Minor accident, how to proceed with repairs

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by ak907, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I unfortunately had a minor accident in my 2012 Prius v yesterday morning and could use some advice on how to proceed with repairs. I was on an entrance ramp to the high way when my front tires suddenly lost traction (very very quick from perfect traction to none, I grew up in Alaska and am pretty good at handling slides, it was cold, tires are terrible, I actually purchased new ones that have not been put on yet, guessing I hit a bit of ice). The car slid into the outside curb (approx. 17-24mph I would guess, not to violent as I have no whiplash or muscle strain after, I was going 30-35 when the slide started), with me braking and steering away. It bounced off of the curb and into the ditch on the other side as after bounding off the curb I could not force the wheel out of the far right turn it was in (totally locked up). It fetched up high centered on the front middle of the car stuck. Luckily three van loads of Mexican laborers stopped and offered to lift the car out, which they were successful in doing (absolutely odd and unexpected but extremely kind and wonderful, so very grateful).

    I was able to drive off afterward but the steering wheel is to the right when driving straight and steering effort is greatly increased.
    I looked underneath and the lower part of the front is quite messed up and and the underside plastic is a loss, along with the left front chewed up (as is to be expected). Otherwise I could not see any noticeable damage to lower arm or steering linkage. The radar guided cruise control also throws E3 error code and the traction control light is constantly on (although traction control is not engaged).

    I took it to a local repair shop (repairs not oil changes, but not a body shop). They inspected and stated that the left front wheel measures out slightly closer to the wheel well than the right side but otherwise cannot detect any kind of bend or damage. They and gave me two options, send it to an alignment shop for ~200-280 dollars to be aligned as best they can or have the lower arm and linkages replaced and then try to align for around $1000.
    I am leaning towards replacing the control arm and linkage, but after talking to a knowledgeable family member I was advised to take it to a body shop (I had been under the apparently mistaken impression body shops were mostly about exterior dents and body work) to have the frame and other components inspected and that the strut and strut rod probably should also be replaced.
    Does anyone on the forums have any advice to give? I want to get things fixed as best they can be to enable me to continue to use this vehicle for years.
     
    #1 ak907, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    43,000
    30,770
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I would get it fully inspected, suspect there's some suspension damage. What's your insurance like? File a claim?
     
  3. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I will be paying outright for the damage myself. As I mentioned it has been inspected by a mechanic who says he cannot see any obvious mechanical damage but also cannot rule it out.
    I am wondering perhaps if a body shop is a more appropriate place to have it inspected and repaired.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    3,039
    1,435
    2
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    You need a better estimate from a shop who understands the car, which in most areas means a dealer. Obviously you have some wiring and sensor damage which needs to be addressed and might clear up some of the issues since the car has electric power steering along with traction control and abs, all of which may be impacted. Your comment about the unexpected help from "Mexican Laborers" was telling as well.
     
  5. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    3,230
    810
    0
    Location:
    New Yawk
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    You laterally curbed the left front at 20+ mph? Steering off center and pulls to the right? But shop measured left rear out? What am I missing? Did the left rear also curb laterally?

    There is undoubtedly damage to front suspension control arms and geometry, and possibly cv joints or half shafts, hopefully not transmission.

    Anything at the rear is likely due to effects of damage up front (or a lateral hit, as questioned above).
     
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  6. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Telling how? It was simply unexpected because I did not think anyone but a tow truck could help me. It is what happened, I had just gotten off the phone ordering a tow truck (30-45 minutes to wait) when they pulled up and helped me. I though it was pretty awesome.
    Yeah I was thinking about a dealership, but the car does not feel safe enough for me to get it up past 30 miles an hour and the only dealer ship close enough has pretty terrible review online. I am afraid they may run up the repair bill unnecessarily and I have experience with a local Ford dealership with my previous vehicle that dealerships are not always to the best diagnosticians either, although you would think they would be.
     
  7. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Sorry good catch I meant left front, left rear did not contact. I simply mistyped, fixed.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    43,000
    30,770
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    In my experience, dealerships will only do the intitial assessment, then pass it on to a body shop, who will do any sheet metal repair, and subcontract suspension repairs to a shop that specializes in that.

    This can get expensive: you've just got minimum insurance, or just choose not to use it. I would at least talk to your insurance, find out what a claim will do.

    Or is this a "keeping a clean carfax" thing?
     
