Help! My Parked Car Got Shoved Back Two Feet by an SUV


I have my Subaru Outback parked on the street, and found it had been pushed back two feet (presumbably by a Honda CRV, whose back spare tire was squished upon on the hood of my car) so it could avoid sticking out over a painted curb. Has this jerk damaged my car?


I doubt that a CR-V would be able to push an Outback that is in Park and has the e-brake firmly engaged. Are you absolutely sure that he moved your car?

Regardless, I hope that you photographed the placement of his spare tire on the damaged hood of your car, so that you can document the incident. At the very least, you should be able to have the hood damage repaired on his dime. And, while you are at it, have the transmission inspected to see if the “Park Pawl” mechanism was damaged. If it was, you should be able to collect for that damage also.


VDC has mentioned the damage to an automatic, but if your car is a manual and you car was in a forward gear, the engine will turn backwards which can cause the timing belt to derail. It probably wouldn’t happen in two feet, but if it did happen to be in a forward gear it might very well be worth getting it inspected before you start the engine.


Actually, I didn’t have the e-brake engaged. So that would allow someone to push the car back?


It’s an automatic: the standard 4-speed.


Well, it would certainly make it easier with the e-brake off. (That is just one of the many reasons why you should use it!)

However, I still remain skeptical that a CR-V could do this to an automatic transmission vehicle from a standing start. Yes, if he was going 15 mph, he could do it with ease, but that would result in major body damage to both vehicles. If someone did this with a CR-V from a standing start, the engine would have been screaming at very high revs in order to be able to budge your car, thus leading me to think that either they did not move your car or the CR-V owner must be truly looney.

I would strongly suggest that you have your transmission checked for damage to the Park Pawl, just in case. And, you might want to use the search function on this site for all of the reasons why you should use your e-brake.


I agree. If you don’t have a huuuuuge dent in your car somewhere, I don’t think the Honda pushed it anywhere. An AWD CR-V could probably move an Outback, it’s not THAT heavy, but still, it would mess something up.

VDCdriver has a point about the park pawl maybe being damaged, but honestly, I doubt that it will be a problem.


I’ve seen this happen where the pushed car can be slid (drive wheels not turning) without breaking the tranny pawl, especially if the pavement is wet or there is some gravel under the tires. Look for skid marks and photograph if there are. Also, you can quickly check on an incline to see if the park position is still holding. If the pawl is broken, the car will drift in park. Good luck.


Did you contact your insurer? I certainly would, and report the information you have from the car that hit you. Then take it to the shop your insurer specifies and have them inspect it. That way you will know for sure.


Well, the CR-V left but the owner also left a reply/apology to a note I left under the wiper. It doesn’t appear that there is any dent, so it probably wasn’t the CR-V that did the shoving. But the Outback was clearly moved back, because I parked just in front of parking signage designating the beginning of the alternate-side parking area. It was a rainy day, so any trace of skids (if there were any, as suggested by Francizek) have been erased. So my question now is, “Could a larger vehicle have nudged my car back without leaving a visible mark?” I’m completely mystified.


It’s probably too late for this one, but should it happen again I suggest you dial 911 and get a police report to establish liability, then call your insurance company and file a report. The perp will then be responsible for any damages.

Some years ago I was sitting in my brand new minivan, in a parallel parking space, in the middle of the day with the engine running listening to the radio waiting for my (then) wife. Some troglodyte parallell parking pulled up in front of me, backed hard into my front bumper, pulled forward, and then did it again, leaving her car up against my front bumper. I got out, told her not to do that again, and her response was…unladylike.

Some people just do not care. Until the cops show up.


Mountainbike . . . I agree except that I believe that it is NOT too late to call the police and the insurance company. Document the event just in case the damage is more extensive than cosmetic. Rocketman


Please tell me the cops were called and she was charged…your forbearance is impressive! I probably would have been ungentlemanlike in that situation.