Front End Accident - MAJOR DAMAGE! [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Front End Accident - MAJOR DAMAGE!


candygram4u
01-02-2007, 09:05 AM
I did see a 3-year old post on this topic, but thought I would bring it up for discussion again...

On an icy morning 3 weeks ago, I collided with a truck at a stoplight. I was going under 10mph, but couldn't stop because of the ice. My 2005 Element sustained a small tear in the bumper, but seemingly nothing else. It didn't run differently, no warning lights came on, etc.

Fast forward three weeks, I'm driving out of town for the weekend and I hear some sort of a "popping" sound. My check engine light came on and the temp gauge shot up to HOT. I pulled off the highway immediately. Well, turns out that minor fender bender shoved the Element's compressor into the radiator, cracked the radiator, slowly drained the fluids which eventually led to a total engine lockup. The ENTIRE engine needs to be replaced because of a 5-10 mph crash!!!

I am a long time Honda girl, but this is completely ridiculous! Has anyone else had this happen? Is there any way to modify my Element once I get it back so it can sustain a minor crash without costing $5000+? How very VERY disapppointing.

Boo!

Rocket Dog
01-02-2007, 09:13 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. Reading your post, I'm drawn to the part "but seemingly nothing else" with regard to the damage sustained. Was your Element checked out by a mechanic or body repair shop? Additionally, if there was a slow leak, did you notice fluids on your driveway?

Sincerely, I'm not trying to pick on you but wonder if there were signs that maybe, in retrospect, might have made a difference? Have you contacted your insurance company about this?

- Ted

1fastvx
01-02-2007, 09:29 AM
I hate to say this I agree with Rocket Dog. You really should have had your E checked out for any damage. Also you did you not notice any loss of radiator fluid or the temp guage on the dash going up? I am sorry to say this, but this sounds like a case of a driver error! Even if you did not have an accident you would not have noticed if you radiator ever started leaking and you temp guage shot up?

John

Rocket Dog
01-02-2007, 09:43 AM
I hate to say this I agree with Rocket Dog. You really should have had your E checked out for any damage. Also you did you not notice any loss of radiator fluid or the temp guage on the dash going up? I am sorry to say this, but this sounds like a case of a driver error! Even if you did not have an accident you would not have noticed if you radiator ever started leaking and you temp guage shot up?

John

I know the feeling. Most of the time I don't agree with Rocket Dog either. :rolleyes:

1fastvx
01-02-2007, 09:45 AM
Hey I meant it more like I did not want to pick on the girl that made the post :oops:

John

I know the feeling. Most of the time I don't agree with Rocket Dog either. :rolleyes:

Rocket Dog
01-02-2007, 09:49 AM
Hey I meant it more like I did not want to pick on the girl that made the post :oops:

John


I know John. :-P

Candygram, the more I think about it, you ought to go through your insurance carrier.

- Ted

spdrcr5
01-02-2007, 09:56 AM
Guys, you're both jumping to conclusions here. It is entirely possible that there weren't any leaks on the ground and that the fluids all pooled inside the engine/oil pan. Entirely possible that the head gasket or some other damage occured that would have kept the fluids internal and not hit the ground.

It's too bad that what appeared to have been a minor accident caused so much damage.

I am only offering one scenario... but once the gauge pegged to Max and the CEL came on, she should have stopped immediately to prevent the engine seizing... :(

Hopefully the insurance company will cover all of the damage.

tango
01-02-2007, 09:58 AM
Sorry about your E but unfortunately ALL modern vehicles are made to "crumple" in collisions and yes, that means even small collisons. If it's due to the accident your insurance should cover it. And as others have said, now-days ALWAYS get your vehicle checked out after any collision, no matter how small it seems. And yes, things like this have happened to friends of mine - depending on the the angle and type of collision (even low speed ones) and "bumps" can cause all sorts of unseen damage. The E isn't any different or less "crash worthy" than any other car that has been built in the last 6 years. The old style tanks get their occupants killed, modern cars get the vehicle killed instead.

It's a good idea to get in the habit of checking your temp gauge when you are driving. Any variation, especially if the gauge always sits at a certain spot, is cause for alarm and a check-up. Mine runs pretty much in the same exact spot unless the weather is VERY cold. To fry your engine, your E must have gotten too hot more than once over the 3 weeks. Overheating once doesn't usually result in the whole engine needing replacement.

Good luck and make sure you have the work done by a reputable shop or dealer.

Rocket Dog
01-02-2007, 10:00 AM
Guys, you're both jumping to conclusions here. It is entirely possible that there weren't any leaks on the ground and that the fluids all pooled inside the engine/oil pan. Entirely possible that the head gasket or some other damage occured that would have kept the fluids internal and not hit the ground.

It's too bad that what appeared to have been a minor accident caused so much damage.

