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Assessing Collision Damage: What Collision Repair Technicians Look For

Collision repair technicians must diligently inspect vehicles following a wide variety of potential accidents that can cause a range of repair needs. The technicians are directly responsible for determining what has been damaged and what repairs are needed to restore the vehicle to a drivable state. But how exactly can collision technicians make such determinations? For aspiring collision repair technicians, understanding how professionals in the field assess collision damage is important so they can better understand vehicle construction and what it takes to repair different types of vehicles. Read on to learn some of the specifics of professional collision repair.

Door Panels

A vehicle’s door panels can take a beating in side collisions. Collision repair technicians must carefully examine a post-collision door panel to see if a new panel needs to be installed. To determine whether a new door panel is needed, technicians examine the door gaps to check for misalignment and unevenness. A straight gap with an even width from top to bottom means that your door is still in line and can open and close effectively. And if there isn’t severe denting, the panel can be repaired without having to install a new one. However, misalignment is a serious red flag, and any unevenness puts the function of the door panel in jeopardy, which means a new panel will need to be installed.

Fenders and Bumpers

Usually the first points of contact, a vehicle’s fender and bumper are designed to absorb most of the impact in a collision to protect you and your passengers. However, their design and placement mean the fender and bumper are highly susceptible to damage caused by collisions. Because the fender and bumper generally are made of lightweight material, collision repair technicians check for scratches or crack following a collision. Minor damage can easily be fixed, but major cracks or denting cause the need for fender or bumper replacement, which even an amateur collision technician can handily complete.


Windshield cracks and chips can occur in the event of a collision. The crash impact can cause some minor damage, and it’s important for collision repair technicians to identify this damage so steps can be taken to prevent the crack from growing and causing the driver to return to the service center for a windshield repair or replacement. While windshield cracks initially may appear small, and maybe even are hidden, over time they can expand and eventually span the width of your windshield. This is why collision repair technicians must carefully inspect both the front and rear windshields for cracks. A professional checks for windshield damage regardless of whether any cracks or chips already have been documented.

Collision repair technicians are diligent and have a great eye for finding irregularities in post-collision cars. A thorough front-to-back and top-to-bottom examination of a damaged car is required to provide the best care possible when making any repairs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the world of collision repair technology, you can download our free eBook Panels, Paints, and Graphics: The Future of Collision Repair.


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8 thoughts on “Assessing Collision Damage: What Collision Repair Technicians Look For

  1. Jason Hill

    It’s incredible, to me, what body repair techs can accomplish. I hadn’t considered before the attention to detail needed by these repair men; but it does seem essential. Is it possible to repair a bent axle? Or does this simply need to be replaced?

  2. Johnny

    I didn’t realize that the door panels could take such a beating from a collision. I think that it is pretty important to recognize these kind of things. My friend recently got in an auto accident. The door panel looked fine but, the rest of the vehicle was destroyed. There was nothing he could do to save his car. I will keep these things in mind if I ever get in a collision. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Callie Marie

    It is cool that auto mechanics know what to look for when assessing collision repair damage. Doors, bumpers, and windshield sound like likely places to be hit in a accident. One thing I learned the hard way, is that the alignment can also be ruined in the mildest of accidents.

  4. Rob Benton

    That’s good to know that professionals will investigate windshield damage regardless of whether any has been reported. I think that it’s crucial to keep windshields in tip top shape. Otherwise, it can be dangerous to drive.

  5. Veronica Marks

    I agree completely that a small crack in a windshield can eventually grow to cover the entire width. I had a tiny rock chip that appeared out of nowhere. I figured that it was small enough I wouldn’t have to worry about it. Unfortunately, one cold winter day was all it took for that tiny chip to sport a long crack in the glass. Eventually I had to replace my windshield. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I’ll always get chips repaired immediately because of that experience.

  6. Cal Driver

    Thanks for this post! My wife recently reversed into a fire hydrant, which punched a sizable hole into the bumper of her new car. I wasn’t happy, but a repair company I really trust made quick work of the problem. Reading this article, I’m glad that they didn’t try to sell me a bumper replacement, though they definitely could’ve tried. Thanks again for this post!

  7. Maggie Allen

    Thanks for sharing! I think it is so smart of car manufacturers to have fenders and bumpers designed to take the brunt of collision damage. After all, if they didn’t exist, then I imagine that engines would get damaged a lot more easily. However, how are these parts supposed to be able to take so much damage if they’re made of lightweight materials? Is it the structural design of the parts that make them so tough?

    1. edmond rogers

      i wasrecently involved in a rear end collosion. i was hit from behind while stopped at a red kight. my vehilce sustained damage, my vehile now has a very hard and rough sound. can a vfhilce have damage underneath the vehilce as a result of a rear end collosion?

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