What Kind of Damages Can Your Car Suffer In A Front-End Collision?

What Kind of Damages Can Your Car Suffer In A Front-End Collision?

Needless to say, there are many ways in which your car can suffer from a head-on collision. Those are some of the most dangerous auto accidents and they can easily result in injury or death for the occupants of the vehicle. However, we are going to focus on vehicle damage today, as this is much easier to fix. If you find yourself in this situation, it is very important to be prepared. Not only do you need to have some money set back for the repair costs, but you should also make sure that you have asked yourself the crucial question: “Who is the best auto body shop near me?”


Engine Damage

This is one of the most severe problems that can result from a collision, and it happens a lot. The engine is located in the front of the vehicle, so it will be one of the first components to suffer an impact. Sometimes, the parts that are situated in front of the engine (like the radiator and fan) can be shoved back into the engine itself, causing terrible damage.

The engine is like the beating heart of any vehicle, so it should always be the first repair priority. In most cases, an engine that has suffered serious collision damage will need to be removed and replaced. This is never easy or cheap, but it can be a lot easier and more affordable if you employ the right body shop.


Body And Frame Damage

As the name implies, a body shop specializes in repairing the outer shell of the car (commonly called the “body” of the car). It’s pretty much impossible to suffer a collision without some kind of body damage, and that is why body shops are so easy to find. Most body problems can be fixed, although there is a question of how much it will cost. Obviously, dents and scratches aren’t usually expensive to fix at all, but major body damage can be another story.

If your car has a “unibody” design (i.e., a body that is all one piece), that can make things a little more difficult. With these designs, you can’t just swap out a panel and fix common problems. Still, body problems don’t tend to be that bad.

Frame problems, on the other hand, represent a serious threat to the structural integrity of the car. That’s a fancy way of saying that your car won’t hold together without a whole frame. A hard collision can certainly break parts of the frame, especially the thinner parts around the windows. Bending and twisting, however, are both more common than flat-out breakage. These kinds of repairs are so crucial that you should only trust them to be the best. 


Windshield Damage

Windshields are definitely some of the most fragile parts of any vehicle, and the reason is obvious: They have to be made of glass. Thankfully, this is not quite as dangerous as it may seem. Windshield glass is made with vinyl layers in which the glass is held. Thus, if the glass breaks, it will not fly into a million pieces. Thus, it will crack and “spiderweb” without shattering. That being said, an extremely sharp impact can be enough to overcome that technology. In any case, there is pretty much only one remedy for a damaged windshield and that is a replacement


Wheels, Suspension, and Steering

These components are also very likely to suffer damage in the event of a collision. Your wheels are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, so they suffer a lot of wear and tear anyway. To put it simply, your wheels are more likely to suffer damage because they are carrying all the weight. Of course, the suspension system gives them a hand, and it is also more vulnerable to damage as a result.

When we talk about the wheels, we also need to talk about that which controls them. The steering system of your car is also located in the front compartment (although the exact location varies). Regardless of design, the steering system has to transfer force to the wheels and make them react.

Now, imagine what happens when your front end is struck at a high speed. Everything in the front is going to go backward, and the thinner pieces of the steering system make them unlikely to win that contest. If your front wheels are bent or twisted inwards, anything connected to them is also likely to be damaged. 


Fire Damage

Before we even talk about this, we need to dispel a common Hollywood myth: Vehicles do not usually catch fire or explode after a collision, even a serious one. That being said, fires can occur in some cases. You have probably seen a vehicle fire at least once in your life. If not, just do a quick internet search and you’ll see that it does occasionally happen.

In most cases, this occurs because of ruptured fuel lines. Your fuel pump constantly pumps a stream of highly flammable liquid (gasoline, of course) into the engine. If the line carrying that gasoline is ruptured, gas will spray all over the place until the vehicle is shut off. If yours is one of those unlucky cases, you are probably looking at much more extensive repairs.



