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While some damage to your vehicle is purely cosmetic, not all dings and dents can be left alone. Sometimes, vehicle damage that seems superficial can actually hurt the function of the car, cause more costly problems later, and even get you in trouble with the law. Here are a few types of car damage that you need to watch if you want to keep your car safe and legal to drive.
Any time you see a shiny spot on your rim, it is a good idea to investigate further. Bent spots and flattened areas can create sharp angles that will pop your tire with enough pressure. This is especially a concern when driving over big dips or tall curb edges. When your tire pops in the middle of traffic, it can cause you to swerve into traffic or onto a sidewalk. While some dents are cosmetic and won’t cause any issues with your tire, anything near the edge of the hubcaps and rims should be treated to prevent costly damage to your tires later on.
Perhaps you have witnessed someone driving around with a two-by-four on the front of his or her vehicle. At one time, this practice helped people avoid a ticket. It is against the law in many states to drive around without a bumper. Specifically, unless the car is an older model that was designed without them, every car needs a front and rear bumper. This is mostly to prevent property damage in collisions than any safety measure, but it is a ticket-able offence. If one of your bumpers comes off after a fender bender or is in danger of falling off, then it would be wise to have that repaired as soon as possible.
Chipped windscreen replacement is something you will want to consider when you have a large dent or crack in the windshield. Even a small chip can spider in different directions. U.S. News says that something as simple as turning on the defroster or too many trips through the car wash is all it takes for a chip to turn into a massive crack. It is illegal to drive a windshield with cracks that can obstruct the driver's vision, and many state laws say specifically that any crack or chip larger than a quarter is illegal to drive with. It’s better to get your windshield repaired now than to wait for it to grow to something that can put you at risk.
Ugly dings make your vehicle look bad, and they lower the value of your car, truck, or van. How do you know when a dent is more than a cosmetic issue? When vehicle damage prevents proper functioning, then it is time to fix it. For example, if you have a ding in the crease of the door, it will rust. Rubbing and scraping can mess up the paint and dig into the metal exposing it to the elements and causing premature rusting. On top of that, but dents that prevent doors or trunks from closing or opening properly can be a severe safety hazard. Little, superficial bumps are normal and safe to ignore, but if it is pushing down in seams or into the engine, then you can’t afford to let it slide.
Most vehicle damage is better off fixed as soon as you spy it. Damage left unrepaired can lead to greater, more costly damage later and even a risk to your life. Anything that looks like it could be a safety hazard is an immediate concern. On top of that, it is important to be aware of your local laws regarding the upkeep of your vehicle to avoid fines and citations.