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Old 11-09-2005   #1
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Crashed my Punto

Sorry about any grammatical errors, but just wanting to get it all written down as a release quickly.

Just got back home from the accident, not so much of crash, more of a fast shunt. Good news is myself, passenger and people in front are all okay, bare a sore neck as you'd expect, no burns from belts as Iíve got pads on them.

The roads today were wet but it wasn't raining all that much, I was coming over the brow of a curved bend, the driver I was following saw before me that some guy in a Ford Sierra had done a 180 and ended up on the other side of the road on a grass verge, he was pulling away from the verge and came onto our side of the road momentarily.

Person I was follow slammed his brakes on, I did the same but my wheels locked instantly and for about 5 seconds just skidded in a straight light, person behind me with ABS narrowly missed my car and veered round onto the wrong side of the road. It was one of those strange moments when you're in two minds on what to do, I suppose I could of done the same as the person behind and veered round though once the wheels locked and began to skid I couldn't do anything as I was too close to close to the car in front and I felt it was dangerous due to oncoming traffic in the opposite direction.

There is a long trail of just skid marks from my car with the occasional small gap where Iíd eased off trying to get it to grip. I was able to get some speed down, but I was still going faster than the person I was following. Damage to his car was minimal, he had a towing bar as well with a rock solid rear beam, few dents but weíve agreed that he would get them fixed and Iíd pay him the cost to avoid insurance complications.

I was following at a good distance due to the spray from the car in front but my tyres just didnít grip at all when I braked. I had been looking for a while about getting new tyres but Iíve got the standard 13Ē narrow steely type wheels so I was waiting till I could afford some nice 16Ēís with good rubber. Even with better tyres, the surface of the road wouldnít have helped me much.

Moved my car off the road into a side road and down some forest path to get it out of the way, found a completely smashed up Clio that looked like it had been rolled in the same area. Spoke to the owner of a nearby house and asked if I could leave my car outside his property where it would be safe which was fine, he told me that it's almost a weekly event for big crashes to happen when it's wet as the road surface is diabolical with people loosing it all the time.

So, end result is my car having a smashed up front bumper, crumpled bonnet, one of the front wings creased, twisted radiator and the front beam looks very bent, lights bar one are okay and Iíve got a spare, but the mounting bits look snapped.

Fiat aren't open today (the garage was around a mile back) but I don't think the car would even make it as just moving it a few feet was hard due to the bumper catching on the wheel plus there was coolant leaking all over the place so donít want to risk it.. I can see into the engine bay but cannot release the bonnet to inspect the damage, the engine looks fine and I can select gears and move the car, so I'm hoping the damage won't be too bad, not sure on the condition of the steering due to the bumper catching.

Going to go to Fiat tomorrow morning and ask them to come and inspect my car before I get it towed to them, hoping it won't cost too much and I'm going to let them do the damage report but try to source as many parts as possible myself, I'm betting they won't be too happy having my car lying around the already small workshop car park for a few days as I do that. To make matter worse, my mates car is in the garage too undergoing repairs so getting to the scrapyard isnít going to be easy.

So, not a very nice weekend. Hope the cricket will be good though to make up for it. Luckily Iíve got £600 put aside which I was saving to get myself a suspension kit, alloys and exhaust system, guess thatíll go to getting the car sorted as my insurance is only third party and it would be deemed that the accident was my fault as the other driver took off.

Strange this is that I was upset and sad about the situation, but I and the people I was with all took it in good humour, I suppose because everyone was okay apart from my car. What I was annoyed about though was how the people I was with thought it would be funny to take photos of my car and show them too me.

Anyone else had any similar experiences that they would like to share, preferably with good outcomes to cheer me up!
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Last edited by Kjata; 11-09-2005 at 12:30.
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Old 11-09-2005   #2
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Re: Crashed my Punto

I had wheels lock up on a oily patch in the wet.. Absolutly no grip what so ever aproaching the queue of traffic waiting to go straight accross a roundabout.. luckily I was able to swerve into the inside filter lane where I suddenly found grip. Could have been a big shunt and a heck of an insurance hike for me if I had hit the back of the queue.

