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Post Time - 3:44 PM Post By - Jana Purcell

How to Know If You Have Hidden Damage After a Collision

How to Know If You Have Hidden Damage After a Collision

Car accidents can be unsettling and stressful experiences, and even minor collisions can result in hidden damage that may not be immediately apparent. Hidden damage refers to structural or mechanical issues that aren’t easily visible but can still compromise the safety and performance of your vehicle. Identifying hidden damage is crucial to ensure that your car is safe to drive and to prevent potential problems from escalating over time. It’s imperative to communicate with your auto repair shop during the estimate process to determine if there is hidden damage and if they suspect any. Sometimes the damage is not detected until later in the repair process which was not part of the original estimate. Here are some important steps to recognize hidden damage after a collision. Some may not apply if your car is not in running order after a major collision. Keep in mind these hidden damage checks should also be done after you receive your vehicle back from collision repairs. Most likely a certified technician will check this before handing the car off to the owner after repairs are completed. Sometimes, but not often hidden damage can show up later after repairs are completed. Be sure to discuss this with your auto body shop of choice.

Look for Visible Signs of Damage:

Before inspecting for hidden damage, start by examining the visible signs of the collision. Check for dents, scratches, misaligned panels, and cracked lights. These obvious signs can often give you an initial idea of potential hidden damage in corresponding areas. Take pictures for your own documentation of al the damage and the entire vehicle. It’s sure that if you were in a major collision the police department may also have filed some records of the accident and damage as well. Sometimes in a time of panic you forget and are not thinking clearly or if you are injured and unable.

Pay Attention to Unusual Noises or Odors:

If your car is still drivable and is questionable in a major collision, listen for any unusual noises coming from your car, such as grinding, scraping, or squealing sounds. Unusual noises may indicate that something is damaged and rubbing against other components. Additionally, be aware of any strange odors, which could point to damage in the engine or other internal parts.

Check for Fluid Leaks:

After a collision, it’s essential to check for any fluid leaks under your vehicle. Leaking fluids, such as oil, coolant, or transmission fluid, could indicate damage to the respective systems. Fluid leaks can lead to serious mechanical issues if left unaddressed.

Observe Handling and Steering Behavior:

Pay close attention to how your car handles and steers after the collision. If you notice any pulling to one side, vibrations in the steering wheel, or difficulty maintaining a straight path, there might be alignment or suspension damage.

Inspect the Wheel Alignment:

Check the alignment of your wheels by looking at the tires. Uneven tire wear could be a sign of misalignment, indicating hidden damage to the suspension or steering components.

Test the Brakes

Brakes are critical for your safety, so ensure they are functioning correctly after the collision. Look for any signs of damage or wear, and test the brakes for responsiveness and effectiveness.

Examine the Frame and Undercarriage:

Hidden damage often affects the frame and undercarriage of your vehicle. Inspect these areas thoroughly, looking for any visible bends, crumpling, or irregularities. If you’re unsure, have a professional mechanic perform a comprehensive inspection. Be careful with this process if your car is unstable. This should be done by professional auto body repair shops once your vehicle is on a lift and can be inspected accurately and safely.

Check Safety Features and Airbags:

If your airbags are deployed during the collision, it’s essential to have them properly replaced and reset by a certified technician. Additionally, verify that other safety features, such as seat belts and electronic stability control, are functioning correctly.

Seek a Professional Inspection:

While you can perform a basic inspection yourself, it’s highly recommended to seek a professional inspection from a trusted auto body shop or mechanic. They have the expertise and equipment to detect hidden damage accurately. A comprehensive inspection will give you peace of mind and help you address any issues promptly.

Document Everything:

Throughout the inspection process, take detailed notes and photographs of any visible damage and potential hidden damage. These records can be valuable for insurance claims and can assist the repair shop in addressing all necessary repairs.

Be Cautious When Driving:

If your car is still drivable…If you suspect hidden damage or are awaiting a professional inspection, drive cautiously and avoid pushing your vehicle to its limits. It’s better to be safe and prevent further damage until the necessary repairs are made.

Work with a Reputable Auto Body Repair Shop:

If hidden damage is detected, choose a reputable auto body shop with experienced technicians to perform the necessary repairs. Discuss the inspection findings and get a clear understanding of the repair process before proceeding. Yes, it’s worth repeating, a technician will most likely check for hidden damage before and after repairs before handing it back to the owner. However, this is an important discussion to have with your reputable local auto body shop especially if they are damages that come up later after the work is done and insurance claims assistance has to kick back in.

Identifying hidden damage after a collision is crucial for the safety and longevity of your vehicle. By carefully inspecting your car, seeking professional expertise, and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure that your car is roadworthy and ready to drive again. Safety should always be the top priority, so don’t hesitate to take the necessary steps to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

You have the right to choose the body shop of your choice. If you are in an accident or are looking for a reputable I-CAR® Gold Class auto body shop in Stratford, CT give Towne Body Shop a call today at 203.375.5288.


If you are in need of Auto Repair Services, major collision repair or minor collision repair to your vehicle in Fairfield County and the surrounding area, visit Towne Body Shop at 1298 Stratford Ave., Stratford, CT 06615 and call us at 203.375.5288.

Towne Body Shop is a locally owned and operated I-Car® Gold Class® auto repair shop in Stratford, CT providing exceptional customer service, high-quality collision repairs, insurance claims assistance, tow assistance, rental car assistance, and more since 1952. Towne Body Shop is a recognized certified body shop for BMW, Subaru, Kia, Hyundai, Infiniti, Nissan, and Ford repairs, as well as Mopar FCA US LLC certified collision repair center and Certified Assured Performance. Let us know how we can help in your time of need.