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Opinion After Accident

So here is my problem. I was recently in a accident where another person slammed right into my front tire on my 01 Honda Civic. I took the car to a body shop to repair, and the only mechanical work that was done was install a new tire. Everything else was body work. So I’ve been driving the car around for a few days, and have noticed a weird noise. Yesterday, the noise became unavoidable and I took it back to have it looked at.

They tell me that I am missing a bolt from my brake caliper on that wheel. The auto body shop says this could not be caused from the accident, b/c the bolt is just gone. It’s not bent or broke, but just gone. My take on this was…I have had no issues with this wheel until the accident, couldn’t the accident have broke the bolt and the last few days the bolt has been working its way out.

Is my logic flawed? Is the body shop right? Can you lose a caliper bolt from the brake because of a accident? Thanks.

That bolt was missing before the accident. Go talk to the people who last did a brake job on your vehicle.


I agree with Tester that the bolt was missing before the crash, but I don’t understand why the noise didn’t appear before the collision.

Have you had any brake work done to this car, and if so, when?

Car crashes break things, but they don’t cause bolts to back themselves out and disappear. If you said the brake bolt was broken I could believe it, but a missing bolt has nothing to do with the collision.

I haven’t had a brake job in a long long time. I typically only bring the car in for oil changes – and they always put on the ticket “Inspect front and rear brakes”, but inspecting the front breaks doesn’t mean taking apart the caliper bolts right?

I’m thinking maybe it is possible that the bodyshop took the bolts out to inspect for more damage and didn’t put it securely back in, and it eventually fell out of the last few days?

I like that idea. Or there is the possibility that the wheel hit the brake caliper and stretched that bolt just a little, and that let it get loose and come out.

If the bolt was missing from the accident your car would have looked like a train wreck. Since the caliper was retained with only 1 fastener the impact jarred it out of position.

BUT, since the impact was enough to need replacement of a tire a front alignment should have been on the estimate (but not a 4 wheel alignment).

meaneyedcatz, can you elaborate. I don’t understand…“look like a train wreck”. Are you saying it would have needed a huge impact to knock that bolt out?

Also, the autobody shop did do a 4 wheel alignment. Does that mean anything in this case?

4 wheel alignment is good, yes it means alot.

…“look like a train wreck”. Thats a term I use when a vehicle has been hit extremely hard.
it’s akin to …the front bumper was in the back seat/ the radiator was in the glove box/ used paint won’t save this car, etc.,etc.

meaneyedcatz, well would someone remove a caliper bolt when doing a 4 wheel alignment. I’m not sure what that has to do in this situation.

There is no need to pull a caliper bolt for an alignment. You might be slightly confused since I did not say a bolt was removed. If there was a bolt missing from the impact it would be from suspension parts broken and missing.

When you bring the car in for a oil change and they do the 27-point check…yadda…yadda, and inspect the front and rear breaks, they do not remove the caliper bolt do they?

JMHO here, but it’s quite possible to have a bent suspension component after an impact like this; and alignment or not.

Often when a wheel gets bent it’s very easy to also suffer a bent lower control arm, bent wheel bub, bent strut or strut tower, etc.
Damage like this can exist, not be noticeable to the naked eye, and may not show up on an alignment; depending on the expertise and attitude of the person doing the alignment.

It’s debateable as to whether a missing caliper bolt was caused by an accident. I’d say it was at least possible if the wheel was damaged enough to hit the bolt and knock it loose. A few miles of driving could have shaken it loose.
Assuming no one at the body shop took it loose for some reason…

They do not need to remove the caliper bolt

don’t understand why the noise didn’t appear before the collision.

I do, I do!

We all are more sensitive to our cars after something like this and a little noise that we did not notice for the last year, suddenly becomes an issue.

I agree, not likely related to the accident.