After being involved in an accident, many vehicles can be seen with a few dents or crushed corners--and they're still driving. Not all damage is severe enough to put a truck out of commission, but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem at all. Wasted gas money and gradual damage in other areas can make ignoring auto body work as expensive as getting it done sooner. Take a look at what could go wrong before driving around with honor marks from collisions past.

Resistance and the Gas Mileage Problem

Automobiles are designed to reduce air resistance (aerodynamic drag) as much as possible while remaining functional. The shape of your truck exists to route air around the body of the vehicle while stabilizing its movement in other places. Although style plays a part in design, there's meticulous research that goes into the final result.

When you're involved in a collision and the auto body is damaged, the dents can change the purpose of the body design and the shape of the vehicle. The aerodynamic profile (the shape designed to route air as efficiently as possible) changes, which can do many strange things to the way you drive.

One of the major issues with having dents and other forms of damage is how that damage can catch additional air. If you've ever put your hand outside of the window while driving, you'll notice the pushback effect that air has at high speeds. When the auto body is dented, you could have this pushback effect in multiple areas. 

If the vehicle is being pushed back more than it was designed to deal with, the engine needs to work harder to maintain the same speed. This means that more fuel is consumed, and the engine may undergo wear and tear at a faster rate. The increased work depends on the specific type of damage, but if you shop for the lowest gas prices and search for even a cent difference, the fuel wasted from resistance should be just as concerning.

Rattling and Shaking From Loose Components

The dents and crushed parts of the auto body are more than just gas guzzling problems. With more resistance comes more force against certain components, and if panels and plates that make up the auto body are already loose because of the collision, driving can make matters worse.

Certain parts can rattle or shake loose, and the beginning of the problem isn't always obvious. A very small vibration that could be tapped back in place could become a peeling, parting panel problem as higher speeds shake the damage even more.

The vibration can be an annoyance, but think about what could happen if the part comes off while you're driving. Components on the front of the car may hit the windshield--especially if the hood is loose as part of the damage. Other components could fall off and startle drivers, leading to swerving and accidents. Instead of risking sudden surprise and wasting fuel, get in contact with a truck repair professional to put your vehicle back in order.