Latest Reader Qs (6/12/2017)

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Here are the latest reader Qs – and my answers!

Michael writes:

I have a 2015 Nissan Juke Nismo that was rear-ended. I was at a stop light waiting to turn left and the impact was rather violent. I noticed that the impact resulted in the automatic transmission being thrown into park from the drive position. I did drive the car to a collision center but never exceeded 30 MPH. Lots of noises creaks, and squeaks along the way, but I did not notice any noise or an issue with the transmission.  My question is should I be concerned about the transmission and possible problems in the future resulting from the crash? I realize the Juke is very light and the transmission is a CVT designed unit. Thank you.

My Answer:

Since the vehicle was stationary when the impact occurred, the shifter moving from Drive to Park ought not to have caused any damage to the transmission itself; after all, this is the same thing you do routinely, every day. With a caveat: Assuming the selector was not moved into Park while the vehicle was in motion, from the force of the impact.  

Probably, no damage was done – but a thorough checkout is in order. Many modern cars have drive-by-wire controls, in which case, there is no need to worry regardless as there is no physical linkage between the gearshift lever and the transmission. The electronics translate your inputs into action – and usually there are safeguards built into the programming to prevent, for example, the transmission gear selector from engaging Park or Reverse while the vehicle is in motion.

The creaks and other noises you heard were almost certainly the result of bent metal, things rubbing against each other, etc., as a result of the physical damage to the car’s bodywork and not a transmission issue.

Still, mention your concern/explain what happened to the shop working on the car. When the car has been repaired and is ready for pick-up, take it for a test drive before you sign off any paperwork. Be sure the transmission is operating normally/as before the wreck. If it’s not, have them fix it – and don’t sign off on the insurance settlement until you are satisfied.

Hope this is helpful!

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I wrecked my 93 Chevy pickup but it was in great shape and looked new inside and for the main part, outside. I had some aftermarket parts that made it better than new so when the insurance company declared it null and void and sought to simply give me the salvage price I took them to task. After seeing my receipts and looking at pics of how it had been and still was for the most part, they agreed if I could fix it for that amount they’d re-insure it and I’d get a clean title.

    I went to a friend and showed him what they’d given me and asked if it could be fixed for that. Barely, he said and not with factory sheetmetal. So we rebuilt it and I eventually changed the sheetmetal to new GM after another wreck which I paid out of pocket and it was well worth it. The aftermarket radiator was fine as was the condenser and a used oil cooler. It was better than ever with one of those computerized frame machines.

    It doesn’t hurt to keep receipts of what you’ve done to one if you think a fairly damaging wreck with an old vehicle might go either way. They eventually denied me comprehensive. This is the way they play nice with manufacturers. I’m hoping soon some company will insure a vehicle for whatever you wish to value it and be done with it. Of course this doesn’t make them nearly as much money. One reason I wouldn’t have a breand new vehicle is because of the outlandish insurance on one. I could have a nice 25 year old vehicle and 2 backups for the price of a year of insurance on the equivalent vehicle that’s new.

  2. My neighbor crashed his 1-ton 4×4 dually into a tree. Fixed it…but ever since then, has had nothing but trouble with the tranny and transfer case- they must have gotten slightly tweaked.

    Re: The Jewk: Man! These new cars get totalled so easily! Ya see thousands of such at the salvage auctions every week- I’m expecting insurance to start going way up very soon, ’cause it’s like there’s no such thing as a minor fender-bender anymore…you freakin’ run over a pebble, and your car is totalled now!

  3. For nearly the last 20 years in my part of the country hogs have totaled countless cars and SUV type things. If it Is Jeep, a 200 lb hog will turn half the vehicle into debris although Jeep doesn’t have a lock on it. OTOH, the wife hit a 250 lb hog dead on with her 95 Cutlass. I couldn’t tell it damaged it in more than a superfluous way if that. Twice deer have run into the side and they screw things up a bit but not to the point of mandatory repair.

    That reminds me, I need to get a Ranchhand front guard for the pickup. They work so well only a car wash is required to fix the damage.

  4. For nearly the last 20 years in my part of the country hogs have totaled countless cars and SUV type things. If it has Jeep, a 200 lb hog will turn half the vehicle into debris although Jeep doesn’t have a lock on it. OTOH, the wife hit a 250 lb hog dead on with her 95 Cutlass. I couldn’t tell it damaged it in more than a superfluous way if that. Twice deer have run into the side and they screw things up a bit but not to the point of mandatory repair.

    That reminds me, I need to get a Ranchhand front guard for the pickup. They work so well only a car wash is required to fix the damage.

  5. As a follow-up, the Nissan Juke was totaled. It doesn’t seem to take much to damage the aluminum unibodies which is generally a terminal event. Thanks Eric for the information

    • Hi Michael,

      Very sorry to hear.. but better, I guess, than being stuck with a not-quite-right vehicle. I hope they settled fairly…keep us posted!

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