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A few weeks ago I wrote about our selection for our teenage daughter’s first car and listed at least nine criteria for parents choosing a teen’s first car. Criteria #7 was “We wanted something that wouldn’t be a big deal if it did get banged up a little.” This morning, after less than two months of ownership, I had the honor of discovering firsthand why I had the criteria in the first place: “The Dent.”

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The night before, our daughter had taken her cherished ride to a crosstown football rival game at the away school. She asserts that she has no idea how it happened, and having been a teenager once in my life, I actually believe her on this one. The dent is in the passenger side rear fender and I doubt she would have backed into anything without noticing what she did.

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I would have had a much stronger reaction had it been one of the newer cars my wife and I drive. However, since our daughter is driving a 14-year-old Camry, my reaction was limited to asking how it happened followed by reiterating the accident reporting procedures. I also felt a strong sense of vindication for selecting the car we purchased for an occasion just like this.

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Am I happy “The Dent” happened? Of course not. I would never commit such an act against someone else’s property without notification, and I hope others would raise their children up to do the same. However I am glad I don’t necessarily have to worry about taking it into a shop, losing a week’s worth of vehicle use, having to pay our insurance deductible, and dealing with raised insurance premiums. Let’s just chalk this one up as a win for this Toolmonger.

 

10 Responses to Teenager’s First Wheels Criteria #7: It Gets Banged Up

  1. Steve says:

    Sorry to hear about the dent. Since the car is old, you ought to try this: http://goo.gl/Ka2G0

    I’ve always wanted to give this a try, but don’t have a suitable dent.

  2. dijital101 says:

    That looks like it could just be pushed back out from the inside

  3. Mac says:

    Hard to tell for sure from the pic, but it looks like that dent can be easily banged/popped back out.

  4. Willie says:

    I agree with the first comment (dijital101) I think you could push that back out. Get in the trunk, and remove some of those carpet covered panels and give that dent some pressure to go back the way it is supposed to.

  5. Craiger says:

    I remember when my sister’s Corolla took a hit just like that one. She came home one weekend, my dad and I got to looking at it; he got in the trunk, put his foot up against the dent, and I basically indicated how many foot-pounds it to was going to take to pop it out. Easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy.

  6. Andy says:

    I used to have a VERY similar Camry (mine was white), that somehow developed a VERY similar dent. I ended up taking a CHEAP route, bought a dent puller and some Bondo, and tried dent repair for the very first time. With some patience, it came out pretty well! At least in my case, getting to the dent from inside the trunk was more difficult than it seemed. I honestly don’t remember why, or what was in the way, but it wasn’t a straightforward “get in the trunk and push” type dent. But the Harbor Freight dent puller, well, “pulled” its weight just fine. :)

  7. Eddie Hagler says:

    I say leave the dent… It’ll make the next one totally unimportant.

    This car should be thought of as a trainer. It will get the punishment of being driven by a teenager.

    The dent will also serve as a reminder of times she had. I suggest you photograph the car every time she get’s a new dent and put the photos in an “album” for her to look at and remember in the years to come.

  8. Ben Marvin says:

    I would say it would be nearly impossible to inflict that placement of dent by driving the car yourself. Look like it was probably caused by a taller vehicle hitting it with their bumper, or less likely someone dropkicking it.

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