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My 2000 Insight went through a huge puddle in a storm. The engine didn't die but a piece of metal about 1 feet by 3 feet in size underneath the front passenger side dragged coming out of the puddle. The tow truck driver, flatbed, said there were exposed wires and he could get electricuted if he towed it because it's a hybrid. Another tow came (wheel lift) and said it was the undercarriage that came loose, no exposed wires, and he pulled it off to tow it, no problem. My insurance company wants to total it sight unseen. They said I admitted to interior water up to the seats (wrong!) and that's all they need to total it. I have 100,000 miles on it but in mint condition otherwise. I have it at the dealer but they won't give me an estimate w/o adjuster coming.
1. Is this safe to drive without the undercarriage?
2. Is it safe to drive without knowing

Any input or suggestions appreciated. I LOVE my redracer!
 

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It sounds from your description, that an aluminum panel, that is normally attached to underside of the nose, came off. It is very thin and can easily be deformed when running hard through deep water.

As for safely running the car, are you able to get on the ground and take a look at the firewall? If you can, there is an orange housing that protects the high voltage cables, which run from the engine compartment to the rear of the car. If this housing is intact, and not broken or cracked, then these wires should also be fine.

I hope this helps, Jim.
 

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My 2000 Insight went through a huge puddle in a storm. The engine didn't die but a piece of metal about 1 feet by 3 feet in size underneath the front passenger side dragged coming out of the puddle.
Sounds like one of the aero pieces. It's just a flat aluminum sheet for airflow. Simple to replace in about 5 minutes once the car is jacked up.

Worst case, a few of the fasteners were ripped off and need to be extracted but it would be well under an hour for a mechanic.

The tow truck driver, flatbed, said there were exposed wires and he could get electricuted if he towed it because it's a hybrid.
This tow truck driver is an idiot and should be rendered down into oil so he would be of some actual use to society.

Another tow came (wheel lift) and said it was the undercarriage that came loose, no exposed wires, and he pulled it off to tow it, no problem. My insurance company wants to total it sight unseen. They said I admitted to interior water up to the seats (wrong!) and that's all they need to total it. I have 100,000 miles on it but in mint condition otherwise. I have it at the dealer but they won't give me an estimate w/o adjuster coming.
You need to find a new insurance company. Seriously.

1. Is this safe to drive without the undercarriage?
2. Is it safe to drive without knowing
Yes and yes.

Any input or suggestions appreciated. I LOVE my redracer!
Take the car to an independent mechanic whom you trust and you will probably have it repaired in under an hour. You may need to order a new panel from Honda, which will cost under $100. It just gets secured with plastic clips and a few M6 bolts. In no way is it at all structural or a safety issue.
 

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It depends what they mean by undercarriage, if it's just the flat aerodynamic pieces that also keep dirt and water from being flung around by your belt, there should be no problem missing those. If there is some substantial structural frame damage that they are calling the undercarriage, then there is a bigger issue, but a 1 foot by 3 foot piece doesn't sound anything like being part of the frame because those would be thick pieces that wouldn't be large and flat. There should be no problem towing a car due to it being a hybrid, worst case scenario is that you shut the breaker off in the back to make them feel safe about it. The only problem you could possibly have is if the wires had their insulation torn off, even then there should be no power going through those motor wires unless the car is on anyway.

I agree with those above, I don't see any big issues here.
 

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Take the car to an independent mechanic whom you trust and you will probably have it repaired in under an hour. You may need to order a new panel from Honda, which will cost under $100. It just gets secured with plastic clips and a few M6 bolts. In no way is it at all structural or a safety issue.
If the tow driver said that he saw exposed orange wires, then the plate and the two plastic covers behind it are probably gone.

They are parts 9, 12 and 17 here. Total: $120

The only issue with NOT replacing the front aluminum plate (besides the drop in mileage) is that the air dams in front of the front wheels will flare out and the bumper cover will puff out at speed. The plate holds it all together. I know this because I drove for a while without one.
 

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He probably saw the orange cover and assumed wires were exposed. I have seen mechanics that won't touch hybrids because they think they will get shocked based out of pure ignorance. These people will be left behind as the industry progresses.
 
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