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Q: Can a mechanic tell damages that were inflicted by a car accident apart from usual wear and tear?

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Hello, I am paying for someone to fix their bumper due to a collision. Though, I am worried that the dealership will rip me off and make me pay for damages that weren't caused by the fender bender.

My car has 71000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in.

It’s unfortunate that we even need to be worried about these kinds of things. Yes, a technician can tell when other issues have been caused by a collision or not. If they try to sell you any repairs besides the obvious body damage, you are completely entitled to ask for proof from the dealership that the failed parts are indeed caused by the collision. You should go down to the dealership and have them show you exactly how and why that part failed as a result of the collision. Another thing you can do if you feel you are being taken advantage of, is you can opt to have your insurance company deal with it. Insurance companies send out claims inspectors, so if they are lying, the claim inspector might discover it and they could get in trouble for attempting to commit insurance fraud. My suggestion is if they try to sell ANY additional work, go to the shop and ask to see physical proof of how it was caused by the collision. If they can’t answer, refuse to pay, and call your insurance company. That’s what insurance companies are for. If you threaten to call your insurance, they may try to settle something else with you, since they don’t want to deal with an insurance company if possible. You could also enlist the services of a qualified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to give a second opinion on any repairs.

Best of luck with the entire situation.

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