Mechanics usually like fixing problems, but we usually don’t like having to fix problems caused by other mechanics doing poor quality work. Collision shops have to do some of the most meticulous repairs, so when they don’t do something right that a mechanic finds later, that’s not a good showing for them.
A Honda CR-V came into the shop because the adaptive cruise control radar wasn’t working right after a collision shop had done work on the car after a minor accident. The first thing I checked was the radar itself, and I could tell just by looking at it that the mounting bracket was bent, causing the radar to be out of alignment. If the bracket had been bent so slightly that you had to measure things to figure it out, I could see a non-Honda-specific shop not realizing it was a problem, but I could tell just by looking.
As I started taking the front bumper off to replace the radar bracket, I became less and less impressed with the quality of the shop that had done the work. The upper grille trim was broken in multiple places and wasn’t replaced with the rest of the bumper cover. But that wasn’t the worst part.
When I got the bumper cover off, I noticed a very bad mistake. All of the bolts that hold the front bumper structure onto the car were loose. All ten bolts holding the front steel structure, and all eight bolts holding the aluminum bumper bar were loose. When I tightened them I could tell it had been a little while since this work was done because there was the slight extra resistance of the bolts being a little rusty.
Clearly whoever was doing the work on this car was either distracted or was rushing and forgot to tighten the bolts they put in by hand. They should’ve double checked that they had everything tight before putting the bumper cover on. If this car had been in a serious crash with the loose bolts, I’m not sure what it would’ve affected the crashworthiness a large amount, but if the occupants had gotten injured and an investigator found these bolts were loose, that collision shop could probably be held liable.
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