Curb Damage ):


So, I had to stop at the store on my way to work this morning. It was raining hard, and I didn’t realize there was a curb where you pull out of the lot. Anyway, I ended up hitting it on the right side of the SUV (2017 Mazda CX-5) and driving over it on that side. I was going about 15mph. I heard a loud “bang” and got out to see the damage done.

It look like the vehicle cleared the curb, and nothing appears to be broken underneath there except the plastic piece that hangs down in front of the tire. It seems to drive ok, but I’m not sure what I’m looking for. No fluids leaking, etc.

What should I do at this point? Stop and have Mazda inspect it?

Please don’t be too hard on me, I’m so mad at myself l.


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You need to have a competent mechanic (note: that excludes the guys at Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys, AAMCO and other chain operations) inspect the vehicle for mechanical damage. You could have a bent wheel, or unrepairable sidewall damage to the tire, or even something like a damaged ball joint or tie rod end–and these are all potential safety issues. More than likely, none of that type of damage actually took place, but… why take chances?

Because none of those types of damage would be covered under warranty, there is really no reason to go to the dealership for that inspection. Instead, seek a well-reputed independent mechanic’s shop.

Yes, or a good independent mechanic.

Odds are there is some suspension damage. Likely the lower control arm at a sheer minimum.

Ugh! I’m an idiot. I’ll have it looked at after work or tomorrow. I can’t believe I did this on a brand new suv with 9k miles

Thanks much!

Jeff Hoffman

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By plastic piece in front of the tire, do you mean an air dam? If it doesn’t swerve left or right when you take your hands off the wheel at about 25 mph, it may be OK. Try the 25 mph tracking test then do it at higher speeds on a road you know is flat. If you do this on a lot of highways, you will just roll off the road crown.

Remember when JC Penney had auto repair shops? There’s a humorous article in Hemming’s Classic Car magazine this month written by someone who was a manager trainee in 1973. He relates

  • when it would rain, b/c of poor drainage the tank that supplies their gas pumps would get water in it. So they’d reduce the price of their gas. Even though the staff there knew the gas had water in it, they’d line up to buy it anyway, b/c it was a good price.

  • the burglar alarm went off one night about 2 am, so the police called him at home. When he got there he heard a bunch of giggling coming from a car on the lift. He lowered the lift, to find one of the mechanics and his girlfriend with less than a full complement of clothing.

  • new tires were priced from $9-11 each. Batteries $13 each. Shocks $5 each installed.

It was raining. Not a big deal. Those are wearing parts and designed to be easily replaced. Note I didn’t say inexpensively replaced. But easily is better than nothing. Good for you for not ignoring it.

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Chances are you didn’t break anything except maybe the plastic air dam. It is quite possible you knocked it out of alignment, and maybe damaged the tire. Since it’s not a warranty claim you can go anywhere, and the best bet would be a local frame and alignment specialist. Not a chain shop.

Keep an eye on your tire. Check the pressure often until you know you didn’t damage the tire.

And, stuff happens. Don’t beat yourself up too much.

You’re not an idiot because of a minor accident.

An idiot woud be the guy in the next lane to me on the way to work one morning. He held a cup of coffee in one hand, donut in the other, and had a newspaper opened up on the steering wheel; glancing over the top fo the paper now and then to verify he was sort of heading straight. Guess he was steering with his knees…


Naaaa… It was a self-driving car. :smile:

Hang in there. I’d go to the dealer since it is so new and pay the price to get them to give me a quote on any needed repairs and then consider options including insurance. Plan on replacing a wheel bearing later at a minimum, but that’s not a big deal financially. If it were my car, I’d climb under it and make sure I didn’t put a bubble in the inside sidewall (and I’d look closely at the outisde sidewall of course). Have you driven it on the highway since? If it tracks straight and there is no vibration that would be a good sign. One last thing, the mechanic will look for this, but any signs od wetenss or grease on that side would indicate a torn CV jpint boot.

I seriously doubt you did any damage. If there was damage, it would most likely be to the tire and wheel, especially if you have very low profile tires and alloy wheels. Other than that, you will probably hit potholes that will jar the suspension even more than the curb.

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