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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Happy Saturday all!!

I have surfed the forum for awhile but am finally in NEED enough to throw away my shyness and ask a question.

I hit a volvo who pulled out in front of me out of a parking lot on Tuesday morning. I hit him head on going about 30-35 mph. I am fine, there were no passengers in either of our cars and my airbags did not deploy (thank god!!!).

It seems that the crumple zone did its job and absorbed a lot of the inertia allowing me to walk away unscathed but now they are telling me that it is only 7-8K in damage. It doesn't look like much but as you see further into the engine area you can see that there was more damage.

The real issue is that i know that the element had a unibody which can lead to easy frame damage. They say that my frame is fine but i have heard that some insurance places bypass the frame on elements cause they total so easy.

I have a 13 month old and am moving to SLO Ca in a few months and am just not willing to take ANY chances.

My car is a 2005 honda element, ex, graphite, 85K on it. I love the Might Toaster but i am not willing to risk my kid because of stupid insurance agents. I am also worried that i have "mom brain" and am being unreasonable in the situation. Never been in this before, ive always had junkers ive just thrown away after an accident...

PLEASE HELP ME!!!
Thank you all :)
Susan.
 

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If they want to fix it just let them. After you get it back and you don't feel comfortable with it (even a little bit) trade it in on a new one.
That's what I would do.
And don't think twice about it. Mom's are always right when it comes to the safety of there kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will be underwater if i trade it in after an accident. I spent the day yesterday talking to dealerships and what my options are. I dated a finance manager for a few years and know how to work the system but as they know, like we know, all wheel drive cars are just never the same after a front end collision...
Its so sad, i loved that car so much :-(

I'm more wondering how viable a total would be. They are saying the Mighty Toaster is worth 13K with only 7K in damages now but i really don't think that they are looking for frame damage. I'm thinking it would just be easier at this point if they did total it but i don't know how realistic that is for an element.
They look like they total easily with a front end impact but i am looking for what other element owners think.

P.s. i would love to get new one but they dont come in manuals anymore!!!!! ARRGHHHH!!!! :shock:
 

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It will cost you the same whether they total it or you trade it in.
The least expensive option by far is to get it fixed and keep it.
Waite until it's fixed before you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can't. Once they fix it they won't total it anymore...
And if they total it i wont have to pay the deductable. Strange but true. Its not the issue though. What i owe and what it is worth at this point is pretty even so if i trade in a wrecked element i will be underwater.
Still, not the issue, it is the frame and how easily they sustain damage.
I cant seem to find any definate information on it :?
Thank you so much for you input!!
 

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I don't know where you're located, but I would be extremely selective on finding a body shop to do the repair work. You need to ask around and figure out who the top-rated repair shops are. Typically I would avoid the dealer body shop and go with an independent. I speak from experience as I've been in a lot of accidents (other guy at fault) from minor to severe with the same car and selling it after 13 years on the road it never had any problems due to body-repair AND the paint still matched.
 

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I wouldn't be worried about having it fixed. As mentioned previously, ask around to find reputable shops, check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) to see how many and what types of complaints they have had filed against them, if something doesn't feel right, walk. Ask about what their warranty duration is and what it covers.

Whoever you choose, tell them you personally want to see each phase of the repair. Document it with plenty of photos and don't let them close anything up until you have looked at it. Make sure everything gets painted or primed to avoid future rust issues. Make sure you insist on NEW OEM parts. Be adamant that they are NOT to use cheap aftermarket parts. Some shops will try to use repair pcs., patch panels or make their own repairs from junk yard parts or straighten old parts to save money. Insist that if anything is damaged, they replace the entire part or assembly with new.

As for the AWD issue, I don't believe there is anything to worry about. During the repair process, your E will be put on a frame machine to ensure everything is straight and once everything is complete, they will perform an alignment to ensure all wheels are tracking straight and true. Tell them you want a printout of the alignment (you may not understand what it shows, but it will keep them honest).

I just looked at your pics again and noticed that a lot of the damaged parts have been removed. Who performed the work? Dealership?
 

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not all ins co's will pay for new parts.and beware of the ins.co's approved body shops.:shock: they took me for a ride as did the ins co. ( I think it's a scam) just do your best at checking out the shop. get a few shops to check it out & ask if the frame has any questionable damage. a crumple zone is sort of like damage from the factory, it's made to crumple so you dont get all the force at once. good luck & dont tell the dealer it was crashed if you trade it in:shock::razz:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It is at the Geico repair shop. They couldn't say if it was totaled or not without tearing it apart first. That is who is claiming that there isn't any frame damage, which i guess is possible i just find it improbable. I have heard that a lot of auto body shops will pretend that there isn't any frame damage on elements because of the unibody frame.
 

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It seems like a huge liability issue for a body shop to pretend that the frame is ok, fix everything else, and then let you drive the vehicle. I can't imagine the money they make by defrauding the insurance company is worth the potential lawsuit.
 

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It is at the Geico repair shop. They couldn't say if it was totaled or not without tearing it apart first. That is who is claiming that there isn't any frame damage, which i guess is possible i just find it improbable. I have heard that a lot of auto body shops will pretend that there isn't any frame damage on elements because of the unibody frame.

