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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It finally happened...a deer ran into me on the way to work this morning. The car is drivable and I'm not leaking any fluids that I can see. Temps remain good. However, I can't open the hood and the passenger door is rolled as well.

I have insurance through progressive and they are stating this is a comp claim and I'm not at fault. They say I can take the car anywhere I want but they will only guarantee the service if I take it to a shop they have a contract with. The main problem is I live in a really small town and there aren't hardly any bmw's. The list they sent me includes a Jeep dealership. Should I take it there, or a local shop, and have a guarantee, or should I take it to a bmw dealership and not. Also, there aren't any good independents around either (that I know of). I live near Savannah, GA.

They also stated they can opt to use oem or non-oem at their discretion...do I have any leverage on that?

Does this seem fixable or more like a potential write-off?

Thanks
 

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Sorry to hear it.

It looks very fixable.

I'd take the time to read your policy very carefully - they owe you a repair and they don't get to decide where the repair is done. They can incentivize you to use a particular place (such as offering a guaranty, but any good shop will guaranty their work), but that's about as far is it should go.

On the other hand, what you want is a body shop that does very good work, whether they work on BMWs regularly really doesn't matter.

Good luck.
 

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If it were my car, I would spend time researching the best shop (whether it was an insurance preferred shop or not). In the past I've had 2 or 3 cars get repaired by body shops of my choosing that were not preferred by insurance and the work was always top notch and included a guarantee by the shop itself.
 

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First, sorry about your car =-/

Second, the reason they're saying you're not liable is cuz you didn't do anything to cause the accident; the deer hit YOU. Had you swerved to avoid hitting it, and hit a tree, landed in a ditch, etc, at THAT point, you'd be liable (they still cover you, but it's an at-fault accident, for failure to control your vehicle). Retarded, I know. But that's why you should always just hit the darn thing. And preferably head-on. Ppl typically don't die (or suffer significant injury) from hitting animals head-on. Most serious accidents occur when they attempt to swerve around it, and force a side/corner impact with either the animal (which isn't the best spot, vs hitting it head-on) or with another object (embankment, tree, ditch, etc).

Third, nothing against insurance companies, but they're in the business of making money. Period. So lemme translate what a "guaranteed body shop" translates to. They have a shop that guarantees THEM fast turnaround time and discounted prices. I'm NOT saying every guaranteed body shop is a crappy shop, but they TEND to be shops that use recycled and/or aftermarket parts (to keep costs down), won't blend as is necessary (ie will repaint just the fender and hood, vs in your case, you probably need the hood, BOTH fenders, and possibly BOTH doors repainted to blend the paint in perfectly), use bondo (vs metal glaze that will adhere to & cure to the metal, as if it was metal, vs causing an uneven poor surface), etc etc.

Your best bet is to take it to one of the high end body shops in your area, and here's the most important part. DO NOT LET the insurance company do an estimate UNTIL the car is at the shop, and IN THE PRESENCE of the body shop worker/repair guy. Why? Cuz on their own, the insurance company is gonna lowball and underestimate like CRAZY, causing you a headache and a longer turnaround time for them to go back & forth with the shop on the actual repair costs. With the body shop guy there, they'll duke it out there (no, I can't paint and blend just the fender; I need to do the door as well. No, I can't reuse that trim; I need new trim. Etc). Experienced high end body shops will know ALL about that.

AND, if the body shop is cool with you, make the check out to YOU, NOT the body shop (insurance company may not like that, but it's your RIGHT). Then you can shop around and get the parts at a discount (on the forum, from Bav Auto, etc), so you save some $$, and either pocket it, or put it toward some mods! :)

Just my $0.02

PS: If you're wondering where to find out about the high end shops in your area, check some of the car forums who's owners are fanatics... RX7Club, Supraforums, NSXPrime, 6speedonline, etc.
 

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I'd take it to the dealer for the quote, they will get you the highest quote and thus biggest insurance check, then take it to anywhere you deem reputable enough to fix it.

Its not very hard to fix these cars, theres nothing special about these bodies in panels, in fact, they are easier to fix body damage than a lot of domestic cars. I wouldn't overthink it. Just get a comitment from whatever bodyshop you take it to that they will fix it to pre-accident appearance
 

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Totally fixable, assuming OEM parts, you're looking at 3-4k parts + same for labor.

hood - $800
fender - $500
bumper - $500
headlight - $1000
tow hook cover - $32 (ok, just made that up, but sounds like what BMW would want for it. hiha)
misc - $500

labor - $2000
paint - $2000

Btw, how fast were you going?
 
