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How can you damage your car, could actually be rephrased into, “What can you do NOT to damage your car?”

It’s a scary world out there for cars! Danger is all around and can come from anywhere. Hail from the sky, a branch from a tree, even a pothole or shopping trolley… but oh beware of the angry ex and her key!

This post answers questions about how not to have damage to your car repaired. We look at why it is safer to ship your car with an auto transport company, than it is to drive long distances across America

Interstate Shipping: How to Safely Ship Your Car to Another State(Opens in a new browser tab)

Nationwide Auto Transportation has more than 100 000 deliveries without a scratch – that’s what I call peace of mind… read on to learn about what dangers that can damage your car, lurks around the next corner 

Before You Damage Your Car, Let’s Answer Some Questions

It is post-apocalyptic out there, and sometimes things can reach Mad Max-like proportions on our highways and byways. Hence its a safe bet when I say that our vehicles can live a pretty rough life.

For most people their automobile is more than just a means of commuting or transport. It is a very real investment, and for some, their relationships with their gasoline girlfriend can border on obsession. But for the most part, all we want to do is keep our cars running smoothly, scratch and dent free. We try our best to avoid having an accident, pretty much what we try with ourselves throughout our own lives, right?

There is a bit more to it than just outside dangers that we need to be aware of. As humans, we tend to easily pick up bad habits, and this does not exclude the way we drive. Bad driving habits can damage your car without you even being aware. You can slowly (or sometimes not so slowly),be killing your car by the way you drive.

damage your car

Here are some questions about how you can damage your car. Remember an informed driver keeps his car safer for longer.

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Can Water Damage Your Car?

The short answer is a big YES! Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and heard the soothing sounds of rain? Then you suddenly remembered that you forgot to close the sunroof, after not hotboxing the SUV in the afternoon? Grab the raincoat and watch your wallet shiver…in anticipation. This could be an expensive exercise.

There is a pretty good reason why most of the expensive electronics are kept in a vehicle’s interior. It is usually a sheltered and safe place – unless you leave the sunroof or window open. So, how else can water get into your car and cause damage?

Water damage to your car

  • Floods. Storms are a major cause of flooding. Be aware that when an area has suffered severe storms, the used car market could get ‘flooded’ with water damaged vehicles. 
  • Open window, sunroof or convertible. It may sound petty, but your clean and fresh Camaro will never be the same if it gets soaked in a shower or drowns in a car wash. Even if you are lucky not to lose any electronics – the moldy smell might become part of the family. 
  • Driven into water – believe me, it happens. Whether by accident or intentionally, on average around 11 000 (non-amphibious) vehicles end up trying out the submarine life. There are three factors that influence how much damage the vehicle suffers: how far into the water it goes, how long it spends in the water, and what type of body of water it is; Also, a car is much more likely to be damaged by seawater than by freshwater. If you have recently relocated, you may be unfamiliar with low level crossings and flood zones, so be extra careful. The Ultimate Relocation Guide by Nationwide Auto Transportation should help you settle in a bit easier.

Automobiles and water go together like Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas on Dancing with the Stars. Yet we haven’t even opened the hood to see what damage has been done to the engine. 

Can Water Damage Your Car Engine?

Water and engines mix together about as well as milk and Red Bull, so if you have submerged your car, check the engine oil level first. You likely have water in the engine if the oil level is too high. Milky oil is another sign, though this can also be caused by the coolant mixing with the oil.

An engine will suffer severe and catastrophic damage if started with water in it, so if you have any doubts, get it towed to a repair shop and request an estimate before beginning any repair work. If you find a mechanic or repair shop that can fix your car, but is not in the same state, Nationwide Auto Transportation has your back, or more correctly, can ship your car safely on the back of an auto carrier or in a covered transporter.

Read our post on  What is the Cheapest State to Repair Your Car – a Glance at Car Repair Costs by State for more information. What have we learnt so far? Water can damage your car, and with consequences that could end up either costing you many dollars, or even your car.

Let’s put the topic in its waterbed and move on to the next threat to your car’s safety and aesthetics.

What is Cosmetic Damage on a Vehicle? 

Damage to a vehicle that does not affect its operation is called cosmetic damage. Seeing that first scratch on your shiny new set of wheels is like a 16 year-old spotting their first pimple, and that is not a happy feeling, it is unattractive and unpleasant. In most cases this can be repaired in a few hours, or a few days, but it can still annoy car owners. Cosmetic damage can include:

  • Scratches in the paint 
  • Dented and scratched bumpers 
  • Dings and dents on the body 

Most of us really cherish our cars and and when you damage your car, it can feel like a piece of your soul just got stood on, and even if most cosmetic damage to your car is unintentional, it can be enough to cause unnecessary stress.

