When Should You Worry About Minor Dings and Scrapes?

Scuffs, dings, scrapes, and other minor blemishes can be annoying on your vehicle. Nobody likes to see their car look worn down, but these bumps and bruises are an inevitable part of aging for most vehicles. Repairing them can help to restore your car to its former glory, but not everyone has the budget to fix every cosmetic imperfection.

Unfortunately, some issues can be more urgent than others. If your car is beginning to build a collection of small, surface faults, then check out these three situations where it may be worthwhile to call on the services of a professional auto body shop.

1. Deep Scratches on Metal Panels

Your car seems pretty solid when you're driving it, but all vehicles contain a variety of different panels and parts held together by bolts, rivets, and welds. Despite its uniform appearance, your car's exterior isn't made up of a single material, either. Most consumer-level automobiles use steel (or, in some cases, aluminum) for body panels, but your bumpers and various pieces of trim will be plastic.

When you get a scratch or dent on a bumper, it's rarely much more than a cosmetic problem. The functional part of the bumper is underneath the plastic, and the plastic itself won't rust or fail from minor damage. Deep scratches on the rest of your vehicle can be problematic, however. If left untreated, a scratch on your door or roof can lead to rust that may quickly spread across your car.

2. Damage to Welded Body Panels

Just as minor damage to a bumper is typically less severe than damage to metal panels, damage to easily removable body parts is usually less of an issue than damaged permanently welded components. If a scratch leads to significant rust on your trunk lid or hood, you can generally replace just that one part. Likewise, you can unbolt and replace a door panel with relatively little labor.

Damage to a quarter panel can be a much larger problem, however. If rust on these sections becomes too severe, repairs often involve cutting and welding in new metal. Not only is this a more expensive and destructive process, but it will also potentially require more significant paintwork.

3. Dents With Creased Metal

Most auto body repair shops can fix smooth dents using paintless dent repair methods. More importantly, these dents rarely impact the underlying structural integrity of the metal, nor do they lead to rust risks. Any impact that creases the metal is a more severe problem, however. Not only will creased metal rust, but it may rust in a way that is challenging to detect until the problem is critical.

As a general rule, you should consider repairing any vehicle damage that's likely to lead to significant rust issues in the future. Fixing rust is far more expensive than fixing minor blemishes, and severe rust problems can ruin your car's resale value, and even make it unsafe to drive.

For more information about auto body repair service, contact a local automotive business.