Help! Bent control arms? I think the bodyshop is trying to rip me off...

Discussion in 'Odyssey' started by Bruce, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    '90 Honda Civic Ex 5 spd 190K

    I slid on a patch of ice the other night and banged into a curb going
    about 15 mph. It pushed the front left wheel back about 3 inches and
    inwards a little; now it rubs on the splash shield when turning and the
    car pulls to the side pretty severely. I haven't driven it much since
    the accident (I know the rubbing can't be good), but did take it to a
    neighborhood bodyshop to get their opinion. The guy said at the very
    least the lower control arm was bent, but pointed to about 5 other
    parts that "could need replacing too, we just won't know until we take
    it apart." Pretty open-ended sounding to me.

    I smell a rat. I don't expect him to know precisely what needs
    replacing by looking at it for 10 seconds, but the lower $$ amount for
    the repair was $450 and he was going to be charging me $190 alone for
    the LCA. He said it could possibly be /many hundreds/ more. I should
    have asked him if he was behind on his boat payments.

    What I want to know is, what are the chances that I screwed up more
    than the upper and lower control arms? How hard is it for the
    semi-advanced DIYer to change these parts? I've changed head gaskets,
    timing belts, brake calipers, slave cylinders and master cylinders,
    etc, but I've always been a bit afraid of messing with the suspension
    for some reason. If it's not a total bear of a job, and I can change
    the control arms (I priced both upper and lower left arms for about
    $215 on the internet) it's worth it to me to keep the car. If it's more
    than ~$350, it's car shopping time. I love driving this little car, but
    I really don't want to sink too much money into a beater.
    Bruce, Jan 24, 2006
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  2. Bruce

    TeGGeR® Guest

    Bad, bad, bad. You've done *considerable* damage, then.

    Good move. Even better: Don't drive it AT ALL.

    Sure is. There's a lot to get crunched under there.

    Take a bath.

    Quite high. You may also have bent the front crossmember, the sheet metal
    inner mount point for the lower arm, sway bar, sway bar mounts, and more.
    There is also the probability that you've bent the inner fender and
    subframe and none of the suspension pivot points are in their correct
    locations any more.

    Your guy is being prudent when he quotes you a high figure and leaves it
    open-ended. He'll have a lot harder time coming back to you with a *higher*
    repair figure than a *lower* one. Especially considering your "smell a rat"

    You'd be surprised how often even the experienced are surprised by yet more
    damage under what they thought was all that was damaged.
    TeGGeR®, Jan 24, 2006
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  3. Bruce

    TeGGeR® Guest

    You've likely bent the wheel as well, and may have damaged the wheel
    bearings or bent the hub.
    TeGGeR®, Jan 24, 2006
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    D'oh! Looks like car shopping time then.

    At least I wrecked it BEFORE I had the exhaust fixed...

    Thanks for the info, TeGGeR. Much appreciated.
    Bruce, Jan 24, 2006
  5. Bruce

    Art Guest

    My father crunched and bottomed out a new Saturn. Covered by insurance but
    the estimate went up by thousands as the front end was taken apart and the
    body shop was approved to do the work by State Farm no questions asked.
    Art, Jan 24, 2006
  6. Bruce

    SoCalMike Guest

    could be the LCA, could ALSO be what the LCA is attached to. dunno if
    the LCA mount is replaceable. only way to tell would be to look at it,
    and take the LCA off.
    SoCalMike, Jan 25, 2006
  7. Bruce

    jmattis Guest

    Sounds to me like this little car is pretty darn totalled. I wouldn't
    go exploring the upper limits of what's wrong, without insurance

    Agree with Tegger, this car can't be anywhere near safe to drive.
    jmattis, Jan 25, 2006
  8. Bruce

    TeGGeR® Guest

    wrote in

    This is the sort of thing that puts old cars in the wreckers. The value of
    the car is unlikely to be less than the fixup costs for this collision. If
    insurance gets involved, they'll total it, I'd bet.
    TeGGeR®, Jan 25, 2006
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