Damaged cooling system repair

  • 4 CYL
  • 140,000 MILES
Car hit large object in road and damaged the whole front of cooling and heating system. What exactly am I looking at replacing?
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Monday, August 9th, 2021 AT 1:08 PM

1 Reply

This is a job for the people at a body shop. They will inspect the damage and write up a repair estimate, usually at no charge. To be fair and consistent, they will list every part that needs to be replaced, and the standardized time allowance for that part of for a group of parts. That way you can compare estimates from multiple shops. The only variables will be the shop's hourly labor rate, and whether the people at one shop will replace broken parts vs. Repairing them. Given the age of the car, they may also find it less expensive to find used parts from a salvage yard.

With this "flat rate" estimating, you are charged for the time the various parts of the job should take. If a really experienced mechanic gets the job done faster, or multiple people work on the car at the same time, it will be repaired sooner, but you pay the same amount. If they run into problems or for whatever reason it takes longer than the time allotted, you still pay the quoted amount. This has been the standard billing practice for a real long time.

There's no other way to answer your question until you know which parts have to be replaced. This drawing shows the cooling system parts on the front of the car with a 2.2L engine. The parts most commonly damaged in a crash are the radiator and the fan assembly. Next would be the reservoir in a really hard crash. It's very unlikely the water pump gets damaged.
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Monday, August 9th, 2021 AT 4:51 PM

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