No matter which one of these problems you may have, you can count on the people at Elmer’s Auto Body to correct them. We have been doing this for over 70 years and there are very few problems we haven’t seen. Collision repair allows you to get your vehicle back on the road and get on with your life, but you need the right body shop if you expect to get good results. If you would like to employ our services or just know more about our business, feel free to call us at (856) 218-0202. We look forward to giving you the great service for which we are known.

Finding a Collision Repair Shop After a Car Accident

Finding a Collision Repair Shop After a Car Accident

Getting into an accident is terrifying and flustering, especially in the moments afterward. Amid the chaos, you know that you have to deal with your insurance company and make a claim. But once that happens, what steps do you take to get your vehicle repaired? Sometimes, the process of post-accident repairs can seem like a maze, but when you know what options are available, it truly isn’t that difficult.

We’re going to explain the ins and outs of finding a collision repair shop after a car accident, so keep reading.


Using an Insurance Company Recommended Body Shop

You have completed the initial steps by communicating with the other drivers involved, collecting evidence, and speaking with the police. Either your car is towed or you drive it home. Now, you have to call your auto insurance provider. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one who caused the accident or someone else. You should always contact your insurance provider to get the process started as quickly as possible.

After you get in touch with the insurance company, they will send out an inspector to look at the vehicle to see how much repairs will cost. There may be instances where the insurance provider requests that you send the car to an auto body repair shop. If you go to a shop, simply request an estimate. You don’t want to get started on the repairs right away.

After you have the estimate from the collision repair shop or adjuster, you now have options. You can either take your car to the insurance company-recommended body shop (also known as a direct repair program facility or DRP), or you can go somewhere else.

A DRP shop has connections with insurance companies, so that has some advantages:

  • One-stop shop. Since direct repair programs are affiliated with insurers, that means you can take the car for an estimate, get it repaired, have a rental car in the meantime, and never have to worry about dealing with the claims process.
  • Quick repairs and easy payments. The whole repair process is going to be streamlined and prioritized. You’ll have less paperwork to complete, and you won’t wait nearly as long for your car to be repaired.
  • Quality standards. DRP facilities have been screened by the insurance company to meet a certain level of quality.


Reasons Not to Use a Direct Repair Program Shop

A direct repair facility sounds great, doesn’t it? You can have everything handled by the collision repair shop and the auto insurer, and you know for certain that you will have a rental car. So why would anyone want to go anywhere else? Turns out, there are plenty of reasons why you might not go to a DRP collision shop.

  • Prior relationships. Since dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is hectic enough, you might not want to take your car to an unfamiliar repair shop. If you have a repair technician at the auto shop where you usually go who knows the history of the vehicle, that may be better. That technician may be able to find damages that someone unfamiliar with the vehicle would overlook.
  • DRP shops do not use OEM parts. Many DRP shops use aftermarket car parts to reduce the cost of the repairs for the insurance company. While many aftermarket parts will function fine, they may not have the same level of quality as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. If you want parts designed specifically for your vehicle’s make and model, go with a collision repair shop that uses OEM parts.


How to Shop Around for a Body Shop

If you decide to choose the collision repair shop on your own, you shouldn’t choose the first body shop to show up on Google. Follow these tips:


Read Reviews and Get Recommendations

You may be able to ask friends, family, or even check an approved list from your insurer for trusted collision repair shops near you. You should also read online reviews about local auto body shops and mechanics.


Look for Industry Certifications

If you are considering getting OEM parts, make sure the shop you choose has the credentials for it. Look for certifications from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), Automotive Service Association (ASA), and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). It also helps if the collision repair shop has been certified by specific manufacturers.


Shop for Several Estimates

Make a list of potential auto body shops and get an estimate from each one. There shouldn’t be a wide discrepancy in the estimates, though you might be able to find that some charge more or less, depending on what they provide. Keep in mind that the cheapest estimate isn’t always the smartest, since it could mean the auto body shop has missed damages or is not that experienced.


Ask Questions

Whether you are going to a recommended shop or one that you found on your own, you want to know whether you can communicate with them. It is important to ask plenty of assessing questions since the answers won’t only tell you about the auto body shop but also about customer service. You should be able to trust the person working on your vehicle.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Are your technicians certified?
  • Do you use aftermarket or original equipment manufacturer parts?
  • Is there a warranty available on the repairs?
  • Is a rental car available and for how long?
  • Do you have experience working on this type of vehicle?
  • Your estimate is more/less expensive than others. Can you explain why?


