Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Fix-It Story

Yesterdays post about repairing a tire and my comment about living in a disposable culture brought back the memory below from the time when my son and daughter were teenagers,

My son bought a small car that was within his financial means. It was economical, clean, ran well and looked good. One weekend my daughter was driving it when another young person hit her on the passenger side front bumper. The bumper was driven to the left several inches and the right front fender was dented. Nothing serious.

I took the car to a repair shop and was quoted $1,200 for repair to replace the bumper and fender. I asked why the bumper couldn't be reused since on the bumper was undamaged, the brackets were bent and why the fender couldn't be straightened, filled and painted. The response was "We don't do that. We replace parts."

I decided my son and I would repair the car. We lined up the bumper with an electric pole, turned the wheels at the correct angle. did a couple slow tests without hitting the pole and prepared to force the bumper back in place. When we were confident we had the right angle I hit the pole hard and the bumper moved. We repeated this a couple times until we had the undamaged bumper close to it's original position. We had to do this in order to get a wrench on the bolts that fastened the bumper brackets to the frame. We removed the bumper then removed the bent brackets and straightened them. I took the brackets to a local shop and had them welded in the spots where the metal had torn.

We hammered the fender back in shape and completed the repair using an epoxy body filler. The last step was to get the car painted. We ordered the painted and I took the car and paint to a friend who painted vehicles.

In the end the car looked as good or better than before the accident. The total cost of repair was $200. My son and I paid for this in cash rather than getting the insurance company involved and raising premiums.

I have only good memories of this experience, laughing with my son as we prepared to ram the electric pole and working together to fix the damaged fender.


Blogger Regenia said...

I like this story. I try not to get rid of anything without recycling it or asking if it can be used another way. Just a game I like to play. I actually keep the bag within a cereal box and reuse it as many times as possible. It is wax paper, isn't it? I learned that kind of thing from Mom. She and any who went through the Depression were good at alternatives.

10/10/2011 06:56:00 AM  

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