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Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
One-eyed truck
My route up to lady_curmudgeon's place involves a good portion of I-294. For those who don't live in the Chicago area and thus have no reason to know about this road, I-294 is a major loop for I-94. It is also currently undergoing major reconstruction in a number of places.

Last night, a few miles South of O'hare airport, I was in the left lane and heading North. Things were going well until I found that they'd closed the lane I was in. This was ... something of a surprise to me since the the electronic sign half a mile before that said that traffic "shifted left," not that they were closing the left lane. Long story short? I wasn't able to get over into the right lane immediately next to me quite fast enough to avoid clipping two of the traffic "sawhorses" (aka "caution barrier") with the driver's side bumper and front quarter panel. Sadly these weren't the big plastic barrels. As I alluded to, these were the metal a-frame "sawhorses."

The Expy's grill is okay, but in a brilliant feat of engineering Ford took each side of the grill and extended it around the headlight assembly as trim. That part is now broken, and given that it's all one piece I guess that means an entirely new grill is in order. Turn signal is utterly gone, lens and reflector are all MIA. The headlight was working for a little while last night but it burned out somewhere between Antioch and Curmudgeon's house (I don't blame it). The quarter panel has some dents and scratches along the side above the wheel well that I think are more than tolerable (this is a working truck, after all, not a show piece... I've got plenty of other scratches and dings on the body), unfortunately the area that the headlamp and running light/turn signal assembly seats into is pushed back. When I gave it a quick review last night while filling the fuel tank in Antioch I found that it showed some new wrinkles and folds in the metal that Ford probably did not intend to be there. That probably happened when the turn signal caught the edge of a reflector on the 'horse. The bumper is fine. The fog light, which lives in the bumper, is not fine -- the plastic frame on the assembly that mounted it inside the bumper did not much care for the shock and stress of impact.

Most of the assemblies that were damaged I can fix myself (replacing the fog lamp, replacing the grill, turn signal, etc is all pretty trivial work once you've found the right junk yard to get your replacement parts from) but the one thing I cannot do is color-match, paint and clear coat a new quarter panel. That means I'm probably going to just buckle and take the Expy into a body shop for repair. Out of curiosity I did some research at my favorite auto parts store and came up with the cost of materials:
  • Fender, unpainted: $144 or $246 (depending on brand)
  • Grille Assembly: $128
  • Fog Light: $72
  • Turn Signal Light: $31

My gut instinct estimates the total to be between $480 to $740, depending on how many man hours goes into painting and assembly/disassembly. The parts listed above total $377 by themselves, and there may be one or two surprise parts that have to be purchased so I don't think I'm too far off.

In the end I'm okay and the truck is more than okay to drive. It just needs some work done to it. Seeing as how I have nobody to blame but myself for this situation I can't be too angry about it. My only goal at this point is to get it fixed as quickly as possible.

[Edit at 1149 4/14: I have to wonder how much of this damage could have been minimized if I'd just given myself this really nice grill and brush guard for Christmas last year, eh?]

Life is a highway

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Current Mood: apathetic apathetic
Current Music: Diva purring beside me

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doomsey From: doomsey Date: April 14th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure it'll be at least $1000, because doing work at a body shop is *always* at least $1000.

A new bumper and dent removal/repainting for the right fender of the Prius after I hit the foot-high curb came to about $1000, including replacement of some weird internal part that decided to break -- a resonator or something for the engine (whatever).

The body shop I took it to (the CarStar on Lake St in Elmhurst) did a good job.

One thing that I've heard that some? all? body shops will give you some sort of discount if you mention that you *have* insurance, even if you're not *using* it. I don't quite understand it, but it's worth at least asking.
ya_wot_aver From: ya_wot_aver Date: April 14th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'm sure it'll be at least $1000, because doing work at a body shop is *always* at least $1000.

Unless you use your insurance with a $500 deductible, then the bill will be $499.9999999999

frostyw From: frostyw Date: April 14th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, I'll take three and Yukari will take two...
Uhm, since Yukari-sensei's car looks a bit more spacious, why not put three people over there?
*deadpan* Isn't it better for less people to die?

sorry, just LOVE that scene, Doomsey!
loboguara From: loboguara Date: April 15th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if they mentioned it, but a Nasty Little Secret about hybrids is that most shops and body shops will charge more to work on them, since they say (true or not, I don't know) that they need someone who knows how it's wired, and need to work internally while wearing lineman's gloves otherwise. Unlike a regular car where you just unhook the battery and it's dead, hybrids are more complicated in that regard.

Firefighters might not cut you out of a crash of one, either, until they can contact someone who is certain how to do so without getting them electrocuted. I've spoken to some who haven't been told much about them, and are a little intimidated when it comes to using cutters or jaws of life on hybrid wrecks, especially if it's wet.

C'est la vie.

doomsey From: doomsey Date: April 15th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
When the Prius is turned off, the high-voltage relay trips off, and there's no hazard. Impact sensors also cut the HV. In theory, I guess, an accident could break the relay (in reality, it's not going to happen), but even then the firemen would have a hard time hitting anything that'd be anywhere near the HV cables.

It's a non-issue. I'm willing to believe that there are misguided people who are scared of them, but they're wrong. And I certainly haven't ever had problems with any shop I've brought it to charging extra on a Prius for the supposed "risk."
loboguara From: loboguara Date: April 15th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I just know it apparently happens...because someone wrote in to the Car Talk guys saying that a local shop refused to work on their Civic Hybrid out of that sort of fear, which they considered unfounded, too.

I think people are just scared of high-voltage electricity, and the warning labels with a lightning bolt make them jumpy. Hybrids are a very new thing.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 16th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'll fix it MY WAY :D

Shanedoll can fix this.

No need for all of the fancy parts. Just give Shanedoll enough duct tape, and a few bottles of tequila (Jose Cuervo Black Medallion.) This should make it harder for those pesky baricades to damage your vehicle too.

BTW: You wanted to go from Green to Silver for the color right??? If not, then get some spray paint too....
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