Final Thoughts

Working with a collision repair shop doesn’t have to be frustrating or confusing, not when you find the right one. The best collision repair shop will work with you through the process and ensure that you get your vehicle repaired sooner than later. Ultimately, the choice of where you take your car is up to you, so make sure you are choosing an auto body shop with great reviews, certifications, and warranties.

Why Small Dings Can Pose Big Problems

Why Small Dings Can Pose Big Problems

When you think about all the things that can happen to your car, a small ding on the door or roof might not seem like a big deal. Many vehicle owners tend to put off repairing tiny dents because the damage seems to be purely cosmetic. However, a dent, no matter how small, is still exterior damage to your car, and it can have a negative impact on the vehicle. That is why even a small ding should be repaired by a professional auto technician.

Today, we’re going to discuss some of the reasons why getting a dent repaired is important.


Dents Harm The Exterior

Many people assume that a dent is cosmetic since most are small enough to be noticed. A ding is more trouble than it seems, though. Even the slightest auto body damage can decrease the structural integrity of a vehicle and affect the paint. Some dents can remove paint from the area entirely, opening your car up to a slew of issues, including moisture and sun exposure. That’s not good. Your car could end up developing rust in that area.


Dings Mask Other Problems

Dents are usually the result of an impact or collision. That could be the impact from a piece of hail or a tree branch. It could be from a light fender bender. You might even look at the ding in your car and be thankful that’s the only thing that happened. But let’s be honest. Even a low-speed collision can cause damage to your vehicle.

The problem is that dings and dents tend to hide other damages that are far less visible. For instance, if you get bumped while backing out of a parking spot, the point of impact could be bent, or the wheels could end up misaligned. While you don’t see an extensive amount of crumpling, the issues caused by such a collision will adversely affect your vehicle down the line.

When you drop your car off for a service, be sure to tell the technician that your car has been in an accident, no matter how minor. They will know to check for any hidden damages around the dents and scratches.


Dents Diminish Your Car’s Value

People are keeping their cars for longer, but that doesn’t mean you might not be tempted to trade in your vehicle down the road. As you go through life, you might own several more cars.

How does a dent relate to trade-ins, you ask? It’s simple. When a car has cosmetic damage, it is going to have a reduced value than a car without damages. If you plan on ever selling your car or trading it in, you should consider patching up those dings and dents before visiting the dealership.

The return on your investment is high. Fixing a dent isn’t as costly as it would be to try and sell a dinged-up car. Besides, having a car in good condition increases the value, meaning you could recoup the whole cost of the repair—and then some!


Dings Are Easier to Fix Early On

You might think that a dent or scratch on your vehicle doesn’t need immediate attention, but we’ve already outlined a number of reasons why you should get it fixed as soon as possible. Letting a dent go unattended for any period of time is like leaving an open wound uncleaned. The issue is only going to worsen and spread, right? It’s the same with a dent. Over time, the damage will get more severe, and the scratched paint will be harder to maintain.

As the damages advance, the appearance of your car diminishes. Not only that, but untreated dents turn into expensive defects that take a lot more time and money to repair. In other words, if you notice a new dent or ding someone on your vehicle, don’t wait. Take it to a trusted auto body repair shop near you. The smaller the ding, the easier it is to resolve.



There is so much that could happen to a car that a ding seems moot. Yet, those tiny dents can actually cause major issues and be expensive to repair if you don’t take care of them quickly. So be sure to keep an eye out for new dents.

Does your car have dents, dings, and scratches? Don’t worry. We can help. At Elmer’s Auto Body, we use methods like paintless dent repair, perform touch-ups, and have a crew of highly trained professionals to get the job done. Your car will look like it just drove off the dealership lot when we’re finished. Give us a call to schedule an appointment with us today!

