My daughter is a senior in Anthropology at OSU. She got a used Honda CR-V a year ago that she loves, and was pleased when she was awarded a parking space for it that w as not next to the dumpser (which was instead car over). About 10 days ago she got a real life lesson in primate behavior when someone set fire to the dumpster. A couch next to it then caught on fire. This spread to the next car next to hers, which was completely consumed in flame. Fortunately the fire crew came before the gas tank exploded.
After the site was cleared the next day she examined her car. She found new scratches all over that side, soot on the hood and windows. She noted the tires on the drivers side, next to the flames, were now “whiter” than the passenger side. She also found that the battery was dead. No turnover, no door locks or lights. She called AAA. AAA jumped the car. She let it run for 4 hours to charge the battery. However, after this period the car still would not start.
The next day she called or a tow truck and had the car towed to the Honda dealer. There, she asked for a complete evaluation of the car, and an assessment of the likely damage to the car and any future safety or maintenance risk that she may now face. After a few hours in a coffee shop, she returned and was told:
- The battery was replaced and now working fine.
- An object was found in the left drivers side tire. This was removed, and the site patched.
- The care was washed. Yes there are possibly new scratches, and more on the side of the fire, but there is nothing to do about them. The paint “should be fine.”
- There were no other problems or risks.
As my tag name (Worry wart Dad) suggests, I am worried that this is the wrong answer. My daughter is at the stage of independence where she wants to make decisions for herself, and has chosen to trust the Honda dealer and mechanic that looked at the car, and overrule my feeling that she should dig deeper. It is her car - I get that.
Perhaps she and the mechanic are correct, but I am nagged by several fatherly questions:
My questions are:
- Can we be sure that this is still a safe car?
- Even if things seem to be working now, is there likely to be damage to specific components that should be evaluated or replaced? If so, which components?
- What about those tires? Wouldn’t the intense heat be likely to do something that creates risk of future failure (slow or sudden?) Shouldn’t the tires on the driver’s side be replaced and not patched?
Please give me some insight and some ammunition.
Worry wart Dad