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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My problem is a stupid driver (me), and my complaint is he should have known better. I turned in too soon in exiting the bank drive-through last month and scrapped the righe rocker panel and dinged the wheel. Not too bad I thought, just $$$. My dealer recommended a local (to him) shop in Chattanooga that was Porsche Certified so I took it there for an estimate and the insurance paid me. One wheel ($2400) plus the rocker panel and paint and labor was about $3000 total. So I'm out $500 for the deductible. The shop gave me updates via text as to when it would be ready, and I was planning to go get it two weeks ago when the morning of the expected finish date my text showed another month. Calling the adjuster I found out they had discovered damage to the floor pan behind the rocker which opened a huge can of worms.

The pan is aluminum, so it cannot be straightened on the frame alignment puller like steel. I went up to visit and my car was in multiple pieces, front and rear bumper covers off, rt. front fender removed, and the tech was getting ready to remove the door. Seat and carpet will also have to come out, new floor pan installed, and he explained in great detail how the aluminum and steel are bonded together. Its a complicated and expensive process, and the estimate shot up to over $12,000. My insurance had not at that time approved it, but it will once they are shown the Porsche approved method of repair, so I've been without my car 3 weeks and counting, two more to go if the parts arrive on time. The floor pan has to come from Germany unless they find one at a dealer in the U.S. and I've not heard if they did.

So I'm telling this mostly to give you guys a heads up on the time and expense involved in repairing our newer cars with aluminum bodies. The tech said even Honda and toyota are moving to this assembly process as the quest for weight reduction continues. They add more electronic stuff to the cars all the time and its a constant fight to reduce weight in other ways to offset these new marvels. Combined with gov't mandated items (backup cameras being the latest) the days of a 2500# car are long gone unless you drive a Smart car (is that really a car?). So be prepared or get smart yourself and don't drive dumb like I did.
 

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Wow....that really sucks. Feel bad for you. Hopefully insurance continues to cooperate. It's also hard to believe these cars, and most others, seem so damn fragile. Even the slightest bump seems catastrophic when it comes to repair costs. Dent a bumper just a few years ago....$400. Now do it and it's $10,000 by the time they replace all the cameras, sensors, impact bumper support parts and cover and god knows what else. Stay strong and good luck.
 

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Oh man, so you hit a wall AHEAD of the rear wheel? Thought you just hit the rear wheel and fender behind it. A picture would have explained it better;). Anyway, seems like you hit in front of the rear wheel first, correct? Also not clear what exactly needs to be done, but sounds like the floor pan is divided in left and right, for what you described. What a drag, but the good news is the shop checked things carefully, and found that damage on time. Insurance should pay, but the bad news is the amount of dismantling involved. Hopefully everything will be put back together without an issue. Hopefully no suspension damage, but an alignment would show that (make sure it's done). Good luck, and keep us posted. And yes, a momentary distraction can have those consequences. I had one of my own and hit both wheels and damaged the suspension in front, and felt so bad for my stupidity that I paid out of pocket the $4K+ to fix it, but it was my beater car. Also it was probably cheaper in the long run due to the inevitable 3-yr premium increase due to such accident. Happens to the best of us, but definitely a harder lesson on a nice car. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hit the rocker panel right behind the front wheel, scrapped all the way down the panel and caught the rim of the rear wheel. It hit hard enough to drive the floor pan in a couple of inches. Tech said his goal is to repair it so the dealer will never be able to tell it. He said part of the problem is the tightness of our cars is such that Porsche uses air pressure sensors for the side airbags and if the integrity of the floor pan is compromised the bag might not inflate in a crash if not repaired correctly. He seems to know his stuff so I'm not worried, just anxious to get back in my car. But I told him to take as long as necessary to do the work right. Yeah alignment goes without saying. I did drive the car for 3 weeks before they could get it in the shop and everything felt OK from that standpoint.
 

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Thanks for the clarification. Yes, hitting the pan behind the front wheel is a problem on any unibody vehicle, unfortunately. But an aluminum one makes it worse indeed. Sorry for your troubles, but I bet just like me, it won't happen again. Ha ha. Sounds like that shop knows what it's doing, so hopefully all will be well. By the way, do you now know where exactly is the side airbag sensor you mentioned? Just curious. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, he showed me the sensor, high up on the door panel, just below the window about midway front to back. The shop owner has one big Bay devoted to his Porsche race cars, so I think they will fix mine correctly.
 

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Well, at least there won't be an airbag deployment on the Carfax. Text Font Line Screenshot Parallel


Just kidding, as that really sucks. It is staggering to realize that small an accident costs about 1/6 of the cost of the vehicle. Strange times we live in, or more accurately, strange cars we drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, there are no low-cost fender-benders anymore. All those parking gizmos and cameras are nice to have but when someone parks by feel and you are the feel-ee the damage is expensive. I don't even want to see my car now that is is pulled all apart, seat and carpet out, entire right side body panels removed, etc. But I have total confidence that the shop will do an excellent job, they have some pretty impressive referrals and a client list that's a who's-who of Chattanooga. My car is peanuts compared to some of the 911's they work on, and the repairs are undetectable when finished. I hate that it happened, and it will of course show up on a CarFax in the future since the insurance company is involved, but at least I'll have the Porsche-Certified repair to fall back on, and I didn't buy this car to make money on or flip, but to DRIVE and enjoy. Now if I can just get it back so I CAN drive it! Its as bad as when I was waiting on it to be built and delivered, probably worse since I know what I have now and am mission out on the enjoyment I get every time I get behind the (GT Sport Design) wheel.
 

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There is a link. Here it is, backwards: Expensive repair. Using Aluminum to cut weight. Had to reduce weight to meet pointless CAFE standards. Government run amok.
 

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OMG, I can only imagine how sick you felt when the extent of the damage was revealed. The only silver lining to this story is that your car is in the hands of a certified Porsche body shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just to give an update: I went up to Chattanooga two weeks ago just to look at my car, both front and rear bumper covers off, rocker panel off, front fender off, looked really grim. I called yesterday to check on progress, they have the new rocker installed and are waiting on some more tubes of Porsche bonding agent (fancy name for glue) that cost $200 each. Seems one tiny tube was supplied with the parts, not nearly enough, and the insurance adjuster agrees more is needed so they are now on the same page and everything will be paid w/o me having to dip into my funds beyond the $500 deductible. I'm still somewhat hopeful I may get the car back Friday, but that depends on how quickly the glue tubes arrive. I have a nice Cayenne to drive in the meantime, but it is an auto and sits high, I'm missing my low-slung 6 speed Cayman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After 2 months I got my car back and it appears to be a perfect repair, plus they did a complete cleanup too, never had that from a body shop before. The only downside was the smell from the paint and other products used in the process, but it's quickly going away. They also aligned it and I'm enjoying my car again.
 

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After 2 months I got my car back and it appears to be a perfect repair, plus they did a complete cleanup too, never had that from a body shop before. The only downside was the smell from the paint and other products used in the process, but it's quickly going away. They also aligned it and I'm enjoying my car again.
Great to hear you got your baby back with the paint in as-new condition. Now go out and enjoy driving it!

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 
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