Door damage is common in a collision, especially low-speed collisions in parking lots or at intersections when someone runs a light. Knowing the types of damage can help you determine what type of repair to expect.
1. Dents and Dings
The most common type of damage is simple dents and dings. These can be relatively minor as a result of parking lot bumps or more severe from a collision on the road. Dents can be popped out if there is no creasing. In some cases, this is the only repair necessary if the paint is undamaged. Damaged paint will require buffing to smooth the damage once the dent is popped out, following by touchup paint and clear coat applications.
2. Creases or Wrinkles
A deeper dent can crease the metal door panel. Side swipe accidents can also cause creases or even make the metal door panel develop a wrinkled, wavy distortion. These types of damage are more difficult to repair. Sometimes the door panel can be hammered out smooth again, or your repair service may be able to smooth it with a repair putty before repainting the door. More often, though, the door will need to be replaced
3. Hinge and Latch
Sometimes the door won't latch properly following a collision. Your mechanic will need to rule out frame damage as the cause since a bent frame can cause a door to line up improperly. Sometimes the frame can be straightened if this is the cause. For minor collisions, the damage is more likely to be to the door hinges or latch, though. These can usually be replaced as long as the door isn't warped. If the door is warped, then you will need a new car door.
4. Glass Issues
Damage to a car door can also damage the window glass. Shattered glass must be fully removed from the door if the door is to be repaired. This involves removing interior panels so that all loose glass can be removed. Then, the seals are inspected for damage and replaced if needed. Finally, the window glass is replaced and the opening mechanism is inspected and repaired as needed.
5. Safety Devices
Many modern cars feature airbags in the door panels. An accident can trigger these, meaning you will have to have a new airbag packed for the door once the door is repaired. Even if the airbag isn't triggered, your repair service must check the airbag sensors and the device itself to make sure it will work properly in the event of a future collision.
Contact an auto collision repair service if your car door has been damaged in an accident.