you and get your car back in shape. As for getting the right car parts, we’ve got you covered on that end. Request any car part from us now!
By Damilare Olasinde