A semi can kick up some loose rocks and send them hurtling into your car, like little meteorites that cause irritating dings and dents. While on this meteoric subject, did you know that if your car gets hit by space debris, comprehensive insurance should compensate for the damage? 

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The case of the hit-and-run shopping cart, is one that’s just a little too familiar to most of us. The result of a collision with these wiry and elusive culprits, is normally hairline scratches and paint transfer.

damage to your car

People delay fixing cosmetic damage since it doesn’t prevent a vehicle from functioning, but the truth be told, it is best to get these kinds of repairs done as soon as possible. A scratch on the vehicle’s paint could cause its protective coating to break down and the metal body will oxidize causing fading, rust and peeling paint.

Can a Fat Person Damage Your Car?

Ok, before you start screaming discrimination against the overweight, I completely identify myself as a fat person, and was it not for a fast metabolism, my wobbly bits could have easily been doubly wobbly. But overloading is real, which brings us back to the question at hand, “Can a fat person damage your car?”, and the answer here can weigh a little heavy on the conscious, and your seat.

Your owner’s manual will tell you your car’s recommended weight capacity, and to exceed it places unnecessary strain on your engine, and could cause severe damage to the gearbox, brakes and your suspension. So whether you are giving a lift to the Denver Hot Dog Eating Champions, or transporting some heavy soil or office equipment, loading your car with too much stuff reduces your fuel efficiency and increases your carbon footprint… And it’s tough on your wallet, and even worse on the environment.

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To conclude this weighty topic then, overloading can damage your car, so watch the cargo, and your passengers – but always watch the road, you never know what can suddenly run in front of your car – it could be a moose or a raccoon, and hopefully not an overweight person.

damage to your car

Can Hitting a Raccoon Damage Your Car?

These wild animals may appear to be small and harmless, but when they collide with your vehicle, they can cause serious damage. In most cases, raccoon collisions result in damage to the undercarriage of a vehicle, which might make it difficult to see the damage.

An encounter with a raccoon could negatively impact your vehicle’s power steering system, chassis, and even wheel alignment. This damage could lead to serious performance issues or more expensive future repairs, have a thorough check up done by a pro, and just to be safe, have yourself checked out by a doctor just in case.

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Just for the heck of it, here’s another fun animal and car piece of trivia: If a bear happens to break into your car while you are frollicking in the forest, and causes damage to the car and destroys your belongings, comprehensive insurance should have that covered.

As we work through this Q and A, I hope you have had at least one of your questions answered, and remember, Nationwide Auto Transportation can ship your vehicle practically anywhere in America, whether it’s running or not – our blogpost Shipping a Non-Runner, should make the picture a little clearer for you.

damage to your car

Let’s look at how you can damage your car when it needs to be towed, and how you can avoid the stress and damage of a long distance tow – to your car’s, as well as your body.

Can Towing Damage Your Car?

We have all heard the horror stories about how tow trucks damage your car, so when the unplanned happens to see you in an accident, your stress hits boss level when you see a tow truck swooping down on your injured BMW. Towing usually occurs after a vehicle is involved in an accident or has a mechanical issue, and the last thing you need is for a towing service to damage your car even more.

Tow trucks, however, can damage a vehicle if special precautions aren’t taken. The tow truck could cause various types of cosmetic damage to the car:

  • Scratches to the paintwork
  • Dents
  • Dings
  • Damage to transmissions
  • Tire and wheel damage
  • Damage to the linkage
damage to your car

Mechanical Issues and Transmission Damage

A poorly done tow can also cause mechanical damage, and the transmission is often the victim:

  • Towing a vehicle with an automatic transmission on the ground could result in a lot of damage.
  • A car in “park” will cause its drive wheels to skid and destroy the tires and the linkages that lead back to the transmission. It is recommended to put a vehicle into neutral before towing it, and to tow front-wheel drive vehicles only from the front wheels.

Ship a Non-Runner? Yes, you CAN!(Opens in a new browser tab)

What Auto Carrier Won’t Damage Your Car?

When it comes to auto transport companies that won’t damage your car, Nationwide Auto Transportation ranks right up there with the best, and if you don’t believe me, read a couple of our customer reviews.

We monitor your auto transport from pick-up to delivery – all you need to do is put your feet up and relax. In addition to our dispatch and inquiry service, we offer SMS chat seven days a week, and if you have any questions about your vehicle or anything else, please contact our customer service.