2002 Kia Optima 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 85000 miles
My car was recently in a fender-bender ... It's driveable, but the hood is popped up a bit on one side. However, it still latches and unlatches, and the headlight -- though it's pushed in -- still works.
My insurance company declared it a total loss because of the damage from the wreck and previous scratches and dents, but I plan to keep it. I'm told it will pass state inspection as-is, and I don't care how it looks, so I'm not interested in doing any more repairs than necessary.
My question is, ARE repairs necessary? Could the hood not closing normally create some sort of problem in the long term -- for example, excessive water leaking in during a storm?
My main concern is safety. With the hood slightly up the airflow pushing up on the hood is extremely high, especially at higher speeds. Depending on the damage to the hood latch etc the hood could come flying up and smash your windshield and block your view.
It will also change the characteristic of the airflow under and over your car. This may not seem a big deal but cars are designed with airflow in mind. This may cause lift to the front of the car which could possible affect your steering. At high speeds the air could get up under the car and cause it to float and possible a major accident.
More on airflow. If you look at the front of the car the openings, panels etc are designed to direct the airflow to certain areas. Around the suspension and into the engine. This not only keeps the engine cool but also affects your sensors on the engine that are reading the information.
Rain water. Yes. Over time it may get into the pulley's etc. But to me right now that is not as critical as the airflow.
Unless the firewall or front area that seals around the doors or windshield was damaged etc there shouldn't be any water that gets into the
This is my suggestion and everyone has their own. I suggest since you don't care about the looks then go to the local body shop and tell them you want the hood to at least sit flush. You are not wanting it to be pretty just functional.I would think if you checked a couple of shops you could find one that would do it pretty cheap.