Author Topic: Need real quick advice on car  (Read 1458 times)

actonyourown

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Need real quick advice on car
« on: September 26, 2019, 12:53:13 PM »
Happy birthday to me.

So my car looks like it was hit in my apartment parking lot yesterday.  The rear left fender is completely scraped right behind the wheel, the rear light is cracked, and there is a bit of a rip in the fender right below the light.  I don't know who did it exactly but I have an assumption because I they have a large scratch on their right front bumper (I took a picture of mine and theirs).  There are some issues though:

1.  Nobody left a card or has admitted to it yet.  They can literally deny it and there is nothing I can do about it.
2.  I do not carry collision insurance on my car, which is what a hit-and-run falls under (my mom is an insurance agent and informed me of that).  So this would be all out of pocket for me.
3.  How should I approach this woman to ask her?  She is a single mom and her car is a piece of sh*t to be honest (I've never seen someone drive a car on literally bald tires).  It could have had those marks prior, but I sort of doubt the coincidence.
4.  I can't be exactly sure it was done at the apartment, however, I definitely didn't notice it the day before when I drove around and probably would have noticed it or my buddy who was with me might have.  I think it has to be at the apartment.
5.  My car already was scraped on the rear right fender and the paint is peeling off the roof.  It is a 2010 Honda Civic EX coupe with 66,850 miles.  This thing should out-live me at the rate I put miles on it, however, I am tired of driving it and would like a small SUV for my active lifestyle. 

So I guess here are my options:

1. Approach this woman to see if she will fess up and use her liability coverage.  The issue with this is it might create tension around the apartment complex for me, and it still doesn't fix all the other cosmetic issues currently happening to my car.  I don't want it to rust out and become worthless.
2. Shrug it off and look to get a newer vehicle I am more interested in that fits my lifestyle.  Trade this vehicle in (probably not worth fixing mine up to sell) as part of a down payment on a used HRV or RAV4.

Thoughts on any of this?

RWD

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Re: Need real quick advice on car
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2019, 01:13:35 PM »
Option 3: File a claim with your insurance with the evidence you have (you have her license plate number, right). They will be better at extracting payment from the other person's insurance. Though since you don't have collision yourself they might not be terribly motivated to do so.

lutorm

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Re: Need real quick advice on car
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2019, 12:00:38 AM »
This is why it's great having a pos car -- you literally don't have to give a damn. It's so liberating over worrying about it getting dinged!

chemistk

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Re: Need real quick advice on car
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 05:29:39 AM »
I guess, how much is it worth it to you to have this repaired?

Functionally, you car is just fine. (Though you might want to consider replacing the light assembly - mostly to avoid the risk of shorting out your tail light due to moisture.) Cosmetically it's probably fine, too. FWIW the paint peeling is pretty common with mid to late '00s Hondas (and early '10s), and that's a much bigger concern than your fender - no paint + salt = sheetmetal rust and eventually roof structural integrity failures (a long long way off though and nothing you'll have to worry about in the next few years).

If you don't like the look of things, you either are going to have to pursue her to try and get her info and have your insurance companies duke it out, or you'll be needing a fender (bumper acutally in your case) replacement. A quick look online shows that a replacement (unpainted) rear bumper is around $100 shipped, and any auto body shop should be able to paint and install that for around $250. In a worst case scenario, $500 for the bumper, paint, and a new tail light i reckon.

Alternatively you could just shrug it off, drive your bruised car a little more carelessly, and ponder whether to sell it or not.

On the topic of needing a small SUV - though the Civic coupe really isn't too versatile, what exactly would a small SUV allow you to do that your current car (with light modifications) can't?

terran

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Re: Need real quick advice on car
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2019, 06:33:31 AM »
Functionally, you car is just fine.

I'm not sure I would go quite that far. It depends if the damage made it through the paint. A "bit of a rip in the fender" would indicate it has. Rust (especially in Pittsburgh) could make pretty quick work of that, which then can become an inspection problem (assuming PA has inspections). 

chemistk

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Re: Need real quick advice on car
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2019, 10:18:54 AM »
Functionally, you car is just fine.

I'm not sure I would go quite that far. It depends if the damage made it through the paint. A "bit of a rip in the fender" would indicate it has. Rust (especially in Pittsburgh) could make pretty quick work of that, which then can become an inspection problem (assuming PA has inspections).

I live in PA as well, so I was offering my POV based on that frame of reference. As far as the fender goes, it really comes down to what's actually damaged - on the Civic coupe, the rear quarter panel is metal and that would probably be a no-no, but the plastic fender (AKA bumper cover) is a different story. If it's a significant hole that compromises the structural integrity, it'll probably fail inspection. but a small crack or small hole? Likely to pass - I've personally had a damaged fender on my car for 4 years now and all 4 years it's been fine.

