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Thread: 2004 Rav4 Minor Rear Collision Repair

  1. #1

    Default 2004 Rav4 Minor Rear Collision Repair

    Hello all! I am a new member and was wondering if anyone would be willing to give me advice. I'm a 16 year old guy, so naturally I managed to wreck my beautiful Rav4 2004 with only 73K miles within like 3 months. I managed this because parking decks are my worst enemy and I didn't see that pole behind me until it was too late... and now my car's messed up in the back. It's pretty much all superficial, the glass is ok and the door still opens closes locks fine, etc. But the tire cover (hard cover of course, being the L) is slightly cracked and badly scratched, with one of its clips broken off, and the back door itself was dented in 2 spots when the tire pushed in on it, causing the paint to peel off one spot.

    Needless to say, I'll be more careful backing now.

    Anyway, I'm pretty pissed off at myself, but I figured it was good that I managed to only hit a pole, not somebody's car, and that it was in the rear. Then I took it to a Collision Place to have an estimate, and it was a mere 3,000 DOLLARS. They want to replace the entire rear door skin, the wheel cover, and repaint, replace emblems, etc. I think that's kinda insane. I feel like I could almost bang the dents out myself by taking off the rear trim panel, and the paint wouldn't even need to cover the whole rear door, instead of paying 970 for a new one. The tire cover was quoted at 660 dollars, for a literal piece of plastic, and I'm simply not down. It's not deformed, it could be filled with putty, sanded, and painted to be a B grade quality again. So I want to know what I can do to save some money. I checked online for the cover, and can't find anywhere it isn't sold out, not even scrapyards or eBay.

    I'm interested in trying to do some of the repair work myself because it REALLY seems like its not that complicated, but my dad's a car lover too and he's way more meticulous about it, he doesn't want me to try and fix it. I suppose I could make things worse trying to hammer out the dents, but if I'd need a new skin I don't see the harm in trying. Anyway, I'll put pictures, let me know what you guys think the best option is.

    P.S. I don't really have 3,000 dollars and insurance can't know - its expensive enough.

    IMG_6142.jpgIMG_6143.jpgIMG_6141.jpgIMG_6140.jpgIMG_6139.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    I donít know where you live so I did a nationwide search on www.car-part.com and found a silver tire cover in South Carolina for $125 and several silver rear door assemblies for less than $200. You can do a search yourself to see what is available near your home. These parts can be removed with a wrench and replaced without doing any paint and body work. Look at and understand the parts grade collum too and try to go to the yard and pick up the part so there is no misunderstanding about the quality. There are over 200 listed on that site at various locations and prices. You may find something that works for you.

    I like to find a yard near a place I want to go to anyway and make a mini vacation out of picking up the parts. Done that several times.

    Bob K

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    I donít know where you live so I did a nationwide search on www.car-part.com and found a silver tire cover in South Carolina for $125 and several silver rear door assemblies for less than $200. You can do a search yourself to see what is available near your home. These parts can be removed with a wrench and replaced without doing any paint and body work. Look at and understand the parts grade collum too and try to go to the yard and pick up the part so there is no misunderstanding about the quality. There are over 200 listed on that site at various locations and prices. You may find something that works for you.

    I like to find a yard near a place I want to go to anyway and make a mini vacation out of picking up the parts. Done that several times.

    Bob K
    Thank you so much! Never knew about that website, it looks like it has a lot to offer. I'll look through that and see what I can come up with. Will update. Much appreciated! I think it'd be fun to drive around looking, too. I like driving on trips, especially because I don't have to go backwards for those

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,007

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    I feel like Iíve lost my powers of observation. Your license plate shows what part of the country youíre in and I could have been a little more helpful by narrowing the search to your neighborhood but you sound like you have a good grasp of that site.

    Bob K

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    I feel like Iíve lost my powers of observation. Your license plate shows what part of the country youíre in and I could have been a little more helpful by narrowing the search to your neighborhood but you sound like you have a good grasp of that site.

