How to repair front end car damage

two cars in an accident

Accidents can happen

You’re driving to work, going to the road, humming to tunes on the radio, and the sun is shining. Then, out of nowhere, BOOM! Somebody runs a red light and hits your car in the front end. Steam, water, choice words are all over the place. As you look at your car, you see severe front end damage.  Now what? 

Hopefully, first things first, there are no injuries or worse. Next, call your insurance agent and report the accident. Next, you must have your car towed to an authorized repair center that can do front end repair for your car. This isn’t damage that you want to trust to your shade-tree mechanic cousin or next-door neighbor. You need to have an authorized, experienced mechanic that will have the front end repair tools needed to do the job right. 

Can I drive my car with body damage? 

Depending on the front end damage, technically, yes you can. Legally, no, you’re not supposed to. Confusing? Some forms of damage can make your car dangerous to drive, making it a risk and unsafe for other drivers. If your car has sustained any of the following damages, you could be ticketed for driving an unsafe vehicle and you’ll be putting yourself and others on the road in immediate danger. 

  • Broken or Cracked Windshield: A broken or cracked windshield will reflect sunlight and the light of oncoming cars. If the angle and position is just right, it can impair the driver’s vision and the vision of the drivers in oncoming cars. If a crack can also distort your vision, making it dangerous to drive. 
  • Damaged Body:
  • Any front end damage to the body of your car that has left jagged edges should not be on the road. Those jagged edges can injure somebody. If the frame or front end damage has happened, the integrity of the car is weakened, holding the engine and gas tank in is weakened. If the doors, hood, or trunk don’t shut properly, are dangerous. 

Is structural damage frame damage? 

A car’s frame is the structure of the car which everything is attached to, installed on, or connected by other components. Front end damage to a car can be caused by bumping a garage wall or a serious car accident. The damage may look minimal, even non-existent, but can be serious and wide ranging. 

If the accident bent the frame and front end repair isn’t done immediately and promptly, the car’s frame/structure loses the ability to protect the driver and passengers in case of an accident.  

Is my car totaled If the frame is bent? 

No, if the frame of your car is bent from an accident resulting in front end damage, it is not necessarily totaled. “Total” is a term by auto insurance companies when they have determined that the repair will cost more than the car’s value. A professional and skilled car collision repair technician that has a frame specialization can fix the car and get you back on the road safely. 

If your insurance company has deemed the car a loss, you can choose to take the settlement offered by the insurance company and they will dispose of the car in a salvage yard. Or you can choose to keep the car and make the repairs yourself. Again, taking the car to a collision specialist is recommended. With the frame/structure of your car, its integrity is important to have any front end damage fixed right. 

Another consideration of choosing to keep the car and having it repaired its future resale value. The insurance company will have a salvage title issued for you. Repaired salvaged cars are difficult to sell and they are only worth a fraction of the value. 

How long does it take to repair front end damage? 

It involves several factors with repairing front end damage to a car, such as how severe is the damage, is the frame damaged, the make, model, and year of the car. Repairs to the windshield and bumper repair/replacement are typically done in one day and minor auto body work can take 1 to 2 days. If the damage is internal and elements need replacement, this can take 1 to 2 weeks. Multiple parts that have extensive damage can take more than a month.

Does insurance cover bumper damage?

This will depend on the coverage you have on your auto insurance policy and certain notations within the policy. If the bumper damage is part of the front end damage and they cover it within your insurance policy. 

severe damage to a car

Severe damage to the front end

When a person has been advised that the front end damage to their car does not require the car to be “totaled”, a commonly asked question that insurance adjusters, care repair technicians are all asked is “what damage can make a car totaled?” 

There isn’t any bullet point list or steadfast rules. The criteria used to decide if a car has basic front end damage that can be repaired, or if the damage renders the car to be a total loss can vary.  Each insurance company, within the regulation and the statue set forth by the state, will make their own judgment. Because all insurance companies don’t use the same sources, it further complicates determining a car’s value.

Need front end damage repair in Saline and Ann Arbor, MI? Call 734-429-2886 today for quality auto repair from Saline Automotive Service.