Front-end collisions can be one of the more devastating types of accidents, even if the damage only looks superficial. A full inspection is necessary to determine exactly how much damage is present.
1. Body Damage
The most obvious damage will be body damage that occurs. Crumpled hoods, mangled bumpers, and bent fenders are the body panels most likely to be affected in the event of a front-end collision. In some cases, the panels can be straightened out and repainted. More likely, though, the panels will need to be replaced.
2. Frame Issues
There are usually at least two pressure points on the front end of a car's frame. These points are designed to absorb the force of an impact in order to protect the vehicle passengers. The process leads to the frame warping as a result. Modern unibody car designs can be placed on a special device so that the frame can be pulled back into shape. For older cars, though, frame damage often means that the vehicle is totaled.
3. Radiator Cracks
The radiator in many cars is right behind the front grill of the vehicle. That means it can take a huge hit during a front-end impact. The smoke that comes out of the hood after such a collision is actually often steam, which is coming from the cracked radiator. Following a collision, the radiator always needs to be inspected. Damaged radiators will need to be replaced. If there is no damage, your mechanic will still need to check that all the hoses and fitting are still secure.
4. Engine Concerns
The engine can suffer damage in a collision, much as the radiator. It's not just the engine itself that is at risk, though. The engine mounts are made to securely hold the engine to the frame. A collision can lead to cracked or warped mounts or can cause damage to and weakening of the securing bolts. Even if the engine seems fine, your mechanic will need to inspect the mounting system thoroughly as loose mounts can be a major risk.
5. Drive Train Problems
Much like the frame, the drive train can become warped or skewed during the impact. Another problem is damage to the U-joints and CV joints along the drive train and axles. A cracked joint can lead to a lot of problems down the road, even if the rest of the collision damage is easily repairable.
The above aren't the only issues that can occur in a front-end collision, though. Your collision repair shop can access the extent of the damage.