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Discussion Starter #1
Pulling out of a parking lot and turning right. Girl just wasn't paying attention and smashed into me pretty good.

I don't really want insurance to handle this. They will almost assuredly total the car. Whats under the bumper skin that I need to be concerned with?


 

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Is Texas an at fault state?

If so, I'd let the woman's insurance take care of it. By that, I mean collect the money and pocket it.



Quick inspection would be open the truck, remove the storage lining, look to see if the metal is bent.

Other wise, you'll have to take the cover off to see.

 

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Likely the aluminum rear bumper beam is bent. They're designed to crush somewhat and absorb impact. New one is $210

If you don't want to involve insurance you might just accept a cash offer and then decide to fix or just keep driving it. Many people are happy to give you cash because they don't want their insurance to go up as a result of a minor fender bender. I'd probably ask for $500, which is less than most people's deductible, and source a used bumper cover as mentioned. Or just buff it out, doesn't look that bad. If you took it to a proper body shop though where they had to paint a new bumper cover and that drives the cost up well north of $1k.

We recently dealt with a similar fender bender on her car (A much newer car). Total bill was over $2k. Pocketing the money was not an option, the body shop and us had so submit paperwork certifying the work had been done.
 

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Here in Texas, here's what you do: Call the stupid girl's insurer, and file a damage claim. They will either send out an appraiser or ask for pictures of the damage (depending on the company), and shortly thereafter provide you with a settlement offer.

Reject the initial settlement regardless of the amount, especially if they threaten to total the vehicle. Tell the insurer you will not accept such a low offer, and give them a chance to increase the offer on such a rare, special vehicle. Under no circumstance, however, should you accept any offer that totals the vehicle (due to its age, as appraisers have no idea of the enduring, intrinsic value of our cars), which will result in a rebuilt title that will make it difficult for you to sell (or even purchase comprehensive insurance for!) the Insight in the future, should you be foolish enough to consider that someday. You were struck from behind, so do remind the appraiser you may have injuries that have not manifested at this time. Do NOT threaten legal action, because then they will hang up and only deal with your lawyer. You really don't want a lawyer to start throwing his or her weight around for this small an amount. Trust me.

When the settlement offer is increased... And it will be (shoot for double the original, insulting amount)... Then ask for a check, take the check (as is your right) and have the minor damage fixed at a body shop that comfortably handles aluminum vehicles (and there are many, from F150s to Jaguars to Audis and... Insights)... Have them professionally fix it and pocket the rest. :D

Or do nothing, and settle for just enough to get the bumper buffed and repainted, which is what most insurers want you to do before you go away forever. :rolleyes:
 

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Minor variation on what boogety said. The aluminum bumper underneath is likely not badly damaged, and it isn't visible. I'd take the check and simply shop for a used cover. ITS SILVER! There must be hundreds available. The changeover will only take a hour, the attachments are all pretty simple.

I suppose it depends on the starting condition of the car. I'm assuming it is a well used, reasonably high mileage, showing some wear average car. If it is a pristine collector item, the fix it right of course.

I agree with what someone else said earlier. Remove the drop-in storage compartment and make sure there is no damage to the rear bulkhead.

Do you do most of your own work???
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Minor variation on what boogety said. The aluminum bumper underneath is likely not badly damaged, and it isn't visible. I'd take the check and simply shop for a used cover. ITS SILVER! There must be hundreds available. The changeover will only take a hour, the attachments are all pretty simple.

I suppose it depends on the starting condition of the car. I'm assuming it is a well used, reasonably high mileage, showing some wear average car. If it is a pristine collector item, the fix it right of course.

I agree with what someone else said earlier. Remove the drop-in storage compartment and make sure there is no damage to the rear bulkhead.

Do you do most of your own work???
Yeah I typically do everything myself. This is my commuter/beater with 210k miles on it. While it's not in the best shape, it was straight and relatively damage-free. I do have a functioning IMA as long as I grid charge it about once a month...

The most concerning thing to me is a very very light whiff of gasoline after the wreck. At first I wrote it off to other vehicles, etc, but after smelling it like 5 times yesterday I can't really ignore that little clue.... :-/ Hopefully I'll get to look at it tonight or tomorrow morning.
 

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The most concerning thing to me is a very very light whiff of gasoline after the wreck. At first I wrote it off to other vehicles, etc, but after smelling it like 5 times yesterday I can't really ignore that little clue.... :-/ Hopefully I'll get to look at it tonight or tomorrow morning.
check the fuel line at the passenger side of the firewall under the hood. Very common for that to rust out, which results in the cabin smelling like fuel.
 

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Also, the fuel sender often gets knocked loose in rear-end collisions, which I imagine could cause a smell of fuel in the cabin. Might be something to check if your fuel gauge readings seem off.
 

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You don't notice any exhaust leaks do you? My muffler fell off a few days ago so some of the exhaust comes up the bumper and in through the rear air vents. It smells like fuel for the first few minutes of driving and is surprisingly strong. Maybe something else broke in my car, but seems unlikely. We will see if it goes away once I get the exhaust repaired (the no longer make insight muffler, so I'll put an after market one on)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You don't notice any exhaust leaks do you? My muffler fell off a few days ago so some of the exhaust comes up the bumper and in through the rear air vents. It smells like fuel for the first few minutes of driving and is surprisingly strong. Maybe something else broke in my car, but seems unlikely. We will see if it goes away once I get the exhaust repaired (the no longer make insight muffler, so I'll put an after market one on)
No, it's quiet as a mouse....
 

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What Mario said. ^^
This issue also causes inaccurate fuel gauge reading on the dash. Keep an eye on it.
Also take note of the comments about how to deal with the insurance companies. They are not in the business of trying to compensate you as best as possible. They try to pay out the bare minimum you will settle with. You DO own the car, and have great input in what is decided with it. You can insist on repairs being done right. You can negotiate.
 
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