Saturday, March 12, 2011

From a crumple to a dimple

This is kind of what the bumper on my car looked like yesterday morning.  It suffered a little crunch when...(I hate to admit this but there's no way around it)... I  backed up and the far edge of my bumper banged against the corner of our van's bumper.  It was just a little bump and the van showed no signs of trauma but the bumper on my little Ford Focus Had a big crumple on the corner--about six inches across and two inches deep.  Aaaach!

Now I'm not really a pristine car person, but this little car is new to me within the past couple years and it's pretty spiffy with its leather seats, remote key system, and sunroof.  So first thing this morning I headed off to the body shop to see what it would cost to fix the bumper.

Well it costs much more than I ever imagined.  The guy said it would be cheaper to get a new bumper than to repair the damage.  That is until he priced a new bumper (over $600) and added the labor and paint costs.  His estimate including taxes was $1,170.  To fix a ding in a bumper!  Then he told me that they could repair and repaint the existing bumper for only $800!

Now you might be wondering why I posted a photo of a crumpled pop bottle rather than my dinged-up bumper.  Well, the reason is that my step-son Ben fixed it for me.  It took him about 30 seconds.  When he heard the estimate and saw the damage he got alongside the car on the ground and stuck his fist inside the bumper and pushed it back into shape.  The bumper is made of plastic.  I'm thinking that it's about the thickness of a yogurt container and just as soft. 

There's still one little dimple on it but it hardly shows at all.  Ben is my hero today.  Without him I'd be considering forking over hundreds of dollars that I certainly can't afford in exorbitant auto body costs.

There are just two things I'm left wondering about this experience.  What are the body shops trying to put over on us with estimates like that? And how effective can a soft plastic bumper be in a real crash? 


  1. Yeah, that's what I was thinking...we might as well have a pop bottle on our car.

    Good thing Ben's so handy - like the old days when we could all mess around with our cars. I wonder if anyone ever changes their own spark plugs anymore? Do cars even have spark plugs?!

  2. hi joanna - what a story! i don't drive so the worst pain i suffer is when my bike gets a rock ding or a scrape. either way we share the same approach to wishing our vehicles to remain more or less the same as the day we bought them. steven

  3. Love the crumpled soda bottle/car bumper. You really got it right.

    A young male driver grabbing his phone changed lanes and as I was right turning into a street, he really clunked my bumper at the license plate area.
    It looked just like your soda bottle. I had to have the bumper replaced. They just popped the old one off and popped the new one on just like a "Lego" piece.

    cheers, parsnip

  4. Hi Stephanie, I can't even answer your question about spark plugs! Isn't that weird? Ben would know, though.

    Steven, that's cool about not driving. I've been thinking what that would be like. A freedom in many ways. I bet that's why you have such amazing photos on your blog. You're able to hope off your bike and capture the details without having to find a parking place.

    Hi Parsnip, just be glad your insurance paid for it. Those car lego pieces are very costly. Cel phones and texting and driving--such a bad mix!



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