Reparing an Element is no different from repairing any other uni-body vehicle. Either the shop has the proper equipment and staff to do the job or they don't.

Make sure you insist on NEW OEM parts. Be adamant that they are NOT to use cheap aftermarket parts.
The shop may not have a choice in what parts are used. depending on how you policy is written the insurance company gets final say in what parts are used.
 

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They probably chucked it up on the frame rack and found that the unit frame is straight and the parts that are bent are replaceable. Look at the final work on other cars and see how it looks and you do have a choice if you are in Cal about using factory parts. Most body shops have a lifetime warranty on their paint jobs and other work will have a limited warranty. That kind of damage it should look good as new when done.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update

So, last week I got the Mighty Toaster back from the mechanic's.

I have had the car back for about ten min and driving it across the bridge on a Friday during rush hour traffic and it starts to choke. Yep, my freaking throttle sensor was damaged in the crash and i have my one year old in the back seat.

So, after doing a mission impossible with my child out the back of the car into my husband's car on the West Seattle bridge with 60mph traffic on one side and a 100ft drop into the Sound on the other we got her to safety and my car back to the shop. This was the week before last.

They replace the throttle sensor and re-calibrate (or whatever they do) and give me my car back AGAIN this Friday.

You'll never guess what happened again and in the same place. Yep the throttle sensor is STILL OUT!!! This time i know what is going on and coast my Toaster off the freeway because AGAIN my daughter is in the car.

They towed me and my daughter and the Toaster back to the mechanic to which they are taking it Honda this time who will be looking at it tomorrow.

WHAT THE CRAP!!!! This is been 3 weeks now and 3 different trips to the shop with the car failing with my one year old daughter in it and over $8,000 in repairs. What will it take to get rid of the damn thing at this point?!??!!

I would just trade it in and get a new Toaster at this point but the new Elements don't really have the options that really made me fall in love with them in the first place (except they did add a "lunchbox/cooler"thing which is really neat but all in all not the car i fell in love with...

So, i just want to be done with this and get a new car...

Anyway...has anyone else had these issues after a front end accident? What are my options? And what the hell could it be?!?!?!?

Thanks all for reading my rant, i feel much better...
 

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Honda never intended for the TPS Sensor (Throttle Positiion Sensor) to be replaced period. At the dealer level if a TPS needs replacing we replace the complete throttle body.

Did the shop install an aftermarket TPS or a used throttle body?

Did you get a copy of the original estimate for the repairs? Did it show that the TPS needed to be replaced? Or a complete throttle body?



So, last week I got the Mighty Toaster back from the mechanic's.

I have had the car back for about ten min and driving it across the bridge on a Friday during rush hour traffic and it starts to choke. Yep, my freaking throttle sensor was damaged in the crash and i have my one year old in the back seat.

So, after doing a mission impossible with my child out the back of the car into my husband's car on the West Seattle bridge with 60mph traffic on one side and a 100ft drop into the Sound on the other we got her to safety and my car back to the shop. This was the week before last.

They replace the throttle sensor and re-calibrate (or whatever they do) and give me my car back AGAIN this Friday.

You'll never guess what happened again and in the same place. Yep the throttle sensor is STILL OUT!!! This time i know what is going on and coast my Toaster off the freeway because AGAIN my daughter is in the car.

They towed me and my daughter and the Toaster back to the mechanic to which they are taking it Honda this time who will be looking at it tomorrow.

WHAT THE CRAP!!!! This is been 3 weeks now and 3 different trips to the shop with the car failing with my one year old daughter in it and over $8,000 in repairs. What will it take to get rid of the damn thing at this point?!??!!

I would just trade it in and get a new Toaster at this point but the new Elements don't really have the options that really made me fall in love with them in the first place (except they did add a "lunchbox/cooler"thing which is really neat but all in all not the car i fell in love with...

So, i just want to be done with this and get a new car...

Anyway...has anyone else had these issues after a front end accident? What are my options? And what the hell could it be?!?!?!?

Thanks all for reading my rant, i feel much better...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They replaced the whole throttle body. From what i hear you cannot repair it. I don't have a quote for it because they never gave me one. I went online to check (i have Geico and they post EVERYTHING) but i can't get on...

So now that it is going to Honda i wonder what else they can find and how much more damage can be done before they will just total it.
 

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They replaced the whole throttle body. From what i hear you cannot repair it. I don't have a quote for it because they never gave me one. I went online to check (i have Geico and they post EVERYTHING) but i can't get on...

So now that it is going to Honda i wonder what else they can find and how much more damage can be done before they will just total it.
Any update?

My guess is that your E is just fine. A friend of mine that drives an SC got into an accident by hitting a deer at 55mph. From what I can tell, his damages appeared worse than yours. The auto shop (which happened to be a place that does repair work for Honda's newly assembled vehicles straight from the factory) still did the work (over $10k in damages). Given the ties this particular shop has to Honda, they never would have done the work if they didn't think it was okay to do so. His E is completely fine now...as yours should be too.
 
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