Camry fender bender

Hey gang,

I was driving my 2003 Toyota Camry when I was hit by another driver . Drivers side bumper. A definite dent but nothing cosmetically crazy-thought I was lucky. Got in it to drive away and the steering is not right. Was able to make it home but def not everyday drivable. Waiting on insurance info to take it in and figure out what’s up.

Any ideas on whats going on and if the repairs will be more than it’s worth (3g tops). I know and I need to wait and see but would love any info to prep me for whats about to come. Thanks

Something in the suspension may have been bent upon impact.

A body shop is gong to have to inspect the vehicle to determine the extent of the damage,



Looks like your tire is low on air to me,

Well obviously front end damage. Could be a bent tie rod end or worse. Back when our 80 year old babysitter hit a tree and her tie rod end was bent like a pretzel, not to mention the fender in the air, bumper, grill. But with the $10 tie rod, that was it for front end damage. You’ll just have to see what the shop finds or crawl under and look a little with a good light.

As far as the bumper goes, heat it up so its pliable with a heat gun or trouble light and push the dent out. Then take some rubbing compound and/or solvent to take the paint marks off and leave it alone. Not worth the cost to repair it.


Unless you can park your Camry closer to your computer, we cant’ really assess the extent of the damage.


The pic is not clear enough to tell. If I make an assumption here that the steering wheel is in the straight ahead position then I might surmise that the front wheel appears to be toed out a little.

That can cause steering problems and is the result of something bent in the front suspension or steering.
It could just be the camera angle though but it does not take much of a tap to knock the alignment out.

Just a guess, but I think the OP is asking if he should just take a check from the other drivers insurance company and use it towards a different car.
None of us can answer that.

Bumper cover, fog light, repaint the fender, lower control arm and a wheel cover, looks like enough damage to be considered a total loss.

like the song says…“Take the money and run”

Here’s what I would do in your situation.

Since the other driver hit you, the accident is their fault.

That means their insurance company is going to pay for the damage to your vehicle.

The damages may exceed the value of the vehicle, so they may total your vehicle.

When this happens, if possible, you want to retain salvage of the vehicle.

This means their insurance company will determine the value of the vehicle, pay a lump sum, and deduct from that the salvage value.

For example, the insurance company says the value of the vehicle as is, is $3000.00.

When you retain salvage of the vehicle, the insurance will deduct that value from the $3000.00.

So lets say the salvage value is $500.00.

$3000.00 - $500,00 = $2500.00.

So you get to keep the vehicle, get $2500.00, use that to fix only what needs to be fixed, and pocket the rest of the money.



In many states when there is a “total” payout, the insurance company notifies the DMV and the vehicle title is “Salvage” status.

If the Camry’s in pretty good shape mechanically, I would rather have it fixed with the insurance money, versus spend the insurance money on an unknown used car which was possibly/probably maintained worse than yours


Steve Miller Band.

I liked Miller’s early stuff most, and Take the Money and Run was part of that early song work.

If the insurance company wants to total it, make sure they use current crazy high used car values when they determine your payout.

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