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Strangest thing happened to me tonite

  1. Dec 20, 2008 #1
    While I was driving my car, all of a sudden my front fender falls off. At first , I thought I had hit something or someone, but my front fender was not dented up , and there were no traces of blood on my fender. I think my airbags would have activated had I hit a car or someone. I got out of my car to see if I hit anyone, there was no one around my car.Miraculously , as I drove my car home , the front part of my fender did not drag under my car. I placed my fender back on the front of my car and it looks as if the car was never hit. I noticed some screws were missing . I know this kind of thing doesn't happen everyday , but is it possible that you can be driving on a road and your front fender suddenly fall down?
     
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  3. Dec 20, 2008 #2

    mgb_phys

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    The fenders are designed to crumple and fall off in low speed collisions (especially with pedestrians) so they are only held on with a couple of easily breakable plastic bolts or clips. It could be that yours are missing or have perished.
     
  4. Dec 20, 2008 #3
    low speed collisions? I was going 50 mph.
     
  5. Dec 20, 2008 #4

    mgb_phys

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    They are designed to break off easily (as in low speed collisions) so are only held on weakly. So going over a small bump at 50mph might do it if the bolts are missing/worn.
     
  6. Dec 21, 2008 #5

    DaveC426913

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    The whole bumper or just the plastic fascia?

    Why? How does this facilitate pedestrians getting less hurt?
     
  7. Dec 21, 2008 #6

    mgb_phys

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    The plastic bumpers are supposed to crumple in a low speed impact to stop the pedestrian hitting the boy of the car (or at least slow them down) so the bumpers are made of easily breakable plastic - including the clips that hold them to the boy.
     
  8. Dec 26, 2008 #7
    I have a question. Once the fender is broken off, how long do you think it will take to fix it?
     
  9. Dec 26, 2008 #8

    Evo

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    It would depend on why the fender fell off. If the part that holds the screws/bolts to the car is damaged to the point that it is useless, a new fender may be needed. If it's just a matter of bolting it back on, that shouldn't take long at all.
     
  10. Dec 26, 2008 #9

    BobG

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    :rofl: What the heck?! :rofl:

    Where the heck do you live? Up in the North woods, a lot of people drive around with deer strapped to their cars, but..... :rofl:

    Is this a UK-US difference in language?

    And as to the original post, do you mean the front bumper? Or some sort of plastic trim on the fender? (I can't really envision either the entire front bumper or the entire fender falling off). Post a pic of what you're talking about.
     
  11. Dec 26, 2008 #10
    No , I just mean my whole front fender. My headlights work just fine and are intact, my front fender is busted.
     
  12. Dec 26, 2008 #11

    BobG

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    No, I've never heard of anyone's fender falling off. Is this a used vehicle that might have been in an accident? Some shoddy repair work might be at fault. Perhaps they stripped the screws/bolts when taking the fender off, but still replaced them even though they were no longer doing anything?

    Normally, it's very easy to dent a fender and have a small dent bend the entire fender in odd places since it's designed to crumple and absorb energy. Even in an accident, it's rare for the fender to just fall off. To come off, it usually has to be ripped off during the accident because it caught on the other car or on some stationary object (tree, guardrail, etc).

    The normal repair nowadays is to order a brand new fender (or get an undamaged one from the junk yard and repaint it). The old method of removing the dent seems to be archaic since the fender can bend and warp in spots pretty far removed from the initial damage. That also means an accident could also stress the bolts/screws in an unusual way.
     
  13. Dec 26, 2008 #12

    Astronuc

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    How old is the car? If one uses a car in the north or northeast where roads are salted, some fasteners (aluminum or steel) are susceptible to stress corrosion cracking (SCC), usually at the base of the head where is joins the shank.

    Could someone impacted the car in a parking lot recently? That might fail some fasteners by shear, especially if they were already damaged by SCC.
     
  14. Dec 26, 2008 #13
    Where do you live? In sub zero temps, cars hitting snow balls on the road and knocking off bumpers aren't exactly unheard of.
     
  15. Dec 26, 2008 #14
    my car is only 4 years old. Just bought it last year, so its used. I am think that while I was in a parking lot , somebody possibly could have hit front bender and displaced the screws that were holding my fender together. I think as I continued to drive my car, the screws that were loosely holding my front fender together displaced completely and then the fender just fell off. The fender fell off my car while I was driving.
     
  16. Dec 27, 2008 #15
    The weirdest thing happened to me today. I was walking my dog along the side of the road when all of a sudden this car doing about 50 mph ran right into me. I was knocked into a thick bunch of bushes and it took forever for anyone to find me. I've got two broken legs, my dog is dead and if I ever find that sob that hit me...
     
  17. Dec 28, 2008 #16

    DaveC426913

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    Not 'today'. You were lying in that bush in a coma for seven days.
     
  18. Dec 28, 2008 #17

    Chi Meson

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    "Boy"?
    oh THAT boy.
     
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