I am only offering one scenario... but once the gauge pegged to Max and the CEL came on, she should have stopped immediately to prevent the engine seizing... :(

Hopefully the insurance company will cover all of the damage.

Actually, I was trying to be nice about it and ask if there were fluids, etc. In hindsight I should have used gooder words to say what I meant.

Karaoke Massage
01-02-2007, 01:04 PM
ouch. yeah the E is make to fold in on itself in case of damage to prevent damage to its occupants.

I always drive around looking at my heat guage just out of habit because an idiotic engine job once ended up placing a coolent hose right next to an engine belt and I barely managed to pull over in time when the hose finally went and puked coolent all over Exhibition Way in Sacramento. This was in my old Bronco II, not the E.

In any case, damn... that's weak. Makes me sad to hear about any hurt E.

candygram4u
01-02-2007, 03:30 PM
To answer a few questions...as far as I could tell, there were no signs of any problem. No pooling fluids (I rechecked the garage after the fact and there is nothing there), no temperature issues, no "funny" sounds or smells or anything. When I heard the fateful "pop", I did pull the E over immediately, but it was still too late. Rats.

I just heard from the insuranance appraiser and they are attributing all of the damage to the icy accident 3 weeks ago, and will pay for everything minus the deductible. They will be putting in a used engine (less than 20k miles). Also replacing the grill molding, bumper, left headlamp, radiator, and AC condenser....all for the low, low price of $6620.94. Yikes!

I was unaware that today's cars are made to crumple on impact, but now I know to have a mechanic check things out after any minor bumpage.

Should have the E back in 2 weeks or so. Thanks for the input!

1fastvx
01-02-2007, 03:38 PM
You never saw the temp guage go up?

John

Mark C
01-05-2007, 08:35 AM
Is there any way to modify my Element once I get it back so it can sustain a minor crash without costing $5000+? How very VERY disapppointing.


Yes, there is. Have the driver check her car out after a crash thoroughly. There was no need to ruin your engine, as a simple inspection would have caught it. Further, your engine was not damaged by the accident, it was damaged by you continuing to run the engine while it cooked itself. YOu should not be disappointed in the car, as it sounds as if it protected the occupants well.

vovo
04-16-2007, 12:21 PM
Last night coming home from a trip to Vermont I fishtailed and bounced off the guardrail and then straightend out the car and scraped the rear quarter panel and continued to drive the car to get to the shoulder. I easily could of flipped the E because the end spun around so I was sliding down a hill sideways and majority monentum was not going towards the guardrail but rather downhill so I only "Grazed the front bumper". I thought the worse when i finally got to the shoulder I was expecting to see coolant and steam and crumbled hood. I felt very lucky that there was so little damage to my E however after reading this post my stomache hurts a little bit. I am wondering what kind of damage I could have done that I am not seeing. I just looked at the exploded diagrams on majestic honda site and it looks like the impact may have been where the drivers side portion of front bumper beam is. I guess I will have to have this professionally looked at. I checked over the car before I started to continue my drive (200 more miles)there was damage to the bumper but no visible antifreeze leaking ,or belts sqealling and it has not been overheating. Car is operating normally, I even drove it to work today to make sure it seems to be working fine. I will have to look at my repair manual when I get home

Seattle SC
04-16-2007, 12:29 PM
Yep, doesn't take much.
On my rear-end collision, the place the insurance co. told me to go to gave an estimate of 1k.

The actual cost, after they stop finding all the hidden damage, will be somewhere around 3k.

Ironfish653
04-23-2007, 03:00 PM
Keep in mind that most modern radiators have plastic end tanks. Damage to these can cause cracks in the plastic, which may not be apparent when you are underhood inspecting. Normal / Elevated operating temperatures and pressure may be enough to force coolant out while the vehicle is in motion, which is why you don't see any fluids pooling under the car in the driveway.

I had this happen on my old, hot-running Firebird, and was to the point of pulling the cylinder heads to change gaskets, when my right-front turn signal stopped working. The 'hot leak' had been spraying coolant up in to the corner of the nose, glommed up the light, and if I hadn't gone in there to change bulbs, I'd have never found it.
I specified all-metal radiators after that, but I'm afraid that may not be an option on the E.

alextreme76
04-23-2007, 04:58 PM
i was just going to say, the damage to the radiator was probably so small it only leaked under pressure.

you should have seen the temp gauge rising under driving if it was doing this...or the engine wouldnt be damaged because then the engine wouldnt have ever overheated.

getting it checked out was definately the best idea, but still, if you really inspected the car, you probably should have seen the bent and damage parts

Espina
04-23-2007, 09:16 PM
...aluminum heads and blocks don't have a high heat coefficient, hence if the thermostat is only geting air it doesn't go to high until it's too late...(been there, done that, Daihatsu Charade outside of Auckland , NZ)

(if the there thermostat goes anywhere over the middle STOP!!! Check it out!!!)