As a driver, nothing scares us more than an accident. But accidents – even the tiniest of scratches – are pretty common, even if you’re a careful driver. In fact, statistics show that you will come across at least one accident as the government recorded over 500,000 accidents in 2019!
But don’t worry. Most accidents are minor and result in superficial damage. These include minor bumps, scratches, and the like. More often than not, your bank account is the one taking the hardest hit.
Bumpers are made to cushion any bumps and scratches from accidents. So if you get rear ended, hit a pole or drive over a kerb, you may have to get your bumper checked out. Minor damage can bee easily polished, sanded over, and even small dents can be knocked out and the bumper made good as new. So when do you replace or repair your bumper?
When to replace
Mechanics look out for several things when deciding whether to replace or repair a bumper.
Cracks are usually a sign that the bumper needs to be replaced. Even though smaller cracks can be repaired using epoxy or fibreglass, it is not advisable if the crack is too large. Larger cracks may compromise the structural integrity of the bumper too much, making it less effective at absorbing impacts in an accident.
Major Paint Damage
A bumper that is covered in scratches or chipped paint may need to be replaced instead of repaired. The many scratches in the bumper will need to be made level, so the bumper will need to be sanded down or filled in to make it level. Then the bumper will need to be repainted to match your car’s paint. If too much of the bumper is damaged, it may be more expensive to repair than to replace it.
Read more: Car wrapping vs paint
Damaged or broken hooks
All bumpers have hooks to attach them to the valance panel, grill, and splash guard. If these hooks are damaged, the bumper will not remain in place, and may droop and scrape against the road or fall off completely. As these hooks cannot be repaired or replaced, you will need to replace the bumper.
Some accidents could cause damage to your headlights. If that’s the case, there are two things to actually look out for. Firstly, the cover, which is usually made out of perspex and is likely to crack and break upon impact. Secondly, the light bulb itself.
When to replace
When deciding to replace your headlights due to an accident, you would first need to check the cracks. If the cracks on or around the headlights are small, you could get it repaired. But if they are large and affect the brightness of the headlights, then you should probably replace them.
When the headlights are replaced, the battery needs to be disconnected for safety reasons. You wouldn’t want a shock while replacing those lights! Aside from that, the pigtails, or the wires providing power to the headlights, will also need to be inspected for damage like burn marks, tears or foul odours. If you find any, you might have to check your electrical system.
If you’re not confident enough to replace your own bulbs, then head down to a myTukar workshop where we can replace the bulbs for you! Or get a quotation before you drive over!
In any side-on collision, the fenders are the most likely to be damaged. They are also liable to be damaged in any head-on collision too, as in the above image. The fenders of your car can also be damaged when manoeuvring around objects and tight corners. So just be sure that those extra few centimetres between your car and the object exist.
When to replace
Fenders can be easily repaired if the damage is light. A few scuffs, minor dents, and discolouration can be easily fixed and the fender will be as good as new. That said, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so replacing your fender might be a better idea, especially if there’s any structural damage. A repaired fender might not be as effective as a brand new one, and over time, a minor fault or bump could snowball to an even bigger issue.
Even though the grille is between the most damaged area of the car, they are usually spared from damage in accidents. This is because most drivers see the accident coming and try to avoid a collision by turning, resulting in the aforementioned bumper, headlight, and fender damage. Even so, damage to the grill can still occur.
When to replace
In general, replacing a grille tends to be the better option. It is likely to cost the same as repairs (or maybe even cheaper!), and it’ll definitely have a longer lifespan than a repaired one. Don’t think the grille is just for aesthetic purposes. It’s a rather important part, as it prevents objects from entering your engine bay. So if your grille is damaged, objects could make their way into your engine bay and cause even more damage. Or worse, the grille might fall apart and fly out as you’re driving. Talk about a big price for a small oversight!
That said, it is understandable that most of us looking at used cars have this one big question: how do you know the pre-owned car you are looking at is safe given that accidents are common?
Just look out for the myTukar Certified label. A car with this label is certified safe. Through our 160-point inspection, every car is checked and repaired inside out for any issues, from engine troubles to even the minor, but important things like air conditioner vents! All our myTukar Certified cars have zero major accidents, and no major damage from floods and fires too.
Once the car has been thoroughly inspected, it will then be refurbished in accordance with our 160-point inspection standards. Bumps will be knocked out, scratches will be smoothed out and paint reapplied. That’s how you get a myTukar Certified car that is good as new.