Ever run into a pothole and pray your bumper isn’t damaged? Finally, you get home and inspect your bumper and the visible part of your vehicle. Whew… all is good cause no dint! But did you check under your vehicle for damage? Chances are – you did not.
The concept of “out of sight is out of mind” seems to come to play with undercarriage damage. Many vehicle owners spend their time caring for the exterior part of their vehicle and fail to care for the undercarriage. Undercarriage requires an equal amount of care and maintenance.
You may remember a dent or your car door being scratched against a cart at the mall. This is usually not the same for undercarriage as many people rarely look under their vehicle.
The undercarriage always tells the life story of the vehicle. The storyline may include the climate condition the car lived through or If the vehicle was parked in a garage or left outside. It also holds the level of abuse, wreck, bad repairs, and rust that the vehicle faced in its lifetime.
To figure out the extent of undercarriage damage take a look at the complex system under your vehicle that is exposed to the road. Though designed tough to withstand exposure to the road – they are not indestructible…
The undercarriage can get damaged when exposed to constant hits. It is highly recommended to have your undercarriage checked by a professional regularly.
Factors that Cause Undercarriage Damage
Damage from Salt
Salt is used as a common solution in many parts of the USA and the world with icy roads. Salt makes the road slicker and safer to drive on. The downside is that as it splashes on the undercarriage, it corrodes metals and critical components of the car.
This leaves critical components vulnerable to further damage over time. This is because salt is naturally corrosive and the accumulated salt mixed with ice on your undercarriage can wreck damage to your car.
To prevent this, apply a sealant to your vehicle’s undercarriage regularly if you frequent icy roads. Also, you should have your vehicle waxed to prevent damage from corrosion to improve the lifespan of your vehicle.
Damage from Mud
Mud is a factor a lot of drivers do not see as a threat to their undercarriage. If you enjoy driving off into a dirt road and have mud on your vehicle, your undercarriage is likely in trouble. The mud is not the threat but moist trapped in the mud is. It is prone to rust from moisture, damaging the radiator and creating holes in your undercarriage.
To prevent this use a protective sealant to protect your undercarriage against mud. Also, have the mud cleared promptly dealer-only before it dries to prevent rust.
Damage from Worn-out Shock absorbers
Have you ever hit a bump and felt like your car bottom has direct contact with the road and your vehicle experienced excessive jolts? This is because your shock absorbers or shocks are completely worn out. Worn-out shock absorbers can damage your undercarriage.
Shock absorbers dampen the impact when your drive over bumps. The constant bumpy ride could knock loose the bracket components under your vehicle. Contact a professional mechanic to have your vehicle shocks replaced to avoid this damage.
Damage from Rocks and Road Debris
If you spend time driving in the country or on gravel or back roads, this damage can easily happen. Rocks and other road debris can cause holes, dents, and cracks in your undercarriage.
Your oil pan can be punctured or your muffler can be ripped loose from your undercarriage. You can also run into large debris which can get into your tires and can also cause damage to the brake system
Drive with caution on rocky roads and avoid driving over debris as much as possible. Have your vehicle checked regularly by a professional mechanic for servicing and repairs.
Damage from Potholes
This is probably the most common factor that causes undercarriage damage. A lot of drivers can relate to the fact that hitting a pothole creates panic over the car’s safety. It is a genuine concern because it can cause undercarriage damage.
Hitting potholes occurs when your vehicle has lowered suspension or small rims or tires. This can cause leaks and cracks when the vehicle slams back on the road when driving through a pothole. It can damage the exhaust and cause fluid leaks as well. Drive with caution in pothole areas and service your vehicle regularly with a professional mechanic.
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To improve your vehicle’s lifespan, your undercarriage should be in top-notch condition. If you hear any sound of your vehicle’s impact on the road, you need to have your vehicle accessed immediately by a mechanic to avoid further damage. Regular car maintenance is advised to improve your vehicle’s lifespan.
After purchasing a used car, you need to have the undercarriage checked for damages and repaired by a professional mechanic. This will prolong the life of your vehicle and save you from high repair costs in the future.
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