My Car Hood Needed Repainting

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So, I’m driving along on a Saturday night, on a divided highway with three lanes going each way.  There’s plenty of cars.  In fact, I’m in the middle lane, and having just left a stop light, the car to my left is slightly ahead, and the car to my right is slightly behind.  We’re up to about 40 mph, which is legal.

WHAM!

There was the briefest observation of a deer head illuminated by my front left headlight, followed by a loud noise and a pretty hefty bump as the left side of my car lifted but didn’t quite get airborne.  Oh, and there’s that airbag in my chest along with the wonderful odor of the gases and particulates that inflated it.  For a system that triggers and activates in 1/25th of a second, I guess I shouldn’t complain. 

I’ve long prepared myself mentally that should “something” happen while driving, my first priority, assuming I’m alive, is to maintain my lane and not make matters worse by overreacting.  Health systems seemed fine; in fact, if the collision caused my body to move forward, as physics suggest that I should, I wasn’t aware of it.  Maybe the airbag did the trick, but there was nothing in the event that spoke of a real disruption to my control over the vehicle or risk of harm.  From the vehicle standpoint, the immediate good news was that everything seemed to be working – steering and brakes, particularly.

The car to my left speeds on, having just missed the deer (or vice versa) and is the lottery winner for this night.  The car to my right zoomed on, but the one behind it had seen what had happened and slowed a bit.  So I slow and wait for the cars behind us all to sort themselves out in the disturbance in the Force of Traffic, and finally manage to find a safe place to pull over about a quarter of a mile later.

It’s a dark lot, and with the assistance of my phone’s flash… the damage doesn’t seem too bad. Replace the bumper assembly, repaint the left front fender, and fix whatever is leaking.  And there’s a fair amount of short single strands of deer hair.  Weird.  You’d think they’d blow off rather than stick like fiberglass strands. The police respond and confirm that I’ve killed a buck but, alas, of undeterminable points.

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Returning the next morning, after having called the insurance company, I return for further assessment.  The car continued to leak a bit, but all in all, the Murano held up pretty well.  I’m 1) alive 2) unbruised, uncut, and unburnt from the airbag deployment and 3) likely to be inconvenienced for a week to 10 days for what seems to be minor repair needs (figuring a week plus a 3 day annoyance factor). 

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Well, how about that, there’s also this crack in the plastic grille on the left side of the car.  And a slight indentation on the hood.  Oh, and my seat belt doesn’t work well. Whatever.  In any case, I’m fortunate that the rascal went under the car rather than over the hood.

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Three weeks later…

PART COST
Front Bumper cover $330
Front Bumper Chrome strip $49
Front Bumper Lamp Cover $96
Front Bumper Underbody $63
Front Bumper Energy Absorber $62
Front Grille $195
Front Lamp Assembly Left $260
Front Lamp Assembly Right $260
A/C Condenser $94
Steering Column Switch Housing $180
Restraint System Retractor $191
Driver Air Bag $740
Restraint System Diagnostic Unit $876
Restraint System Impact Sensor $290
Restraint System Belt $191
Radiator Support $616
Radiator Assembly Reset System $75
Misc Paint and Materials $230
Radiator $330

Parts: $5,128.  Total after labor, fees, and taxes, $6,600, for a deer that seemingly caused minor damage.

But!!!  For a $250 deductible, not only are all the bug guts and blemishes gone, but also the rock dings and dents of 8 years of travel.  Spiffy! 

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