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Totally fixable, assuming OEM parts, you're looking at 3-4k parts + same for labor.

tow hook cover - $32 (ok, just made that up, but sounds like what BMW would want for it. hiha)
The damage looks very fixable. As others have said, I would take it to a well known shop.

Believe it or not, BMW includes the tow hook cover on new bumpers! I was surprised when i recently bought a new one.

Since OEM was on your car, fight for OEM all day.

Even get into the argument that cheap M5 bumper knock offs have possible issues and replica lights are out of the question, etc. (I'm generalizing here, some are good)
More or less that pricing. A bit more if it's a dealer quote for new.

I would probably jump for used lights since 1 new one will look awkward with the aged driver one. (OC_e39r) has a refinished set for sale. Unless you can work the insurance co for 2 new ones.
 

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Totally fixable, assuming OEM parts, you're looking at 3-4k parts + same for labor.

hood - $800
fender - $500
bumper - $500
headlight - $1000
tow hook cover - $32 (ok, just made that up, but sounds like what BMW would want for it. hiha)
misc - $500

labor - $2000
paint - $2000

Btw, how fast were you going?
OP - So sorry to hear! Your damage looks similar to what happened to my car, but concentrated more on one side and a little worse on that side. Besides the obvious damage your inner fender (uni-body) will be pushed in a little, core support probably damaged a little, but may be able to be straightened if it didn't kink. The worst news is that you can't open the passenger door and/or the fender got pushed into it. Some of these issues that appear minor might actually be a very bad thing for the ability to be repaired correctly.

Bimmerule - Based on my recent experience your estimates are pretty close. If his insurance quotes using BMW OE parts at MSRP I see the following:

Grilles - $160 pair
headlight $1,200
bumper - $662
hood - $720
decals, hood - $32
fender - $402
misc - $250
porkchop - $100
foglight - $100

paint and labor $3,000 (this could be higher depending on rates and # of hours needed to straighten the body)

edit add after looking at the pics again:

inner fender liner - $95
foglight cover - $35
possibly washer fluid parts/hoses - misc

Good luck and make sure to keep another Anthracite on the road!

P.S. - I agree with what others have said in that YOU chose the shop and yes YOU should be getting the check in your name. Don't pay a dime until you are happy with the result. Also if you find a shop that will work with you, tell them you want to source a lot of the parts yourself. This way you can buy stuff from Tischer, etc. and save 20%+ on the parts estimate (as long as they wrote it using OE parts) The only things State Farm wouldn't buy new OE was the aux fan, radiator and condenser. The guy used Napa for the rad. and con. which were more expensive than the OEM Behr units I bought anyway. The aux fan he priced for me at new aftermarket, but then gave me the phone # and reference # for Tripplet to buy a used OE fan that he found was available and was the cheapest option. So work with the insurance guy and the shop guy. It's all about relationships and not getting walked on.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice! I was going 60-65mph.

At this point, it looks like I have two options:

1. take it to a certified bmw collision center in Jacksonville. This would be a three hour drive. I have a truck and trailer I can borrow. They guarantee to use all oem parts.

2. I forgot my wife's cousin has a body shop 1.5 hours from here. I could work with them and they supposedly do good work. They've been around for 40 years. My father-in-law hit a deer in his truck 10 years ago and he said he couldn't tell where their work began and ended and his truck was fairly trashed. If I get the check, it might be better to work with her cousin and source the parts myself.

I need to get the hood open the see whats going on with the shock tower and the dinan cai. The headlights were aftermarket as well. Not sure the brand as they were there when I bought it. I just happened to add a $2000 supplemental aftermarket parts addendum to the policy last week. I wanted to cover the cai/evolve tune/headlights/etc. that blue book - cash value if total loss coverage wouldn't cover.
 

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Choice of shop is always yours, a good shop will warranty their work for as long as you own the car. Aftermarket parts are probably allowed since it is in your policy which you signed, but if you ask nicely the adjuster will work with you on the parts. DO NOT bring your own parts to the shop since you are taking away 20% markup from the shop, this will only sour the relationship. Kind of like bringing your own food to a restaurant. Labor rates are tightly regulated by the insurance companies and there is not much profit in the left in this business. Find a shop which you think will do the best possible job with a warranty and the shop will do whats in your best interest dealing with the insurance company.
 