7 Things You May Not Know About Collision Repair

7 Things You May Not Know About Collision Repair

Getting into an accident and knowing that you have to get repairs on your vehicle can be daunting. This might be your first time, and you don’t know how to start the process or what it entails. You’ve probably also run into the slew of misconceptions about collision repair. Don’t worry. Collision repair is a straightforward process, and today, we’re going to demystify it further.

Here are seven things you may not know about collision repair:


1. Shop Estimates Can Vary Because of the Appraiser

There will come a time when you receive an estimate for repairs from the appraiser that is less than accurate. A skilled appraiser will be able to look at a damaged vehicle and tell you exactly what needs repairing. The estimate will be very close to the final cost, and you won’t have any surprises. Should the appraiser not understand, they could come up with a lower estimate that doesn’t cover everything that needs to be done.

But even the most expert appraiser cannot determine the whole extent of the damage. They have to understand that some collision damage is invisible until you go searching for it; so, the appraiser also has to be able to convince the insurance company that such damages can be missed and that repair will return the car to a satisfactory condition.


2. There is No Memory in Metal Body Parts

You may have seen those gadgets that claim you can pop out a dent in a metal body panel easily, because of the “memory” in the body. Be skeptical of those claims. Once metal has been dented or damaged from a collision, it is going to stay that way. It won’t return to how the panel emerged from the factory easily.

To even remotely return the metal to its original shape, collision repair technicians have to utilize specialized tools to reshape the metal. Restoring the body panel to its original appearance is an arduous process.


3. Collision Damage Goes Beyond the Surface

As mentioned above, collision damage can be extensive. Sometimes, your car will be totaled even if the exterior damage looks minor. Plus, repairs are more expensive than in the past.

Whenever you collide with something, whether it is an object or another vehicle, the force of the impact will travel through the entire body of the car. That force is capable of bending and breaking panels, components, interior pieces, the drive train, and so much more.

That is why your auto technician might recommend that you get a wheel alignment after a fender bender. You never know how a collision could affect other regions of the vehicle until you bring it in for inspection.


4. Lacking Body Fillers Doesn’t Mean Poor Repair

Back in the day, you could use a magnet to locate the parts of a car that were metal and which had fillers to see if it had been in an accident. These days, it’s not simple. Brand new vehicles on the lot could have fillers to hide any irregularities in the metal.

Additionally, the advancement of auto repair technology has made it much easier to repair bent metal without even needing a filler, such as paintless dent repair (PDR). Old paint could crumble on impact, but modern paint is more flexible and able to move with the body panels to a degree. Some damages may be repairable without ever altering the paint, making it nearly impossible to tell a car has been in a minor collision.


5. You Can Go to Any Body Shop You Want

Your insurance provider might suggest taking your vehicle to their recommended body shop, but they cannot coerce you to go. They cannot revoke your compensation, either. When you need to have collision repair done, it’s best to go to a reputable auto repair shop that has knowledge, experience, certifications, and high customer satisfaction. They will do the repairs correctly and use OEM parts rather than appeasing the insurance company.


6. The Kind of Parts You Receive Make a Difference

When you go to the body shop recommended by the insurer, the mechanic will often use aftermarket parts instead of OEM parts, which saves the insurance company money in the end. Although most aftermarket parts are designed to meet quality standards, it is always best to go the OEM route. Such parts are made specifically for your make and model, so you know you are getting the best fit and highest quality.


7. You Won’t Need a Whole Repaint

Technology has made it so much easier to repair vehicles. A quality repair can restore your car to as good as it was before the accident. Similarly, you don’t have to worry about mismatched paints or needing to repaint the entire vehicle. Once the damaged panel is repaired, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the new paint and the original coat.


Make Your Collision Repair Appointment Today

When you need collision repair, the most important thing is finding an auto repair shop that you can trust. The technicians will be able to provide an accurate estimate of the repairs and do a quality job. Such excellent services are what you’ll find at Elmer’s Auto Body. Each of our technicians has OEM certifications and extensive training. We’ll help you get back on track after an accident and make sure you’re back on the road as soon as possible.

Call to schedule an appointment with us today!