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Rear end damage

My 2007 Prius was rear-ended recently; about $8,000 damage, all body work and supposedly no frame damage.
What should I be watching for when I drive it after getting it back from the body shop?

The Prius is unibody…so the frame is part of the body.

$8,000 is significant damage. After it comes back I’d have it checked out thoroughly by an independent mechanic for mechanical soundness.

I’d Check Before It Goes In The Body Shop, Not After It Comes Out Of It. Not All Body Shops Are Created Equal.

These little cars have the rear wheels and axle beam close to the rear-end, don’t they ?
Would both rear wheels roll following the accident ? Did all doors open and close easily ? Well, no matter, the damage could still involve the rear alignment, anyhow.

As the car’s owner, you are the one that gets to choose the shop. Choose carefully and find one with the equipment and knowhow to measure and check all specifications and align the body as necessary.

Once the car is “repaired” and a problem is discovered it’s a little late to do much about it without a major hassle.

Have you checked out a shop ?
Can you post a picture of the wreckage ?


The Prius has independent rear suspension.

I thought he already had a shop and is getting it fixed.

“The Prius has independent rear suspension.” Sorry, I’ve Never Looked At One. Whether It’s Independent Or Not, All The Suspension Component Mounting Points Have To Be Located Precisely.

He doesn’t say anything about a shop other than when he gets it back from one. Regardless, I’d be at the shop for a little demonstration of how the car is to be checked against factory specifications and how it’s going to be aligned and repaired. Some shops have a huge investment in the equipment needed to do the job right.


I agree with you CSA…but MOST people have no idea what to look for or what to ask. And while I’m just a back-yard mechanic I’m not too familiar with EVERYTHING that’s involved these days. Some things I know what to look for, but not everything.

Also there are some shops that are large and have all the equipment…but unless you have qualified people to use all the fancy equipment the job isn’t going to do be done right.

Word of mouth is usually very good. Check other peoples cars who had work at the places you’re thinking about taking the car is good.

FYI from the person who wrote the question:
The shop I chose was recommended by the Toyota dealer with NO hesitation and approved by both my insurance company AND the one that was paying for the repairs (I was not at fault). The repaired car “looks like new” and I have not had any indication of, for example, misalignment. Both insurance companies said that if I used an approved shop, the work would be guaranteed as long as I own the car, as did the shop that made the repairs.

Sounds Good. I Don’t Think You’ll Have Any Problems.
What should I be watching for when I drive it after getting it back from the body shop?

After a few thousand miles, you’ll just want to make sure the tires are wearing normally, but I wouldn’t anticipate problems.