As for the roof rust, that's a different story. More of a Honda problem in general than a specific owner's fault. Usually the peeled paint doesn't turn into rust for a few years and even then, it takes some extraordinary neglect to allow it to compromise the actual roof structure.

BikingEngineer

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Re: Need real quick advice on car
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2019, 10:28:57 AM »
From the description you've given it sounds like mostly cosmetic damage, and it certainly wouldn't warrant dumping this car for a new one.

With your car, the damaged area you've described is almost certainly part of the plastic bumper cover, which should be fairly easy to repair or replace for a few hundred dollars at most. I see the unpainted rear bumper listed on Rockauto.com for $56.79 right now. You could run it unpainted if you DGAF, spend a couple of bucks on paint from your local Autozone, or go full baller status and pay a paint shop maybe $200 to prime/paint/mount the thing.

The replacement taillight costs $38.79 on Rockauto.com and may require no tools at all to fix.

Unless they really slammed into the car it's unlikely they breached any metal in that area due to how that car is put together, so I wouldn't worry at all about accelerated rusting in that area.

actonyourown

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Re: Need real quick advice on car
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2019, 10:55:20 AM »
I guess, how much is it worth it to you to have this repaired?

Functionally, you car is just fine. (Though you might want to consider replacing the light assembly - mostly to avoid the risk of shorting out your tail light due to moisture.) Cosmetically it's probably fine, too. FWIW the paint peeling is pretty common with mid to late '00s Hondas (and early '10s), and that's a much bigger concern than your fender - no paint + salt = sheetmetal rust and eventually roof structural integrity failures (a long long way off though and nothing you'll have to worry about in the next few years).

If you don't like the look of things, you either are going to have to pursue her to try and get her info and have your insurance companies duke it out, or you'll be needing a fender (bumper acutally in your case) replacement. A quick look online shows that a replacement (unpainted) rear bumper is around $100 shipped, and any auto body shop should be able to paint and install that for around $250. In a worst case scenario, $500 for the bumper, paint, and a new tail light i reckon.

Alternatively you could just shrug it off, drive your bruised car a little more carelessly, and ponder whether to sell it or not.

On the topic of needing a small SUV - though the Civic coupe really isn't too versatile, what exactly would a small SUV allow you to do that your current car (with light modifications) can't?

Really I'm not worried about looks of my car all that much, just that I had put a lot of money into buying it years ago and since it is still under 100k I feel it should still look decent.  I do live in Pittsburgh and it is raining or snowing here roughly 60% of the time, so rust is the true concern.  My buddy has a trustworthy mechanic, who does body work, at very reasonable prices, so I am going to look into this.  I have a little damage prior to this, but this is just more severe.  It also makes a bit of noise when I make turns or I move onto uneven pavement, so I need it to be looked at.

The different may sound negligible, however, I am tired of a coupe.  I have some friends and we share driving each other around where we go, however, my friend is 6'3" and he just doesn't really fit in the car well (and we ride together a lot).  Carrying passengers is a pain because adults don't like to go in the back.  My mom or dad basically can't ride in it unless we are the only 2 in the vehicle.  In addition to this, I would like to go on more trips with other people and that would be more possible with a vehicle that people can sit, and the dog can have some space as well. 

Functionally, you car is just fine.

I'm not sure I would go quite that far. It depends if the damage made it through the paint. A "bit of a rip in the fender" would indicate it has. Rust (especially in Pittsburgh) could make pretty quick work of that, which then can become an inspection problem (assuming PA has inspections). 

Yes PA does have inspections.  I have seen very rough vehicles around here though.  I want this to be checked out soon by someone I trust.  I'm tired of going to Pep Boys (what a rip off that place feels).

From the description you've given it sounds like mostly cosmetic damage, and it certainly wouldn't warrant dumping this car for a new one.

With your car, the damaged area you've described is almost certainly part of the plastic bumper cover, which should be fairly easy to repair or replace for a few hundred dollars at most. I see the unpainted rear bumper listed on Rockauto.com for $56.79 right now. You could run it unpainted if you DGAF, spend a couple of bucks on paint from your local Autozone, or go full baller status and pay a paint shop maybe $200 to prime/paint/mount the thing.

The replacement taillight costs $38.79 on Rockauto.com and may require no tools at all to fix.

Unless they really slammed into the car it's unlikely they breached any metal in that area due to how that car is put together, so I wouldn't worry at all about accelerated rusting in that area.

Thanks for the numbers, this helps a lot.  If my buddy's mechanic can give me a good price quote, maybe I can have him do it without going through insurance.  The damage on the other side of the car is from a side-swipe to it from last year that was mostly glancing but almost all cosmetic and the roof isn't rusting yet, just looks really bad. 


Thanks for the advice everyone!
Because of my savings rate I have created recently, it sounds like I could cover the repairs myself out of pocket, if need be.  That's good because I really don't want to consider another vehicle at least until next year at the earliest.