Friday, April 10, 2009

The Teenaged Driver and Collision Repair

We went through it with our first son. I was hoping to avoid it with the second, but it wasn't to be. Our younger son had his first accident on Friday the 13th (in March). He rear-ended an SUV when a school bus stopped to let students off. Apparently he didn't see the Stop sign on the school bus come out and didn't expect the SUV to stop.

The good news was no injuries. The other good news was that there really wasn't too much damage to the other vehicles (there were actually three involved- my Mercury Tracer that my son drives, the SUV he hit, and the other SUV that the first SUV rolled into).

The Tracer had more significant damage and was not drivable. It was towed to our house and put in my side of the garage; my car has been parked in the driveway ever since. Grrr. The radiator was pushed back into the engine.

Headlights busted up.

You can see the two holes from the twin exhaust in the bumper cover.

The biggest bit of damage on the Tracer is that the radiator was cracked, which is why it wasn't drivable. I've spent the last few weeks taking the broken bits off the car, fixing the things I could fix, trying to bend things back into place, that sort of thing.

I had to pull the radiator mount back from the engine and get the radiator out.

The broken radiator.

Yay, Bondo! I used Bondo & fiberglass to fix the fan shroud and air cleaner.

I got the new radiator in tonight. I have a few other things to put back in, then it's time to start it up and see how it runs. After that it will be time to get the hood and headlights fixed up.


Rat Trap Press said...

That's terrible! At least you're able to fix most of that stuff yourself. That radiator shroud repair is awesome!

Doohickie said...

I just hope it holds up.

Felicia said...

I second that first comment!

jkirlin said...

I do that to my cars all the time. Drive them into things, not fix them after. I'm glad no one was hurt.

Big Oak said...

I'm also glad your son wasn't hurt. It's also good you have a transverse mounted engine. A regular mounted engine would have had damage to the timing chain and probably the crankshaft, the camshaft, and maybe even the valves. Hope you are able to get many more miles from that car.