    Bob K
    Thanks! I just realized my license plate is in the picture, probably not smart to have online Anyway, I actually went and searched for Spare Tire Cover and it found no results, but there were some mixed in with the Back Door, (Above Bumper) Results... Regardless, this seems like a great place to keep searching around on. I really do think I could even salvage mine, but I don't know how to re create the original paint job without buying special equipment and stuff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,007

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    You can fix the one you have but it isnít as cheap as you may think. Body filler wonít work. The cracks will come back in a short time. You will have to open up all the cracks with a grinder and fill those gaps with a 2 part Fuser or other brand product that coasts $40 or more per tube. Then you put Polyflex filler on so you can get the shape correct. That is another $40 per container. Then surfacer goes on so you can sand the repair to perfection. Surfacer is a 2 part product that you may be able to get a quart of for another $40 or so. Next is the paint. I use a good brand that runs me about $90 a pint but you could get by with a 1/4 pint at $22 and of course you will need to get a quart of reducer for $22. The paint is camera matched to my car so I get the right variant of the color. Last you need a quart of clear coat with hardener that you can probably find for $30. So you can get the stuff you need for about $194. On the plus side you only need small quantities of those things so you will have the makings of a kit to fix future dings with little or no added expense. I didnít mention tools, those come at another layer of expense. Itís a never ending process if you get into this hobby. Iíve been doing this for 20 years and Iím still buying tools.

    And yes the tire covers are listed in the Door, rear above the bumper section, and they are mixed into the part description so you will need to read the line for that info. You can click on the heading of the columns to sort them in different ways.

    Bob K

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    lower Michigan
    Posts
    22,271

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    You can fix the one you have but it isn’t as cheap as you may think. Body filler won’t work. The cracks will come back in a short time. You will have to open up all the cracks with a grinder and fill those gaps with a 2 part Fuser or other brand product that coasts $40 or more per tube. Then you put Polyflex filler on so you can get the shape correct. That is another $40 per container. Then surfacer goes on so you can sand the repair to perfection. Surfacer is a 2 part product that you may be able to get a quart of for another $40 or so. Next is the paint. I use a good brand that runs me about $90 a pint but you could get by with a 1/4 pint at $22 and of course you will need to get a quart of reducer for $22. The paint is camera matched to my car so I get the right variant of the color. Last you need a quart of clear coat with hardener that you can probably find for $30. So you can get the stuff you need for about $194. On the plus side you only need small quantities of those things so you will have the makings of a kit to fix future dings with little or no added expense. I didn’t mention tools, those come at another layer of expense. It’s a never ending process if you get into this hobby. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’m still buying tools.

    And yes the tire covers are listed in the Door, rear above the bumper section, and they are mixed into the part description so you will need to read the line for that info. You can click on the heading of the columns to sort them in different ways.

    Bob K
    Good posts, Bob. I've been doing auto body/paint professionally for 48 years and I still spend at last a thousand dollars a year on tools.

    Tyler, I agree with your dad, don't try and tackle that door repair yourself. It's not going to be cheap regardless of which way you go (except for leaving it as is). If I did the job I could easily have $400 in just materials to repair and paint the spare tire cover and tail gate. I admire your enthusiasm but in many cases "reality is the enemy of enthusiasm". In your case I suggest you hold off from doing anything and wait until you can find good used parts.
    Run a wanted ad on your area of Craigslist, Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace looking for the parts you need.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,325

    Default

    i will not even offer advice here for people for free unless i know them....

    been thinking about that , some other priffesionals charge $$$$ for advice and guidance....

    i cannot nor will assist cheap frugal people..

    they can go to a body shop near rhem and let some folks earn their money...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12,311

    Default Agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    Good posts, Bob. I've been doing auto body/paint professionally for 48 years and I still spend at last a thousand dollars a year on tools.

    Tyler, I agree with your dad, don't try and tackle that door repair yourself. It's not going to be cheap regardless of which way you go (except for leaving it as is). If I did the job I could easily have $400 in just materials to repair and paint the spare tire cover and tail gate. I admire your enthusiasm but in many cases "reality is the enemy of enthusiasm". In your case I suggest you hold off from doing anything and wait until you can find good used parts.
    Run a wanted ad on your area of Craigslist, Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace looking for the parts you need.
    Tyler, I agree with Phil since there is so much involved in any lasting repair in this field. Just too many variables to conquer and the tools to do the job are expensive as is the paint and exact color match.

    Lucky for you, your damage does NOT effect the ability to drive the vehicle and nothing got exposed to the outside elements. I think maybe you should decide to just leave it and keep an eye out for parts in your color. Also, for your spare tire, many vehicles have black leather spare tire covers with logos on them or just a plain color. You can go that route as well. Keep us posted on what you do.

