Can someone explain this?

24 May 2011
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United Kingdom
So I was driving in a car park and a van pulled out and hit me. After much problem and aggrevation I finally got round to get them to view the car with there examiners (im third party).

Now the van only hit my rear passanger side, and only caused some body work damage. He basically reversed into my car. Now since that, my bonnet has been nearly impossible to open, and the light comes on, and I have to put water in all the time, so I'm sure it's the head gasket. This is only been affected since the crash however I have only been hit on the side.

I'm not sure if the car is worth the repairs, and it should be written off, but if I can't convince them that these problems occured since the crash they will only pay out towards the panels to be fixed and I will be left with a duff car that doesn't really work. Can you tell me if the body panel work can effect my car in any other way? I have had the car checked by 2 garages. They've quoted on the panels alone I think. How can I check to see if there has been any other damage other than the panels?

All advice will be grateful.
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If it was only a low speed impact, then I fail to see how it could affect the engine of the car, particularly the head gasket.
This must have been a imminent unconnected failure.

A bit like someone suffering from a hole in the heart with no idea and then dropping down dead one day! :eek:
Cheers for your reply. It was a low speed impact. He has caused a bit of damage to the car, but it isn't massive.

The only thing is, this wasn't happening before the car was hit. Im not trying to justify writing it off so I can have a new car or something. Frankly, I'm not bothered, I just want to make sure I'm not left with a half working car with shiny new panels.
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Whereabouts on the side of the car was the damage? It doesn't take much deformation to make a bonnet catch stick slightly. I'm at a bit of a loss to explain the water loss though. What sort of car was it and which is the light that coming on?

Its just the main engine warning light.

It's the passangers rear side, the door and bumper/trim all needs replacing, the garages have stated 3 seperate panels need replacing.
If the front bumper is damaged, the radiator MIGHT be damaged too. You need to find where the water is leaking out. Is there a drip under the car after it's been parked-up?

If it's the engine management warning light, some manufacturers put the carbon can (part of the emissions control system) in the inner wing space around the back of a headlight or wheelarch. Maybe that's been knocked and a wire has broken or pulled out of its connector? You need to take it to a garage and get the fault codes read from its memory. They usually store a fault code if the condition is bad enough to illuminate the dashboard light.

Mind you, as has been said, you also need to be prepared for the possibility that this is nothing more than coincidence.