I’ve attached a photo of some damage done to my parked car, and I’d appreciate any input about the repair process.
The autobody shop manager told me that based on a visual assessment and after driving it at maybe 25-30 mph for half a block, there is no reason to be concerned about the control arm, wheel, spindle, strut, tie rods, steering gear, c/v shaft, sub frame, transaxle, sway bar, or floor pan. (I asked about these terms that are all new to me thanks to another CarTalk thread). When I asked if these components were checked, the autobody manager simply answered that the mechanic they sent the car to did that work, or that there was no reason to check those components based on his visual assessment of the damage and where the impact was. I asked if he put the car on a precision frame machine, and he said there is no reason to because his visual assessment of the car does not indicate any frame damage occurred. When the tow-truck driver drove the car onto his trailer, it lurched forward and he had to brake suddenly. It’s never done that before, and I assume the guy has used the gas pedal on all kinds of cars he’s towed. No marks on the wheel from the collision.
The body parts were replaced with factory parts, but I haven’t seen the repaired car yet. Total cost of repairs was $3,000. I plan to do a test drive at freeway speed before signing any paperwork.
I don’t care about the value of the car, it’s a 2014 and I plan to have it a long time. I’m worried about new vibrations at speed because of internal component damage and repair costs that might appear later on. I’m a student and I need this thing to get me to clinical rotation sites.
Is it reasonable to make repair decisions based on a visual assessment?
Is there a more hands-on way to assess/diagnose internal component damage?
Do I need to worry about any components not mentioned?
Should a car that had a collision be put on a precision frame machine regardless of how it looks to the naked eye? What info would the precision frame machine provide?
Thanks a lot for your advice!