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Old 01-10-2015, 07:47 PM   #1
The Jiveman
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Minor rear-end accident. Need advice what to do now.

Hi folks,

I have an aging 2000 323i 5-spd manual (178,000 miles). I was involved in a minor rear-end accident a couple of days ago. Nothing too bad, slow speed, rush hour type of situation (5-10 mph), but my front bumper is damaged, as well as a bit of hood dent around grille. I have a fairly high collision deductible on my insurance ($1,000). The car is 100% drive-able and there doesn't seem to be any other obvious damage (although it hasn't been professionally inspected yet).

So now I'm in a pickle trying to decide what to do from here. The car has been paid off for several years now. I was planning on keeping in for another year or two, while my wife and I figure out whether we'll be moving or not (we're in a bit of a transitional phase, so I didn't want to worry about looking for a new car just yet). Other than this, and some relatively minor issues, my car is in a fairly good shape. My indy shop is generally suprised how well it drives still.

Anyways, now that you know the background, could you give me some advice? For starters, I've no idea how much repairs like these cost (parts/labor). I also don't care that the car has to look pristine, as long as it drives well and isn't a hazard. However, there is a resale value to consider, if I decide to sell it one day.

Should I even get insurance to estimate the repair at all?

Thanks, I appreciate any pointers.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:05 PM   #2
beeemerdude
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Originally Posted by The Jiveman View Post
However, there is a resale value to consider, if I decide to sell it one day.
Not really. It's a 2000. It's got 178,000 miles (not kilometres). It's a 323. It's not a vert. It's not even a ci, just a 4door i. (The 5 spd is about the only thing that's sweet.)

Jus havta to point out the obvious, so I do not mean to flame in any way. I'd find a friend who knows a friend who'd fix it 1/2-a$$ed, at least to a primer stage. (Backyarder) First, find a cheap used bumper, of course, & if poss a cheap 4door hood.

I'd drive it like a Chevette, or like my beautiful Eileen (91 Honda Civic DX) that all of e46f knows about (she's my winter beater). Srs. I've driven many a winter beater. & this would be an extremely nice winter beater.


Forgot to state the obvious...forget about insurance, dude.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:14 PM   #3
NumbaOneNewb
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It'll be totaled. You can buy it back and if you have patience find replacement panels used on craigslist, and with luck color match
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
3coupe
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To get it fixed properly you will be over the $1000. (new bumper, hood, trim, paint) If you don't care about how it looks it's not worth fixing. (unless there's hidden damage)

If you don't care about how it looks you can always wait until the parts come up in the classifieds, or a local junkyard has them. Stock hood and bumpers usually go pretty cheap.
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Old 01-10-2015, 08:15 PM   #5
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No airbags deployed? Even better. If you can afford to and are in no rush, buy it back and part it. If they total it and you don't buy it back, someone will buy it and repair it and make some good money on it
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:05 PM   #6
Patton323I
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I wouldn't bother with insurance on this one. Just keep an eye on CL or Ebay for the parts you need and go that route. Like others have said, find that friend who knows a guy and get them to spray it. If you don't really care, that's the way to go.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:06 PM   #7
wildirish317
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How much damage did you do to the car you hit? You may want to offer to pay it yourself instead of involving the insurance company (thus avoiding being charged with an accident). If you can't afford to fix their car, you may as well file the claim, pay the $1,000 and get both cars fixed.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:36 PM   #8
mikeetastic
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hood is still good and a good repair shop can pull it out and paint..

you need a new/used bumper..
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:49 AM   #9
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Honestly, you can just make sure there not any exposed metal on the hood and just keep driving it...

Check if any headlight tabs are broken and if your headlight adjustment is still correct. If you plan on driving it for a while, make sure the hood is securely latched.
You can get a new trim piece for like $10 and just use a heat gun and bend that piece of bumper back down.
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:34 AM   #10
hitbyastick
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I've seen PDR take sheetmetal damage worse than that out. Search on YouTube, you will be amazed.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:01 AM   #11
BMRHNTER
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Took me a few months on ebay to find the color match to my 330cic's rear bumper for $ 199.00, polished it out and put it on, looks great. I've used dentless repair on dents a lot worse than that. I've seen unbelievable results on a hail damaged car, it's a lot cheaper then body & paint repair.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:54 PM   #12
The Jiveman
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Thanks, you've given me a few options to think about, I appreciate it.

For those of you recommending buying it back from insurance... Are you saying I SHOULD go through insurance to get it inspected and evaluated, and IF they declare it totaled, then buy it back? Or should I not even go through insurance at all and just investigate options for fixing it myself? I guess I'm not sure I see the point of going through insurance at all? Care to explain?

I'm out of town now (and the car is home), so I can't look at it until tomorrow. I think one of the headlights is slightly cracked, but I think it'd be fine the way it is. I think if I find a cheap stock bumper, that would make it OK, except for the hood dent, which I guess I could live with, if there is no metal showing. And maybe investigating options for getting the dent knocked out. But if the metal is showing, different story, I guess.

I did poke around KBB a bit, and for a good condition, personal sale option, comes out around $2,100 roughly (that's without the hood/bumper issues, just as a comparison). Just as additional information for you guys out there.

Forgot to mention this is my only car. Live in a city. No room for keeping it around as a "winter beater" if I get a different car, like someone suggested. It's either keep and repair, or get rid of and get a new car (which I wasn't planning on, for at least the remainder of 2015).

Last edited by The Jiveman; 01-11-2015 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:45 PM   #13
hitbyastick
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If it runs well, keep it then. Paintless dent repair can take that hood damage out for $200 or so. I'm just guessing. A body shop will cost a lot more, involve much more invasive repair that isn't necessary, and keep your car for a week. You don't need a new hood you just need that krinkle removed, which can be done by a pro PDR guy very easily I assure you. Often times they come to your house and do it right in front of you.

