Published on July 27th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
When your side view mirror gets hit by a motorcycle
Sometimes on the road, the unexpected can happen. You could be the safest, most proactive driver out there, and you could still be a victim of a hit-and-run. All it takes it for one biker without road tax and insurance to miscalculate and wham! There goes your side-view mirror. And if the rider wants to stay out of legal and financial trouble, well, now you’ve got to shoulder the cost of repairs.
In these situations, many owners would feel a little hesitant to fork out a large sum of money for repairs. After all, it’s not worth the NCD penalty to try and make an insurance claim through your own policy. So, many of us will go to our local mechanic to get this relatively small repair done at a lower cost. And for older, simpler cars this is usually fine. However, with newer cars, it’s really not something we’d advise.
Matter of fact, a family member recently went through a similar situation with his Toyota Camry, which was still under warranty. We were asked to recommend an honest mechanic for the job, but our advice was this: go back to an authorised after sales centre and get it fixed. Here’s why.
Back in the day, cars were indeed a lot simpler. A little thing like this could be sorted out quite simply and affordably – the only concern would be matching the paint quality well.
But a NEW Toyota Camry with a broken side mirror? Think about what goes into that one part:
First, there’s the mirror itself. Your modern car may have a specially finished mirror that deals with raindrops or glare. It may be specially shaped to cover more of the vehicle’s blind-spot. This is no simple case of matching the shape of the mirror alone.
Then there’s the power adjustment motor, wing mirror turn signal, and blind spot monitoring system. Think about how much intricate wiring goes into just one side-mirror module alone. Your mechanic might know how it all comes together, and may even be able to secure OEM parts, but can he calibrate and get the electronics to work as intended? What happens if the installation results in other wiring-related gremlins?
So, you have an idea of how complex the job might be, but your mechanic convinces you that he’s able to do it. You’re convinced his price is unbeatable and the savings speak for themselves. You have to consider two more things:
- How will this repair affect future warranty claims?
- How will this repair affect future resale value?
As for future warranty claims, it’s very likely that claims can be legally denied if you don’t go to an authorised dealer for repairs. All Toyota dealers are equipped and prepared to honour warranty claims, but they have to protect themselves when things are out of specification.
That’s simply not part of the “warranty gamble” for them.
What about resale value. Now, if you get away with a clean job and the next buyer doesn’t detect the repair work, it may not be an issue. But say the next buyer is an experienced used car dealer or insists on getting it looked over by an experienced mechanic or body & paint specialist first. The moment this ‘hidden’ repair is discovered, you may lose your bargaining power, the resale value advantage of a Toyota or the sale altogether.
These are the reasons why I told my family member to go back to an authorised Toyota dealer for this “simple” repair. And after his repair was done, he had no regrets. The price was reasonable, and he drove away knowing the car was as close to factory condition as it could be, given the circumstances.