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  #1  
Old 01-24-2003, 08:04 PM
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ran over a semi trucks drive shaft, undercarriage damage, advice please

going south on I95 earlier today, directly in front of me, in the right hand lane, in the middle of my lane, was the driveshaft that a semi truck had just spit out. The only thing i had time to do was to center the car over the driveshaft and drive over it. I immediately heard and felt a very loud "thump" and looked behind me to see the driveshaft bouncing and my car pouring out black smoke. I immediately pulled over, and inspected the car. Initial inspection showed that the exhaust had been dented, and i could not see anything else. As i drove off, the exhaust was still black, oil pressure was good, temperature was good, and all seemed okay other than chunks flying out of the exhaust and it being black. This eventually cleared to being normal. I got to a gas station, jacked the car up, and inspected the undercarriage. There is a VERY large dent in the spare tire well, and the oil pan appears to be dented farther than it was before, in addition to the mulitple dents in the exhaust system. I got the drivers insurance information, and called them to open a claim. I have been given a claim number and was told that sometime next week they will send an adjuster to my school to inspect the damage. My concern is if the adjuster will be able to adequately appraise undercarriage damage, and if they can't, i have no clue where to take the car to be inspected. It seems to be running fine, less the spare tire poking out into the drunk due to the severity of the dent. Sorry for the long post, any advice is appreciated, thanks.
Ryan
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2003, 08:36 PM
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Re: ran over a semi trucks drive shaft, undercarriage damage, advice please

Quote:
Originally posted by RG5384
My concern is if the adjuster will be able to adequately appraise undercarriage damage, and if they can't, i have no clue where to take the car to be inspected. It seems to be running fine, less the spare tire poking out into the drunk due to the severity of the dent.
Ryan
It is the adjusters job to take the car to a place where he can inspect it properly. Just be there when he does and point out anything you think he has missed. And if I were you, I would get that spare tire off the "drunk". He's gonna sober up and he may not be happy about that!!
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2003, 08:41 PM
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I try and align road debris off center to avoid the oil pan, figuring swing arms and tie rods are cheeper than engines. I did hid my header pipe hard once and it broke an exhaust manifold to head bolt, then slowly the rest gave up.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2003, 09:14 PM
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take your car to a benz dealer and get an estimate for a proper repair. this will give you some ammo when the 'adjuster' tries to give you the shaft. ( hated the pun , but it fit in well ). make sure the oil pump, pick up , crank, seals, carrier ,driveshaft exhaust ,ect, ect, ect was not damaged. you may be sucking air into your oil galleys right now.

tell them you want a rental car durring the repair and SIGN NOTHING. getting your insurance company involved would be a wise move.

good luck, tom
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Old 01-25-2003, 12:08 AM
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Definitely get your own estimate of repairs. Certainly you need a new oil pan, and have the oil pickup checked, too.

If your oil pressure is OK I'd not expect any engine damage.

You need a new exhaust, don't settle for less the complete replacement (the black smoke was from all the soot knocked loose).

Peter
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2003, 02:22 AM
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thanks for all the replies guys. So i assume the general consensus is to take it to a dealer myself and have it inspected BEFORE the adjuster gets there?? Also, would it not take more of a mechanic and not a body repair man to inspect the oil pan? i'm sure i can check if the dipstick is okay myself lol, but from what i've read my oil pickup/sump/pump could be damaged?? man, if thats the case that would royall suck. The car has to be driven from cocoa beach to jacksonville on sunday night or monday morning, so i sure hope nothing mechanical is wrong.....Now i'm kind of worried. I drove the car for about 1.5 hours after the incident(to get to cocoa beach) and all guages seemed fine, and the car seemed to run fine afterwards. In all honesty, other than the oil pan, i may just pocket the rest of the money, as i dont see it as that big a deal, and i might be able to hammer out the spare tire well from the inside, sand downt he outside myself and respray the undercoating protection(already have the spray can). Thanks again, i'm still royally irritated and upset about the entire incident, how can an 18 wheeler's drive shaft "fall off" without any sort of warning or symptoms............... I personally think it was lack of maintenance(or care) that caused this entire thing to happen.............. Thanks again,
Ryan
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2003, 06:02 AM
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This sounds like money in the bank!!!

Insurance regs allow you to collect the cash instead of repair

Getting written, sky-high dealership estimate is good first step... but be forwarned that insurance company can also get its own estimates of repair - and if dispute arises, then court will award estimated damages based on average of at least 3 repair shop written estimates.

The car??? dont worry about it..... black soot could have been mufler dust... If oil system was disturbed it would show up on guages..... But you sure as hell better be checkin the oil and watching the guages.

Otherwise as you've said - you can bang out the trunkwell with a hammer yourself...... do the same thing to the oil pan - it wont mind.

But dont repair the car youself until cash arrives from insurance..... that means no spray paint, no nothing.

With luck you can score $1500 for complete mufler, new oil pan and trunkwell dent.... taaake the cash!

Last edited by 300SDog; 01-25-2003 at 06:24 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2003, 10:26 AM
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when you get your independent appraisal, it probably wouldn't
hurt to take pictures of what you're claiming is damaged just in
case you need it later. hopefully you'll end up with an adjuster
who'll treat you right (yeah, right!) -- maybe.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2003, 12:24 PM
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I am probably going to regret this but...

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Make sure that you are treated fair by the insurance company. I am not saying that you would but don't gouge them just like you don't want to be gouged. Unless the truck driver dropped the drive shaft on purpose so you WOULD hit it then it is still an accident.

Be prepared for the adjuster to more than likely "low-ball" the damage estimate. Have all your "ducks in a row" and push the adjuster to treat you right. If MB repair shops normally do your repairs then let them give you the estimates for repair. If Billy Bob's Benz Barn normally does your repairs, because he's FAIR, then get BBBB to give you an estimate for repairs. You need to be taken care of in this matter. You never can tell when YOU might have a claim taken against your insurance.

BTW, if the truck driver has State Farm Insurance then please be easy on him. I don't want to have to help him pay for your repairs. :p
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