I’ve been driving around the state of Idaho for the last 9 years looking at cars that have been wrecked in collisions. Some cars have had minor damage, some having major damage. I knew someday, some bone head would wreck mine as well. With as much time I spend on the road, it was just a matter of time. I just didn’t think that bone head would have been me. Just like most of the accidents before me, and most of the collisions to come. All it took was taking focus off the road for just a few seconds, & I was out doing inspections & on my way to look at a mustang that had been rear ended. After that I was heading over to Lyle Pearson Acura for another oil change because I had just hit 410,000, when I rear ended a Dodge Ram Pick Up. It can happen to anybody really. Anybody who loses focus on the road that is. The good news is that I was only doing 5-10 mph when I hit him coming up on a 4 way stop. The guy driving the truck was OK, except for a “slight kink” in his back, & I was alright. The bad news is that his rear bumper is higher than my front bumper. So his bumper just clipped the the top of mine and proceeded past it into the front inner structure and straight thru that brand new AC condenser I just put in 3 months ago. The damage to his truck consisted of needing a new rear bumper face bar, brackets for the bumper and a new tow hitch. The bumper ends didn’t even come close to making contact with the rear of the bed, so no paint work for the truck. I estimate less than $1,000. Mine however, I knew right away it would be over $4,000 to repair. I was feeling completely below average just looking at it.
Since I work with just about every auto repair shop in the valley, it was a tough choice as to where to take it. There are a lot of quality shops in my area and good men that run & work them. And no matter where I took it, there’d be a dozen or more shops with hurt feelings that I didn’t take it to them for repairs. This was a lose, lose choice for me. It is also a win, win as well. In the sense that any where I would have taken it, my car would have received special care due to the relationships I have built up over the last 9 years.
But, since I was in Nampa at the time (a local town) & one of the guys that has worked with me for the last year and a half and has recently taken a part time job in the office of a Nampa shop, that’s where I took it. The accident happened about 5 miles from this shop, so I tried limping it over there. It became evident pretty fast I wasn’t going to make it, so I arranged for a tow truck to take me the remaining 2.5 miles. And just in case anyone is worrying, I never let the needle get anywhere close to the “Overheating” point.
The hood was jammed shut, but it was buckled up enough to tell that the cooling assembly was wasted. With the amount of miles I have on my car, it didn’t take any complex math skills to figure that my insurance company would want to total my car right out of the gate. (Which of course, they did.) Knowing this pretty much right away, and only needing a few minutes to think it over, I decided to rebuild her, regardless of the insurance companies decision.
You probably already came to this conclusion on your own based on the title of this post. But I decide to take this opportunity to assure everyone that my journey is not over. It’s just another chapter along the way. I’m also using it as an opportunity to go step by step thru the repair process starting of course with a bone head wrecking his much loved car, settling with an insurance company, and going thru the many steps of actual repairs until I’m back behind the wheel racking up miles again. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, she will fly once again. I hope you follow along as I go thru this process on the vehicle owners side for a change (oh the irony) and feel free to ask questions or leave comments. I could use all the morale support I can get my hands on.
For Gods’ sake be careful out there & freaking pay attention to the road!