  9. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I do not have comprehensive so insurance is not a option (have learned by girlfriends experience that making claims on vehicle increases insurance by premiums enough that it costs more in the long run than paying out of pocket). Paying out of pocket is not a concern, just do not want to get unnecessarily fleeced (for example like the ford dealership tried to pull on me, tried to do $1000 of work when only a broken rubber vacuum hose needed replacing).
    Carfax was already 'dirty' when i bought it, not worried about that. Plan on driving it into the ground anyway just like I did with my last vehicle.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2016
    10,850
    14,864
    0
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Vehicle:
    2019 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    Any pics of the damage?

    Sometimes they are worth a thousand words and can help move the needle a bit;).

    If you’ve driven it and it doesn’t feel safe, my bet is there is something bent or deformed:(.

    Good luck and keep us posted (y).
     
  11. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    3,230
    810
    0
    Location:
    New Yawk
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    So, you likely have damage to left front suspension control arms, tie rods, and geometry, and possibly cv joint or half shaft or steering rack, hopefully not transmission, as well as wheel speed sensor harness. I’d also check all front end, transmission, engine mounts/mounting points.
     
  12. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    2,948
    1,252
    0
    Location:
    Sanford, NC
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    Three
    So to get a safe car, you need all the suspension parts examined, measured and maybe even magnafluxed (essentially Xrayed for hidden cracks). The frame laser measured. The wheels examined for bent metal and replaced or refurbished (since this isn't a race car). You depend on all this stuff for your life. You got a taste of what no steering was like, I'm sure you don't want to relive that.

    (Where in DC so I can picture it? Lived there for 60+ years. Once had a serious accident on tires that should have been replaced too.)

    I'd ask around to find a body shop people had good experiences with, then ask the body shop people recommend how to proceed.
     
    GrGramps and Air_Boss like this.
  13. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Unfortunately I didn't think to take pictures so I do not have any. I will try to do so next time I have access to the car.
     
    Raytheeagle likes this.
  14. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Thanks. I figured the wheel would need replacing with refurbished. The shop the car is currently at does not have the resources to do that sort of work. Sounds like I will need to move it elsewhere.
    It happened on the entrance ramp to 495 West from university blvd in Takoma Park. Started sliding around about here: Google Maps and then hit the curb just past the yellow sign. Stopped with front right wheel hanging over the outflow ditch on the right hand side of the exit.
     
  15. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    2,948
    1,252
    0
    Location:
    Sanford, NC
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    Three
    Just started to rain by any chance?
     
    Air_Boss likes this.
  16. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    2,763
    2,234
    13
    Location:
    Chesterton, Indiana Another third world country.
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    There are body shops and then there are frame and axle shops. These shops may be part of a body shop but have all the right equipment to tell and repair what is wrong and repair it.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    43,000
    30,770
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Yeah our usual body shop always sends it to another place for suspension work. Dropping it off tomorrow btw, due to a little love tap from a skateboarder.
     
  18. lrisius

    lrisius Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    97
    38
    0
    Location:
    Illinois
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    FYI- this would be covered under collision coverage, not comprehensive, as a single vehicle accident. Comp is for things like theft, vandalism, hail and animal accidents. Most of the time, the same decision is made about whether to carry comp and/or collision i so you likely don't have collision either. And it sounds like you have decided you don't want to file a claim anyway.
     
  19. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    No rain. Was a little wet on roads. Pretty sure it was ice given is was 30 outside and how quickly it let go.
     
  20. ak907

    ak907 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    27
    6
    0
    Location:
    DC
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    Update. It was a challenge to find the correct shop to take the car to. As was my initial belief most body shops are about dings and dent and to not do suspension/steering work. The first shop I took it to were quite nice and honest but did not know enough to do the job properly and were clearly guessing on what to do. Wasted $100 on inspection fee with them.
    Shop it is at now seems much more competent with these sorts of repairs. They said initially that the lower control arm, knuckle and strut needed replacing for around $1500.
    At my request they had the body shop next door remove the underside plastic and other damage from the rocks it high centered on in the ditch to get a quote on replacing. When they did so they found one fog light gone, a radiator mount destroyed, along with dented lower radiator plus some other things. Guess estimate for this is $2000 to $3500. They also emphasize they may find more as they disassemble.

    So in total looking at $3500 to $5000 to fix. Even worse than I expected. They are supposed to get back to me later with more specifics. Not sure what the right move is, I think I sam just going to have to choke it down and pay up to have it all fixed and hope thats the end of it.

    Funnily enough the wheel is just fine, cosmetic damage.
     
Loading...