If you have photo's of your car post them here and people may be able to give you an idea of what else might need replacing and what could be repaired.

By the way what brand of tyre are you using? Even with smaller tyres you should be able to get some decent grippy brands.
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Old 11-09-2005   #3
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Re: Crashed my Punto

Having alloys on wouldnt have necessarily stopped that happening. Having really wide tyres on small engined, lightweight cars could have made it worse!

At least youve got the money to fix it. If you'd bought the alloys and then it happened you would be right up sh!t street!

Glad to hear everyones ok and no-ones badly injured!
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Old 11-09-2005   #4
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Re: Crashed my Punto

Tyres were brought by previous owner and are some cheap budget brand, what annoys me is that I've put off changing them to good ones as they have good tread. If I'd of shelled out for alloys with good tyres there is no way of knowing that I'd of stopped sooner but I may have had a better chance. The surface itself according to local residents is known for people skidding due to a lack of grip, there are several remembrance crosses and flowers with plenty of carved up grass at the sides where the accident happened. Glad that the car kept on the road to avoid further damage and was quickly able to pull into a side road to make the area safe for other road users.

Haven't got any pictures myself, but the bonnet is crumpled and cannot be opened, the n/s wing is creased and the front bumper is smashed (due to the tow bar on car in front).

I've sourced and priced them up on ebay but I'll go to scrapyard on Monday once Fiat have given me information on what else is needed to try and save some money. The radiator is bent and coolant is leaking all over the place, so I recon I'll need a new fan unit as well (cannot check as can't get into engine bay).

Luckily I don't need my car to get to work and I can source lifts in the interim if I need to go out, so the only time constraint on repairs is how Fiat react to holding onto my car for a while (as they have a very small car park at my local dealership). The front beam does look bent and will need to be replaced, the locking/release unit for the bonnet too I guess. The engine hasn't been touched at all looking into the bay, and is running/sounds okay, the car moves but catches on the bumper as it's been dislodged.

Until it gets looked at professionally I cannot say for sure what I need to carry out repairs.
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Last edited by Kjata; 11-09-2005 at 13:35.
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Old 11-09-2005   #5
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Re: Crashed my Punto

I had an accident a few years ago:

https://www.fiatforum.com/showpost.p...86&postcount=2

If I'd gone to a decent repair shop I would probably still have the Panda now after 16 years ...
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Old 11-09-2005   #6
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Re: Crashed my Punto

As people have said bigger tyres would have been worse. Only thing that could have helped would have been better brand tyres or ABS.
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Old 11-09-2005   #7
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Re: Crashed my Punto

With the guy who talked about bigger tyres being bad.. I Agree with you. I wont put anytihng bigger than 15" on my punto.. whats the point? *makes it look good* Get 15's and lower it.. looks sexy in my eyes.. and you still get your speed and controlability.

-Sorry you crashed. I have a story for you.. its a personal favourite of mine :P!

maybe i will tell you another time.. i dont have time to type it.. but it proves everything happens for a reason..
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Old 11-09-2005   #8
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Re: Crashed my Punto

Do you have to get it fixed at Fiat?

May be much cheper elsewhere.
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Old 12-09-2005   #9
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Re: Crashed my Punto

My local Fiat dealership have always treated my car very well and been up front with me giving me the information I need when I want it and not messing me around like many other garages in the area who won't give price quotes until after the work, or don't call you back until a few days have passed.

The Fiat garage is only a few minutes from the accident, so I'm hoping they'll be willing to come and look at the car, hopefully I can drive it to the garage, if not I'm sure they'll be willing to tow it the short distance.

I'm getting them to do the repair work as they know the car better than any other garage will, I'd rather not risk a bodge job on what could be chassis/steering damage. I'll tell them to get me a list of parts needed and I'll supply what I can as Fiat dealership parts are overpriced, the rest they can order in as long as the damage isn't too costly or severe - if it is then I may just break the car to try and get some of my money back.

