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Old 07-08-2009, 02:41 AM   #1
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Unhappy I hit a guard rail ! HELP

Pulling into a gas station I hit the guard rail that protects the gas pump. Driving away my car wobbled terribly I drove home extremely slow and today I will have to face the music. I have had excellent advice here in the past. Before they see me coming can anyone suggest questions I might ask? Thanks for any and all help. Judi

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Old 07-08-2009, 03:49 AM   #2
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Depending on your speed at the time of impact, bent wheel for sure and possible secondary suspension damage. You can have the wheel sent out to a company such as Keystone to be straightened and refinished, that's about a 10 day turn around if for a NY resident, company is in Pa, cost approximately $125 to 150. You can also order a wheel from wheel enhancement on the web.

Last edited by eightsandaces; 07-08-2009 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:11 AM   #3
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My advice is to find a good body shop that specializes in repairing high end cars and is highly regarded by the public. Don't take it to the Porsche dealer's body shop. Dealership body shops are 5th in the pecking order behind:

(1) new car sales
(2) used car sales
(3) service dept
(4) parts dept

The money trickles down and probably runs out after #3. At a collision repair shop, fixing wrecked cars is their #1 priority, not #5. Now the bad news is there are plenty of poor collision repair shops out there, so you need to do your homework. Check with your local Porsche club. Or give us your location other than NY and members may have suggestions.

And finally, don't be afraid to pay extra for a quality repair. You'll be reminded of a poor repair long after you've forgotten how much you saved.

As far as questions to ask, get several estimates and compare them. If they look vastly different, go back and ask all of them why. You don't need to know everything going in, just be sure you understand what they're planning to do. Differences might appear because 1 shop thinks they can fix an existing part while the other is going to replace it with a new (expensive) Porsche part. Either scenario is not wrong, but will result in a very different estimate. If we're talking about a fender, then it becomes a matter of what you want to do. If it's a suspension component, you may want to go new when your safety is involved.

Relax, stuff happens. If you find a good shop, they'll have you Box back to new before you know it.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:04 AM   #4
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"You'll be reminded of a poor repair long after you've forgotten how much you saved."

Boy howdy that sure is a powerfully correct statement!

Judith, if you are a local PCA member you can always contact them and ask if someone in the chapter can help you by putting a spare wheel and tire on your car to see if it's just the wheel or more damage exists. Porsche focused body shops may have an extra factory rim lying around too.

If you were in Houston, I'd surely be glad to pop one of my spare track rims on your car to see the full extent of the damage. Wobbly driving is a sure sign of a bent rim.

Visually determining if you bent a control arm is not nearly as easy to determine. They almost have to be removed and compared to a new one to see any difference when the bend is slight:

Bent control arm
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:03 AM   #5
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The most important thing

is to make sure the suspension is in perfect shape...your life depends on it. And of course the suspension must be attached to a frame that is straight or you'll never get things aligned correctly.

So the first thing I'd ask of a body shop is...I wouldn't ask but I'd go look and see how many Porsches and in what condition they have in their parking lot waiting for repair. Then I'd ask them what they use for frame measurement..IIRC there are jigs that Porsche sells and also laser measurement tools and either can be used. You want to make sure that the frame and all the attachment points for the suspension are true first off. And that should be done before they give you the quote as it will affect things immensely.

There is a high probability that if you hit the curb hard enough to bend a wheel that suspension pieces or even the steering got bent too. You want to make sure the shop is qualified to determine what is bad and that they will replace it with new parts...you don't want to risk your life running on "maybe this repair will last" parts.

The wheel is the least of your worries...and the least expensive.

IMHO, YMMV
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
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Cool Guard rail maven Judi

I had a towing company bring the boxster to a body shop. They recently fixed my daughter's Eos. Their work was amazingly fair. While the tow company was taking the car off the flat bed, several large shiny dark metal grey balls covered in oil remained on the ground. The driver was able to just push the tire in place after the crunch noise. Lastly this sight helped w/ a battery problem it saved $$$$ in an otherwise porsche repair financial raping. With a little knowledge and being female it is a must to prepare w/ some ammo.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:09 PM   #7
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Hmmmmm. Balls in oil? Not sure of size estimate, but sounds like wheel bearings set free from their races. Not good sign. Certainly worse than bent wheel.

Aluminum parts that make jack points so critical also deform on this kind of impact.

Re-read Mike Focke's comments. Good body work won't fix bent suspension.

Good luck. We will all be pulling for you.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:56 PM   #8
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If I were you I'd call your insurance company. They will assess the damage as a 3rd party and keep any shop you choose from ripping you off.

Unless you've got a $2500+ deductible, this is an insurance claim and that's what you have insurance for.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:08 PM   #9
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Dang stupid obstacles

I would go see and eye doctor or you need to slow down to under 50 before you make a gas turn. Glad you didn't take out the pump. Anyway sorry for your mishap. If you hit the obstruction with the wheel you could have bent the rim and you should be able to see this problem. Lower control arm made of aluminum does not take and impact very well either. If there is no body damage get a machanic to look at it first to see what has been damaged.

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