The scene : Big brother sat patiently awaiting a green light when reversed into his driver’s door by an excited post-lockdown Manchester City supporter eager to reignite his football passion – although after this event, he gingerly returned his car to the driveway.
As big bro was only third party covered, his insurers would not cover the damage even though it was clearly the other driver’s fault. In comes a third party accident claims company who took the Chevrolet Spark away for evaluation and meanwhile loaned a Honda Jazz courtesy car. The Spark sustained impact damage to the driver’s door that prevented it being opened from the outside as the door handle had been compressed. There were some dimples around the sill and pillar but not enough to affect the structure of the car so a category N marker, then ?
Yep – a category N write-off finally being damaged twice before. Originally, the Chevy was an Enterprise rental car and had offside front damage that split the front bumper, bent the slam panel support and snapped a headlight bracket that fortunately was replaced for £1 by Chevrolet – when they used to have a presence in the UK. Years later, my bro’s neighbour reversed into it cracking the repaired front bumper.
The third accident gave a salvage value of £373 with a market value of £1298.94 or £925.94 minus the salvage cost if the car was kept – a no-brainer as I’ve changed doors before and the Spark was worthy of saving – again. After insurance evaluation, our Chevy returned although brother had to slide across the passenger side to gain a dignified entry.
Luckily, not long after, a 2013 Chevrolet Spark LTZ appeared on a salvage website and £75 was sent for brother to collect it otherwise it would have cost an additional £40. With matching silver door across the rear footwells, my task of replacing said door began. Trolley jack was used to support the door when released from its 13mm bolts – all well and good but then I discovered that the replacement door had a different wiring loom as it was from a higher specification Spark that had an electric mirror and two additional electric windows. In hindsight, wiring looms are easier to release with door unbolted as there is little room to plug in the branch of loom. Replacing wiring can be awkward especially when plugging in connectors with little visibility. Many expletives later with diminishing daylight, the replacement door was attached with locking mechanism, wiring loom, door card, and manual driver’s mirror transplanted from the damaged door. The decision to save the Spark gave my brother an £850.94 profit so advice is to source matching parts and do it yourself. Better for pocket and the environment !
Words are copyright of Sotiris Vassiliou