Author Topic: Minor fender bender: advice requested  (Read 1529 times)

mrteacher

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Minor fender bender: advice requested
« on: October 25, 2018, 03:40:15 PM »
Hi all,

DW recently got into a minor fender bender. The front passenger side bumper is a bit banged up and separated from the body and there is a small dent on the fender right above the wheel well. No significant damage. Car is drivable.

I received quotes from the first auto body shop today - I plan to go to at least another one or two.

Here are what I see as the three options:

1. Have just bumper replaced ($600).  Risk early onset of rust if paint flakes/chips from around dent.  If that happens, DIY the paint scraping, sealing, and repainting to avoid rust.
2. Have bumper and fender replaced.  ($1200)
3. Have just bumper replaced now and if the DIY paint job seems too difficult, have fender replaced later.  ($600 now, $600 later.)

I do not plan to file an insurance claim as the damage is minimal and I'd rather pay out of pocket. That's the correct decision, ya? 

What do you think?

UPDATE: Received a second quote: $750 for just the bumper and $1500 for the bumper and fender. In the ballpark of that first quote. This mechanic strongly suggested a do both the bumper and the fender as the dent in the fender will lead to rust soon and the car is a 2014 car with just over 100,000 miles.

I'm thinking I will most likely do the $1200 bumper and fender fix from the first mechanic.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 11:57:32 AM by mrteacher »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 10:29:04 AM »
A lot of the bumpers in modern cars are plastic. If it has buckled in, it is possible to use a hair dryer and a suction cup to pull it out.

Check this out https://www.carlock.co/blog/4-simple-ways-to-remove-smaller-dents-from-your-car/

So, option 4 is to fix it yourself.

sisto

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 10:32:20 AM »
If you don't care about the looks, maybe just figure out how to reattach the bumper. Depends on the car, but there were probably some clips that broke. You might be able to figure out how to zip tie or put in some screws to hold it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 11:00:46 AM »
A lot of the bumpers in modern cars are plastic. If it has buckled in, it is possible to use a hair dryer and a suction cup to pull it out.

Check this out https://www.carlock.co/blog/4-simple-ways-to-remove-smaller-dents-from-your-car/

So, option 4 is to fix it yourself.

The bumpers are plastic, but they often contain single use compressible foam under them.  It is possible to pull out the bumper so it looks OK.  If the single use foam stuff becomes crushed though, your car will not absorb an impact as well in the future.  Make sure you check and replace that stuff.

mrteacher

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 07:49:19 PM »
If you don't care about the looks, maybe just figure out how to reattach the bumper. Depends on the car, but there were probably some clips that broke. You might be able to figure out how to zip tie or put in some screws to hold it.

The two or three clips starting above the wheel well are broken, but I was able to zip tie through one clip still intact. There is still a 1.5"-2" gap between the fender and bumper from the wheel well to the headlight so I'm thinking I should probably not do nothing?

ChpBstrd

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 08:41:31 PM »
I would file an insurance claim. It sounds to me like you have about $3k in damages.

Then I would take the insurance check and invest it, unless the bumper is physically falling off.

mrteacher

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 10:14:15 PM »
I would file an insurance claim. It sounds to me like you have about $3k in damages.

Then I would take the insurance check and invest it, unless the bumper is physically falling off.

Do you think the auto body shop I went to misquoted me?

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 12:14:48 PM »
I donít think they misquoted you, but they should have told you they wonít have a true picture of the damage until the bumper comes off. We had to do something similar last year, and the cost went up almost 500 when it came off and they knew how many clips and parts actually needed to be replaced. They were able to do a patch job on the headlight, thankfully, which also had a broken clip (insurance would have required us to replace that, which would have raised the cost hundreds more).

 I am glad we had the work done; the bumper serves an important function, and leaving it damaged means you are less protected in another accident.

mrteacher

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 06:30:35 PM »
I donít think they misquoted you, but they should have told you they wonít have a true picture of the damage until the bumper comes off. We had to do something similar last year, and the cost went up almost 500 when it came off and they knew how many clips and parts actually needed to be replaced. They were able to do a patch job on the headlight, thankfully, which also had a broken clip (insurance would have required us to replace that, which would have raised the cost hundreds more).

 I am glad we had the work done; the bumper serves an important function, and leaving it damaged means you are less protected in another accident.

Thanks for the response.

You know, I thought about the potential for a price increase once the bumper was off, and I asked. I was told that the quote is accurate and should not rise in price. "Should" is the operative word, but it did seem like a genuine and honest response.

Fortunately the impact was such that our headlight was not at all harmed!

ChpBstrd

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 09:24:34 PM »
I would file an insurance claim. It sounds to me like you have about $3k in damages.

Then I would take the insurance check and invest it, unless the bumper is physically falling off.

Do you think the auto body shop I went to misquoted me?

I think $1200 for a new bumper, fender, whatever's broken underneath, labor, and a paint job on the new parts seems low. It's safe to assume they're using salvage yard parts, but still, the paint work alone would be several hundred unless they're doing the old "single coat enamel" rattle can job. 

SnackDog

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 09:28:58 PM »
What did she hit and how hard?

mrteacher

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 07:33:36 AM »
What did she hit and how hard?

She was a couple cars behind a car that was turning left at an intersection. She put her blinker on to move into the right lane to go straight through the intersection. As she was pulling out she and a car that was driving through the right lane clipped each other. My wife can't have been going more than a couple MPH and there was no damage that needed addressing on the car she connected with - just some cosmetic scrapes, but nothing beyond that.

sisto

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 09:37:21 AM »
Based on the quote and your explanation of what happened. It seems to be very cosmetic. If it were me I'd figure out how to attach the bumper and call it good. Your call on how you want to handle it. To address the 1-1.5" gap you described you may be able to figure out a way to close that gap and attach some screws to hold it. Also it may be ok to leave if it's sturdy enough. I'd want more than just one zip tie on it and I'd want to make sure they were pretty heavy duty. I'd try to use some ratcheting straps, a come along, or some muscle to try and close the gap and attach the bumper better. Good Luck!

FINate

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 09:44:42 AM »
I would pay the $600 out of pocket to replace the bumper and leave the small dent on the fender.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 12:16:17 PM »
Depends on how long you wish to keep the car. The thing that gets people thinking about buying a new car is how their car looks. Mine is rusty but trusty and I think about getting a new car daily. If it was straight and clean I would think differently.

mrteacher

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2018, 11:57:14 AM »
UPDATE: Received a second quote: $750 for just the bumper and $1500 for the bumper and fender. In the ballpark of that first quote. This mechanic strongly suggested a do both the bumper and the fender as the dent in the fender will lead to rust soon and the car is a 2014 car with just over 100,000 miles.

I'm thinking I will most likely do the $1200 bumper and fender fix from the first mechanic.

FINate

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Re: Minor fender bender: advice requested
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2018, 12:27:05 PM »
4 year old car with 100k miles? I'd skip the fender. Of course the auto body shop is going to recommend the option they make the most money on. If it rusts, who cares? Not like it's going to fall off or cause more damage. Can always replace it later if it does become a problem.

Just my $0.02