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I think I see a crease, but hard to tell with the dirt on the metal. New CAI setup is going to jump the bill up for sure! Has a shop or insurance estimator looked at the car yet?
 

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Any shop that you take it to will have some sort of warranty on the work performed. Take it to a shop known for workmanship and insist on OEM parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I ended up going on BMW's website and saw they have certified collision centers. There is one 3 hours from me that has good reviews. They only use oem parts. I talked with the insurance company and apparently they use a points system to determine a total write off. To total a car is must have 50, or more, points. With out even looking at mine it's at 45. nice...
 

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Sorry to hear about this man, hopefully all works well in your favor!

A few things that have worked for me in the past, they may or may not be your preference.

I ask the shop what paint they use, how many layers, how many layers of clear, how long to cure and at what temp. (I'm one of those engineer-nerds if you can't already guess.
I also ask, on the spot after the estimate, to get a tour through their shop. It gives me a good and quick idea of how their work is done. If there are parts and tools lying around here and there, I unfortunately assume that they are less meticulous than say the shop with everything in line. I guess I am anal about my cars and how I get work done on them. After all, if an artist doesn't take care of his brushes, how he is going to paint a masterpiece?

Best of luck.
 

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I ended up going on BMW's website and saw they have certified collision centers. There is one 3 hours from me that has good reviews. They only use oem parts. I talked with the insurance company and apparently they use a points system to determine a total write off. To total a car is must have 50, or more, points. With out even looking at mine it's at 45. nice...
Hmm. That doesn't sound too promising. If it looks like they are going to total it and you don't want to buy it back to fix yourself, definitely give Adam (Clemster) a call. Actually you might want to talk to him soon as he can help you with interacting with the insurance company in regards to buying the car back and then selling it to him for part out.

I hope it doesn't get that far though! Good luck!
 

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Some of the numbers being thrown around in here are quite high. I could get that car fixed minus paint for maybe $1800 in parts... that would include reusing what parts I can (ballasts off headlights for instance and repairing bumper)

However, the crease in the wheel well may be a problem. More detailed pictures will help give a better analysis
 

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If repairs go south at a non recommended shop, Insurance will blame the shop and say "You chose it, we can't do anything about it".
If repairs go south at a recommended shop, you can blame them.

They won't cover the aftermarket parts, and will (likely) replace them with ONLY OEM (or non OEM, but cheaper). That said new Dinan CAI is SoL.
That crease in wheel well is calling for a write-off. The labor for proper fix for that appears massive.

If the crease does not technically impair safety/handling/etc, then:
Find a most reputable shop around, recommended or not, or even semi-far away, as long as they do quality work.

I've had M5Board recommended shop do a total hack job on my car in terms of paint and mechanical and same happened at a insurance recommended shop.
Doesn't look like you got a lot of mechanical issues, just body work, that said find the best local body shop that does quality body repairs.

If you had more mechanical issues from accident, I'd advise to search far and hard, these standard body shops have no clue how these cars are put together and even if they use RealOEM or some other parts software, they have no idea what they are doing, and if you need the car properly assembled, chances are you know it better than they do. In my case, everything was a hack job at 3x different body shops. I lost a good deal of faith in humanity with body shops.

On another note, unless you LOVE you car as much as you need air, I'd have them write it off and take the cash. When write-off happens, make sure they pay you fairly by showing them what your car costs at market value, because they're "paying for replacement of vehicle" *, not "how much they'd like to pay you on planet Fairytale".

*After market parts not included in replacement unless extra clause to insure those was previously added on insurance
 

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Some of the numbers being thrown around in here are quite high. I could get that car fixed minus paint for maybe $1800 in parts... that would include reusing what parts I can (ballasts off headlights for instance and repairing bumper)

However, the crease in the wheel well may be a problem. More detailed pictures will help give a better analysis
For clarity, I believe most numbers thrown around are prices he might get from the insurance company as a payout and has nothing to do with the actual cost to repair his car. Also, the prices quoted for the headlight do not include a ballast, so he would have to swap that either way, unless of course it was damaged, in which case insurance co will have to pay for that as well.

As for the crease, it would be better to get a measurement from each side of the car to see how much it moved. My inner fender was pushed in about 1/4 - 3/16". I was able to straighten it myself with little more than a floor jack, rubber mallet, hammer, and a block of wood. It took about 1/2 hour to make it perfect, so if the crease isn't too bad and didn't bend too much else, a body shop should be able to straighten it for 1.0 labor.
 
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