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Should I repair my car myself?

I recently hit a pole/column in a parking garage driving my Scion tC. I have gotten estimates around $1600 to replace a fender, the front bumper, and one of the headlights. I am wondering if it is a good idea to fix it myself (with the guidance of a friend who has mechanical knowledge)? According to the collision centers, my headlight should be replaced because the plastic tabs have been broken where the screws attach underneath the hood. But the light still works and only has minor scratches on the side, and I cannot see a reason why it is necessary to get it fixed right now. Should I purchase the parts myself , do the work myself, and just pay to have it painted??? Do I need to replace the light?

Asked By: Hannah - 4/18/2007
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
The reason why the price is so "high" is that its not the parts and the labour to instal the parts that are costing, its straightening and repairing the damaged structure. What does the fender and bumper bolt to? Isn't there any chance that the body structure may have been damaged and is in need of repair? Bolting the... More
Answered By: gregthomasparke - 4/18/2007
Additional Answers (13)
go for it!!! cheers!!! specially ,that You have a friend helping.
Answered By: john m - 4/18/2007
 
Your friend with the mechanical knowledge would be the one to ask. They would have a better idea. If you price out the parts and check to see what tool you need to buy, you can then make a more accurate evaluation.
Answered By: the Figurer - 4/18/2007
 
Fix the body panels with some junkyard parts (ie a Scion that got totalled from getting hit in the side or rear). The light might be necessary to fix/replace because it might be angled too high, too low, or too much to one side or another. This can be dangerous to other drivers as well as yourself.
Answered By: alive962 - 4/18/2007
 
Heck yeah! ITs a pain in the butt, but it'll save you a TON of money and you'll learn a lot. Get a Haynes manual if its anything mechanical, having one of those has saved me thousands.
Answered By: Roadpizza - 4/18/2007
 
this could be a simple "bolt on the replacments" repair on the surface. But there can also be damage underneath the surface that might make the repairs more difficult than you thought. You and your friend need to be prepared to deal with pulling out, bending, and hammering if needed.
Answered By: psychoholiday1976 - 4/18/2007
 
Sure, if you can handle body work. But the car may need an alignment depending on where and how hard the car hit the pole/column... More
Answered By: Spee - 4/18/2007
 
It depends if you bent the frame, if you didnt it is just a bunch of screws, easy enough you can handle it if you have common sense.
Answered By: audi_coupegt - 4/18/2007
 
i own a repair shop and you probably could repair this one your self,it would save you a lot of money on the labor part of it that's for sure,but on the light you,ll have to use your own judgment on that one i cant see it so i really have no idea of how bad it is,but as far as buying the parts and putting them on your... More
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Answered By: dodge man - 4/18/2007
 
well i can tell you $1600 sounds pretty cheap to get a new fender, and a bumper, tC's are newer cars, your getting those parts from the dealer, by the time you buy those parts, and put them on, then take the car to get it painted, you'll probably spend more than $1600, just too paint those two parts it will probably... More
Answered By: Pat - 4/18/2007
 
the problem is that you can not Check for sub frame damage, where as a body shop would. i know the price is high but....
Answered By: mdk68gto - 4/18/2007
 
sure, just go to the junk yard and get all the stuff you need and start on it.all they are just bolts.you can do it,as long as you take your time at it.
Answered By: studmuffin - 4/18/2007
 
Scour the junkyards for a fender that is your color...then bolt 'er up. (The junkyards have a parts locator service, so if you go to one and they don't it, they should be able to find out who does). This way...no painting. If you get a different color or a new/aftermarket fender that needs to be painted, by the time... More
Answered By: Ed Norton - 4/18/2007
 
I think it comes down to how much you value your time, you can save a fair amount of money if you have the skills to repair your car. I personally have been involved in a few restorations and wild customizations as a assistant to a long time friend... More
Answered By: el Stupido - 4/18/2007
 
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