Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Damaged 2005 Acura TSX

Recently my 2005 Acura TSX was hit by another car. This is my first real accident ever. Anyway, skipping all the insurance mess I have to deal with, I had my car estimated at 3 different locations in San Diego, California:

1) Penske Collision Center - This place looked very professional. I believe they specialize in Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Acura, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Mazda, and Audi. Some interesting facts include: "Largest Collision Center in Southern California", "60 Body Shop Bays", "9 Paint Booths - 50% Faster Drying Time", "Computerized Laser Frame and Measuring System", and "Infrared Paint Drying System (50% faster)".

However, I couldn't help but notice that everytime I asked how much something was going to cost, the lady who looked at my car kept responding, "I'm going to have to put it in my computer and see..." In the end, the estimate ended up to be almost $5000! I think it's because the estimate had down replacing my rear rim and tire (estimated to be ~$850 of the total cost). Then the breakdown of "parts" was: Body Labor 42.5 hrs * $54/hr = $2295, Paint Labor = 14.3 hrs * $54/hr = $772, Mech. Labor = 2.2 hrs * $135/hr = $297, Paint Supplies 14.3 * $36/hr = $514. Estimated to take 2 weeks. Wow!

2) Bumper Doc - This place was smaller and more personal. The guy who looked at my car seemed very knowledgeable and friendly. When I asked him, "how much?" He responded, "Not cheap, somewhere between $16-1800". None of this, let me get back to my computer before giving you a number thing. The estimate came out to be about $1700. They were not going to replace my rim and tire, but instead just repair it. Their breakdown was: Body Labor = 15 hrs * $51/hr = $765, Refinish Labor = 9 * $51 = $459, Paint Materials = $210. Estimated to take 1 week.

3) Miramar Collision Center - This place was where I had to bring my car for my insurance to appraise it before any work is done. The appearance seemed ok, not super professional like Penske, and not friendly & personal like Bumper Doc. It just seemed like the place you would go to if you just need your car fix and didn't care who did it. Their estimate was the lowest of the 3... $1625. Their estimate did not involved replace my rim & tire, just repairing. Their breakdown looked like this: Body Labor = 18.2 hrs * $46/hr = $837, Refinish Labor = 7.1 hrs * $46/hr, Mech. Labor = $68. Estimated to take 4 days.

This is how I would rank the shops:
1) Penske - They just seem to really know what they're doing. Their cost is high, but since I pay a $500 deductible either way, the cost is the same to me. I just want the job done right and my car as "perfect" as it was before the accident.

2) Bumper Doc - They seem nice, friendly, and honest. I would take my car here if I had to pay out of my own pocket.

3) Miramar Collision Center - I read two bad reviews online and am not sure I want to risk taking my car to this place...

Here's the damage to my car:


Anonymous said...

Looks like we have a similar car. 05 Carbon Grey Pearl TSX. My car got hit by hail last summer and almost cost 5 grand to fix it. One question. How will they fix the rim. Can they gurantee it will balance correctly after their fix.

dalieu said...

Wow! $5k because of hail? Not covered by insurance right?

As for your question, none of the places I went to said exactly how they were going to repair the rim during the estimate. But it's an interesting question, I will try to find out more when I bring in my car to Penske.

Will post a comment as soon as I find out.

Anonymous said...

It was covered by the Insurance Company. I had to pay the $500 deductible though. There were few hail storms here in Minnesota last summer. Don't know what the car dealers do though. Most of their inventory is sitting outside!
BTW am looking for a rear trunk spoiler. Any wesites you can suggest to buy from.
Great Blog.

dalieu said...

I have bought a couple things off here before:

Nothing big like a spoiler though. Since, I have nothing to do with them, I can't guarantee anything and everyone's experience with them will probably be different.

What I do suggest is a forum site like:

You can check out the "black market" section to see if anyone is selling theirs. Or even just ask the same question and get tons of opinions. They can even recommend specific ebay sellers to deal with if you're into ebay.

Sorry, no specific answer here. Good luck!

dalieu said...

I asked Penske when I dropped off my car and they said they will put the rim and wheel on a machine to see if it's balanced. At least that's what they say. My advisor, who is not the same person as the estimator, was very knowledge and took the time to answer every question I had.

I will get my car back next friday.

Anonymous said...

Cool..thanks for the spolier advice.
ANy pics on the ZDX yet?

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