Golf ball came sailing out of the country club this past summer while I was driving the Q5 and dented the hood. I had it repaired for $185 I think. It was a barely visible ding, but the hood is aluminum and the guy was a pro. And I'm in DC where everything costs too much. So I strongly suggest if you decide to fix it that you use PDR and often the PDR shop will touch up as well. You want paint on those scuffs where I see primer/bare metal because in Illinois those areas will rust quickly. On a $2100 car that you still want to keep respectable, this is the way I would go. I probably would leave the insurance company out of this.

For the bumper, I would just live with it whilst simultaneously taking my good old sweet time finding a cheap used bumper in good condition, and in the right color. May take a while but so what. Then when you find it, it's an easy installation.

I would solve this as cheaply and as painlessly as possible. I'm assuming that the accident was reported?
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:59 PM   #14
wildirish317
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The reason not to got through insurance is to keep the accident off of your record. If they become aware of the accident, your rates go up.

If they are aware of the accident, then file a claim. With a $1,000 deductible, they may fix it.
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I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:58 PM   #15
The Jiveman
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If it runs well, keep it then. Paintless dent repair can take that hood damage out for $200 or so. I'm just guessing. A body shop will cost a lot more, involve much more invasive repair that isn't necessary, and keep your car for a week. You don't need a new hood you just need that krinkle removed, which can be done by a pro PDR guy very easily I assure you. Often times they come to your house and do it right in front of you.

Golf ball came sailing out of the country club this past summer while I was driving the Q5 and dented the hood. I had it repaired for $185 I think. It was a barely visible ding, but the hood is aluminum and the guy was a pro. And I'm in DC where everything costs too much. So I strongly suggest if you decide to fix it that you use PDR and often the PDR shop will touch up as well. You want paint on those scuffs where I see primer/bare metal because in Illinois those areas will rust quickly. On a $2100 car that you still want to keep respectable, this is the way I would go. I probably would leave the insurance company out of this.

For the bumper, I would just live with it whilst simultaneously taking my good old sweet time finding a cheap used bumper in good condition, and in the right color. May take a while but so what. Then when you find it, it's an easy installation.

I would solve this as cheaply and as painlessly as possible. I'm assuming that the accident was reported?
Thanks. Good advice and info. The accident wasn't reported with the police, at least not while we were right there. We exchanged insurance and contact information and parted ways. The other driver was driving a Zipcar, so they would definitely report it with my insurance for sure, so i didn't bother trying to hide it from my insurance. I filed a claim with my insurance, but they still gave me a choice for how I want to handle my own car repairs, so here we are.

Quote:
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...If they are aware of the accident, then file a claim. With a $1,000 deductible, they may fix it.
They are aware of the accident, but I don't think that automatically means I should have them fix my car. If I do, I know I will likely pay the full $1000. Otherwise, with some of these cheaper options, it might be much less.

By the way, where do you find PDR people? This is the first i heard of that, so I have no clue. Are there shops that do that? But it sounds like they're not body shops?

Btw, I'm in Boston, MA. My profile says Illinois but that's old.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:53 PM   #16
Mario0617
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You can fixthis sh*t for less than a grand. If you super cheapo it you could do it for half that.

My car had been in a front end collision before I owned it (my dad talking on the phone while driving *facepalm*) so I bought a new bumper, new hood, and had both painted for ~750 dollars. I got a steal deal on the paint job though, but I doubt it'd be more than $1000 total without. Just hit a junkyard and look for a not trashed hood, and either find a bumper there, or buy one THAT'S PRE PRIMED. It'll save you money, time, and hassle in the long run. My father bought a straight up plastic one, no primer, and had the shop paint right over the bumper, no primer. Bubbled within a year.

Your other option, is buy a car bra. It'd hide all the damage, assuming that nothing is mechanically messed up. Then you could save up cash to fix it properly.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:58 PM   #17
Mario0617
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This is the one that was on my car.

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Old 01-11-2015, 11:25 PM   #18
hitbyastick
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Originally Posted by The Jiveman View Post
By the way, where do you find PDR people? This is the first i heard of that, so I have no clue. Are there shops that do that? But it sounds like they're not body shops?

Btw, I'm in Boston, MA. My profile says Illinois but that's old.
Google Paintless Dent Repair Boston Mass. Then choose. Use your judgement. Ask around. Get the best guy in Boston, hopefully he is mobile. It should not be a difficult sequence of events. Just remember to get that primer/bare metal scuffage covered up. Preferably with paint that matches.

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Your other option, is buy a car bra. It'd hide all the damage, assuming that nothing is mechanically messed up. Then you could save up cash to fix it properly.
Car bras are lame. It's not 1989 and the car isn't a Camaro with t-tops. OP wants his car to look respectable after all. Furthermore car bras fvck up the paintwork.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:53 PM   #19
Mario0617
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^ I don't disagree, and ever since I repaired my car, I don't use it, except for on very long road trips, because he flaps really do help to keep bugs off the windshield. However, them screwing up paint is irrelevant, because he would need to have the new parts repainted anyways. I'm not in the camp that thinks you can make this good as new with PDR and paint. You could make it okay-ish, but You might as well wait a while, save some money up, and do it right. A car bra looks better than driving around with a fvcked up front end. And I don't think they look THAT bad.

Last edited by Mario0617; 01-11-2015 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:05 AM   #20
The Jiveman
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Nice idea with the car bra, although I had one a while ago, and sold it because I wasn't using it enough. I don't think I'll go this route, but a good idea nonetheless.

I will look into options for PDR at least to see what I'd be looking at to pay. Wouldn't hurt to look around at junkyards, too.
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