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Old 09-01-2008, 09:33 AM   #1
rsander5
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Default 03 Collision

Yesterday, someone hit my '03 Vue. Unfortunately, the car hit me square on the left (driver side) front tire. I was almost stopped; however, the other car was going around 15 MPH. From looking at the car, the tire was moved to the rear and was bent at approximately 20 to 30 degrees in at the top. The support bolt for the left strut was pointing towards the front of the vehicle.

It was interesting that neither the front nor side air bags deployed. (Makes me concerned on rather they would deploy on a high speed impact!)

When I had the car towed, there was a significant puddle of oil (at least a pint to a quart) coming from beneath the engine (could have been transmission or engine oil?)

The car is an '03 4 Cylinder FWD VUE.
The other significant damage was to the left side of the front bumper as well as the front left fender. Also, the wheel well sheeting was damaged.

My question, what things do I need to have the body shop look at to ensure that there is no mechanical issues after the repair, i.e, the replacing the transmission, steering assembly, etc.?????

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Bob Sanders

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:23 AM   #2
the_webers_inc
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Default Re: 03 Collision

Sorry to hear that. With what you said happened to the wheel position, I would be concerned with the integrity of the suspension, transmission, and sub frame of your VUE. It would be nice if you could have a Saturn Dealership assess the mechanical damage, but this is probably unrealistic. Will the other party's insurance be covering this? Be careful, as they will try to get the body shop to cut corners to save (the other party's insurance company) money.

I feel your pain, as I had two incidents with whitetail deer last year. Here is a picture from the first one:

It took out the front fender & liner, messed up the hood, front grille/bumper, headlight, and driver side door skin. This one came in at just under $5000 in damage. The next one involved 2 deer and was close to $6000 in damage. So in one year alone, 3 deer caused 11,000 dollars in damage to my VUE

both times, the impacts were frontal/side at 30~40MPH and no airbags were deployed. I have no doubt that if I were involved in an actual crash the airbags would perform as expected. In your case, the force of impact was too low to justify deployment.

My incidents, while costly, did not cause any mechanical damage to my vue. I am afraid that if too many things have been "tweaked", the cost of repair may be too great, and the insurance company will want to total it. Not what you want to hear I'm sure, but I almost lost my VUE in this fashion the second time.

Best of luck with getting your VUE back on the road. These are my personal thoughts, I am not an expert, not by a long shot. Keep us posted on the progress.

T. J.

...
2000 Saturn SL2 1.9L 5spd - Sold
2003 Saturn VUE 2.2L 5spd - Sold

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
OhioVueBoy
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Default Re: 03 Collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsander5 View Post
It was interesting that neither the front nor side air bags deployed. (Makes me concerned on rather they would deploy on a high speed impact!)
The air bags probably should not have deployed in that crash. Airbags actually fire on the principle of deceleration - since you were almost stopped you said, there was little deceleration of the vehicle on the magnitude that would cause them to deploy. Be very glad they did not go off... you want no part in that unless you really need them.

Quote:
When I had the car towed, there was a significant puddle of oil (at least a pint to a quart) coming from beneath the engine (could have been transmission or engine oil?)
Hmm, do you have a manual transmission, or a VTi? The driveshaft could have been shunted inside of the transmission, cracking the case or breaking the seals.
Quote:
My question, what things do I need to have the body shop look at to ensure that there is no mechanical issues after the repair, i.e, the replacing the transmission, steering assembly, etc.?????
They should be well versed in giving it the once-over. Definitely the struts (which should always be replaced in pairs), strut mounts, swaybar links, swaybar, brake plumbing, engine and transmission mounts, transmission case (if not the whole transmission), driveshafts, wheel, tire, hub, steering rack, tierods... etc.

Good luck with it!

~D.J.~

...
2012 Mercedes Benz C250 Sport Sedan
2008 smart fortwo Passion Coupe 8/28/2008 - 3/12/2012
2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: 03 Collision

It is a 5 speed manual with about 98K miles. This may seem high, but the majority of it is highway driving. Also, i started using full synthetic at about 50K miles and have always changed the oil about every 6K miles, well before the sensor light comes on. For the first three years, I got the service contract for free therefore, the oil was changed every 3K by the dealer.

I have been extremely happy with it. It does not use any oil, as was the case for my previous Saturn, SW2, and it gets an average 26 MPG for combined highway and city.

Thanks
Bob

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Old 09-01-2008, 11:09 AM   #5
04Vuesilver
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Default Re: 03 Collision

Few years ago I rear ended an Impala when I was doing approx 50mph. Both front airbags deployed even though I was the only one in the car. The subframe had to get replaced, the front bumper parts, hood, part of a frame rail, radiator, condenser, etc, even the alternator had to get replaced. The damage came out to $16k on my car alone and they didn't total it. Still drives just like it did new, minus some issues with the front end now that are not accident related.

I have heard of other cars being totalled simply because the airbags deployed. In such a minor accident, ok well not minor but you get the idea, they bags should not have deployed. They may have if you got hit dead square on the door, where you would have suffered more severe injuries as compared to hitting the tire.

It sounds to me like your axle got pushed into the trans, and at the very least popped a seal if not the whole trans. Front suspension sounds like it'd be about toast by now after this too.





All said, it is good to hear you are ok. Cars can be replaced. The car did its job in keeping you safe by absorbing the impact. Smile!

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Old 09-02-2008, 11:52 AM   #6
rsander5
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Default Re: 03 Collision

Update,
Talked to the body shop, and from a preliminary estimate:
Left fender
Front bumper
Front bumper support
Left marker
Left wheel well
Left support bracket
subframe (I am still not sure what the subframe is or what it looks like, anybody got a picture?)
Left strut (which I know should be installed in pairs.)
Sway bar

He is going have to tow into the garage to find the source of the oil leak.

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Old 09-02-2008, 12:18 PM   #7
OhioVueBoy
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 03 Collision

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsander5 View Post
subframe (I am still not sure what the subframe is or what it looks like, anybody got a picture?)
This is essentially the cradle that supports the engine and transmission as a unit and bolts them to the vehicle.

~D.J.~

...
2012 Mercedes Benz C250 Sport Sedan
2008 smart fortwo Passion Coupe 8/28/2008 - 3/12/2012
2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011

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