Have been looking at 15's over 16's. The grip from my present tyres is abismal and it doesn't really surprise me that under extreme braking they failed - though the road is renown at that point for having no grip - yet there are no warning signs at all. I'd rather get wider good brand rubber on the road than just get good brand 135/80/13 (or whatever the steelies are).
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Old 12-09-2005   #10
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Re: Crashed my Punto

Off the road on 135s? What road was it as I'll avoid it in the rain on my 195s
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Old 12-09-2005   #11
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Re: Crashed my Punto

well ive never crashed yet, but was real close a few weeks back, i was taking my gf to uni when suddenly this chav with a nova justs speeds up and overtakes
just squishing in before hitting the ford coming the other way, i can remember thinking ****, hes clipped my bumper, he span out on the side, he didnt actually hit me but he lost control, he didnt crash though he just span out, managed to dodge him and swared my face off for the rest of the way, dammed chavs... at the moment i really wished he had crashed, but thats not to nice..
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Old 12-09-2005   #12
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Re: Crashed my Punto

Was along the A513 in Stafford just passing the Shugborough Estate exit. Driven the road plenty of times and know it fairly well, but never in the rain, guess it caught me out though after researching tyres seems my own have zero hydroplaining (sp?) skill.
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Old 12-09-2005   #13
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Re: Crashed my Punto

Quote Originally Posted by Luciel
... at the moment i really wished he had crashed, but thats not to nice..
If it takes another nova off the roads its a price I'm willing to pay
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Old 12-09-2005   #14
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Cool Re: Crashed my Punto

I wouldn't want to crash in a Nova. I learned to drive in one. Had my accident in Feb 2001, hitting the side of a Honda who drove accorss in front of me. Smashed up the wings, bonnet, bumper and lights. The 7 year old Astra I had (value £2,500 back then) was written off. That's how I got my Punto, so I was happy enough. But having only 3rd party and it being your fault, I hope you can find a reaer-ended model the same in a scrappy and do a deal! BTW, what Fiat is yours?

Cheap tyres don't have the grip, since they're harder compund. Sold to those who don't know better and want to save a few quid at the expense of grip. They usually last longer, but haven't had the R&D into compunds and tread pattern to be useful in modern motoring.

Hope you can sort it out
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Old 12-09-2005   #15
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Re: Crashed my Punto

Well, got a Fiat bodyshop worker to come and look at the car today. Eventually got into the bonnet after plenty of tugging.

The engine itself is fine, but the driver side mounts and alignment of the chassis is messed up big time with lots of cracks. They calculated 29 hours labour to get it sorted and with all the parts I'd need it'll cost me over £1,000 even if I source most of them myself to get it in a safe condition to drive.

They advised against having a bodge job as the mounts/chassis have moved sideways, upwards and backwards with the car needing to go onto to a jig to get it corrected which will weaken the car.

I'll try and get some pictures of it tomorrow when I go up to see it for the last time. I've stripped out all my ICE and mods that I've put on so it's a fully standard Mk1 55, need to get the Toad alarm taken off (only had it on a few weeks) which mate and myself are going to try and do.

Scrapyard have made an estimate deal of £70-80 for it including transport costs as they don't make much off the lower spec models and have plenty of 1.1/1.2 engines already.

So I need to figure out if I'd make more breaking it myself as most of the car is fine. I've been quoted £50 to have shell taken away if I strip it.

Doors, windows, boot, interior, spare wheel and jack, rear lights, rear bumper, standard exhaust, standard suspension, 13" steelies, 1,108 engine, gearbox, clutch, fuel pump are all fine, though I've never stripped a car before so it'd be a lot of work and I need to have it moved within the next few days.

Just gutted really as if I'd of paid out for new tyres I may have avoided the accident or gone fully comp on insurance I'd of be covered, so I'm left carless with £70/80 in my pocket. I'm glad that I discussed the possibility of the car costing too much to repair and getting rid of it with my parents so it wasn't as big of a shock and upset when we decided that would be the verdict. I need to consider if I'm going to get another Punto/car and start modding again or go carless as I can do without one and cancel my insurance policy making some money back off it and save till I can get something decent.
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