Fender bender question


A few days ago my 2012 Dodge Charger was unfortunately backed into by a pickup truck, resulting in damage to the left front bumper, left headlight, and left front fender. Pictures: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i0iteke1f9ae1ok/AACc60UoqBCl4r21kqpZHjYga

I’ve been having people at work tell me “the car will never be the same again” and I wanted to ask how right they might be. I was under the impression that this is fairly minor damage and shouldn’t be too difficult to repair.

If the truck hit the vehicle at 40 MPH it might never be right again.

That damage is superficial. Those damaged parts can be easily be removed and replaced.


How right are they?
How about…not at all.

This is low-speed collision damage that is extremely unlikely to have caused significant damage beyond the minimal amount that can be seen. The bumper and its underlying energy-absorbing material will likely have to be replaced, along with the headlights and other obviously damaged parts, but I fail to see the major problem that your co-workers are envisioning.

I think that you work with a bunch of Drama Queens

This damage is purely cosmetic. I see nothing here that would make me believe the structural integrity would be compromised.

I think VDC is right.

I agree. Your coworkers are hyperventilating. The damage is superficial and easy for any decent body shop to make right.

Yep easy fix. Your friends don’t know what they are talking about. The biggest issue is matching the paint so pick a good paint shop.

That’s nothing, this will never be the same again.

Nice 64 Ford there parked next door. A little paint, a little hammer and dolly can work wonders.

Nobody hammer and dollies fenders. They’re replaced.

The only time hammer and dolly occurs is on a non-replaceable body component. Such as on quarter panels, sail panels, and roofs.

It’s cheaper just to replace the damaged component than try to straighten it, bondo it, and sand it.



I liked the wrecked cars in your link

But maybe some of the other stuff on that website are too “exotic” for this forum . . .

@Tester Don’t get excited, I was referring to the pics of the demolished cars not the fender. It was a joke.

And no, pros can’t afford to hammer and dolly out dents anymore but individuals doing their own work still do. But it was a joke.

Funny how people like to make you feel worse than you already feel. They always have to “one up you”. Tell them they’re fools and they wouldn’t know a bad dent from a toothache!!!

Any good body shop will have this fixed where it’s never noticed.


Easy fix.
It would never be the same if your buddies were repairing it.

@"Tester .
And yes, body techs still repair fenders. Just because it bolts on does not mean automatic replace. It all depends what is cost effective. A two hour repair is cheaper than replacing a $400 fender. Not only parts cost but also possible reduction in paint cost.

It’s a little love tap. It’ll be just fine.

I’m not going to remove bent fender, and try to straighten it out, when I can go to an auto recycler and get a straight fender.

Time is money.


This is skin damage, like a scratch or cut on your skin. Now had the damage went all the way to the frame, thats like a broken bone, and like a broken bone, it will never be the same. But in this case, its just skin damage and after repair, it will be the same.

Thanks for the insight, guys. This is my first real foray into the world of collision and body repair, so it’s a bit panic-inducing.

You need a new front bumper, new front fender, new headlight, probably a new front bumper piston on at least one side, and whatever damage there is behind the headlight. Then some paint. Work through your insurance company to make sure that the work is done properly by a good body shop. And get the other guy’s insurance to give you a rental while the work is done. It should take 3 or 4 days, mostly for the paint to dry properly.

The people at work will always fill you up with information that sounds like it came from people at work. If there’s a window with construction going on, the comments are pure stand-up. Beams and struts, it’s easy to wire that building up, you put a false hole in the roof and you run conduit, you run conduit all the way down. Thank you George Carlin.

The people on Rigel 4 don’t care much for sheet metal. Their steel is four inches thick, the engines are 1000 HP, no muffler and they don’t care about dents. They have no eyes or ears and minor bumps cant even be felt. Thank you E. E. Smith. You can’t bring your car there so don’t worry. Your car will have some newer parts but it will be much the same.

If they are replacing the fender, which I suspect they will, one thing to ask the body shop about is the rust prevention coating on the inside of the fender. New fenders just come primed front and back and you would want paint or rust coating on the inside before it is all mounted together again. (Yes and I understand the primer is shop grade, but still I would want more than just primer on the inside.)