If you've been involved in an accident, the dents and crunched pieces on your car may seem like a simple cosmetic issue that can be fixed at any time. Unfortunately, there are a few safety and efficiency problems that could make not getting them repaired a very expensive choice. Before driving around with a dented car, consider a few of the dangers that affect your driving and your wallet.
Fuel Efficiency Failure
Vehicles are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. This means that the resistance from wind as the vehicle moves forward is reduced, allowing the vehicle to move forward at higher speeds more easily. This resistance is explained by a set of forces called drag.
You can feel the effects of drag in real-time by holding your hand outside the window. Turn your hand so that the palm is facing forward. As you drive, you can feel the wind pushing back on your hand. The same thing is happening to your vehicle while driving, but with more force due to the size, shape and weight of the vehicle. Vehicle design strives to achieve as little resistance as possible along with other factors such as staying well grounded while driving instead of lifting.
When your vehicle is damaged, some of the dents can cause the same problem as having your palm facing forward. The vehicle has to deal with additional drag, which requires more engine effort. This translates to more gas being consumed by the vehicle to drive at the same speed.
A collision repair professional can help by assessing the damage and either reversing the dents with precision tools or replacing parts of the auto body completely.
A Slight Drag To The Side
Auto body dents can also cause the vehicle to move slightly to the left or right while in motion. Due to the same drag problems that can reduce your fuel efficiency, a vehicle can be 'pushed' with more force on a specific area with dents, resulting an a slight drift to one side.
Also, sometimes in a collision, your vehicle's wheels and axle assembly could be damaged to the point of being crooked. Your vehicle's orientation may be slightly off to the left or right, resulting in a constant turn unless you actively and aggressively change the vehicle's direction.
It may not seem like a major problem at first, but hours of driving can enter periods of short attention spans where you may not notice your car drifting into another lane until it's too late. Contact a collision repair professional, like those at Colormelt Autobody, to assess your vehicle's situation.