Saturday, March 12, 2011
From a crumple to a dimple
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?