    Henry

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    You can fix the one you have but it isnít as cheap as you may think. Body filler wonít work. The cracks will come back in a short time. You will have to open up all the cracks with a grinder and fill those gaps with a 2 part Fuser or other brand product that coasts $40 or more per tube. Then you put Polyflex filler on so you can get the shape correct. That is another $40 per container. Then surfacer goes on so you can sand the repair to perfection. Surfacer is a 2 part product that you may be able to get a quart of for another $40 or so. Next is the paint. I use a good brand that runs me about $90 a pint but you could get by with a 1/4 pint at $22 and of course you will need to get a quart of reducer for $22. The paint is camera matched to my car so I get the right variant of the color. Last you need a quart of clear coat with hardener that you can probably find for $30. So you can get the stuff you need for about $194. On the plus side you only need small quantities of those things so you will have the makings of a kit to fix future dings with little or no added expense. I didnít mention tools, those come at another layer of expense. Itís a never ending process if you get into this hobby. Iíve been doing this for 20 years and Iím still buying tools.

    And yes the tire covers are listed in the Door, rear above the bumper section, and they are mixed into the part description so you will need to read the line for that info. You can click on the heading of the columns to sort them in different ways.

    Bob K
    Interesting, I did not know this. I appreciate you informing me. I think I'm going to have to keep this one, as I've had almost no success finding a replacement, except buying one directly from Toyota, which costs literally 660 dollars. The one I have isn't cracked to the point where it can't be repaired, and I've found a much more reasonable estimate now at 1100 that I think I will be going with.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    Good posts, Bob. I've been doing auto body/paint professionally for 48 years and I still spend at last a thousand dollars a year on tools.

    Tyler, I agree with your dad, don't try and tackle that door repair yourself. It's not going to be cheap regardless of which way you go (except for leaving it as is). If I did the job I could easily have $400 in just materials to repair and paint the spare tire cover and tail gate. I admire your enthusiasm but in many cases "reality is the enemy of enthusiasm". In your case I suggest you hold off from doing anything and wait until you can find good used parts.
    Run a wanted ad on your area of Craigslist, Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace looking for the parts you need.
    Thanks for being honest. I'm glad I can hear it from a professional, it's hard to take my parents seriously sometimes because they won't even change their own oil and I like to do everything for myself. Since the quote I received recently is just over 1/3 of the original, I think I'll just have it done professionally and be on with my life. It's scary though, now realizing that a tiny mistake can take a massive chunk out of my bank. I have anxiety whenever I back up now

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by baubau View Post
    i will not even offer advice here for people for free unless i know them....

    been thinking about that , some other priffesionals charge $$$$ for advice and guidance....

    i cannot nor will assist cheap frugal people..

    they can go to a body shop near rhem and let some folks earn their money...
    Sorry, I did not mean to come off as cheap. I'm understanding if you do not want to give me advice, but I truly appreciate everyone on the forum who has taken time to write to me with their experience and advice. I simply do not have enough money to throw at this without looking at all my options, as I am a teenager with a typical 7.50 an hour crap-pay job. Luckily I have found a body shop with 98% satisfaction that quoted me at "just" 1100 so I think I can go that route.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Tyler, I agree with Phil since there is so much involved in any lasting repair in this field. Just too many variables to conquer and the tools to do the job are expensive as is the paint and exact color match.

    Lucky for you, your damage does NOT effect the ability to drive the vehicle and nothing got exposed to the outside elements. I think maybe you should decide to just leave it and keep an eye out for parts in your color. Also, for your spare tire, many vehicles have black leather spare tire covers with logos on them or just a plain color. You can go that route as well. Keep us posted on what you do.

    Henry
    Thanks to everyone for offering advice to me! I found a quote at just over 1100 from a trustworthy shop that can take care of me within a week. I'm going to go that route. He said he will attempt to salvage the tire cover, which should only cost 100-200 of the total. Since this is what I imagine buying a new one second-hand would be like price-wise, I think I am going to go with this solution and wave the white flag on DIY auto bodywork. Just get it out of the way and do it properly. Again, I am very grateful for all your help. Thanks!

  14. #14

    Default And some more...

    This is not important to the rest of the forum, but I thought I'd put it out there for giggles, that I recently was overcome by the curiosity of what happens when you floor a car. It turns out that, when you have a 161 bhp 2.4L naturally aspirated 4 cylinder, not much happens It just makes a lot of noise as it creeps towards 60 at a time north of 10 seconds. I like my car, but wow is it underpowered lol. Makes me wonder how the 2003 model year with the mere 2.0L managed to drive on the highway at all! I felt bad flooring it though, because I don't want to shorten the life of the car anymore. I have synthetic oil and let the engine warm-up fully beforehand, and it's always been maintained, so I think it's ok to do sometimes, as long as I floor it gradually so the little 4-speed auto doesn't blow. I almost for a second let my mind wander towards turbochargers, but I snapped out of that real quick! Stock rods in this car would be gone in an instant. Probably don't need any temptation to go fast at my age anyway...

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