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Discussion Starter #1
Have had my 2011 Outback for three weeks. Pulling into a strange parking garage this morning squarely hit a 2' parking pole, knocked it off its bolts. the impact was just to the passenger side of the front licence plate. Looking at the damage, surprisingly the pole did not damage the bumper at impact. Where there is damage is the passenger side fog light popped off and is hanging under the body work. Also, the front-end/bumper has come off where it "snaps" into the body on the side of the front end under the headlight. It looks like if might be able to be snapped back in?

Had to run after the incident so didn't have time to crawl around and survey the situation. So my question is how bad did I mess up this morning??? Will everything pop back into place? Cosmetically, it does not look that bad.

Thanks in advance!
 

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The bumper cover may not look badly damaged, but the foam behind it may be seriously compromised. You may have even bent the metal bumper structure, depending on your speed of impact. If you don't replace the foam, you could lose a lot of the impact absorption in a later accident. If it was enough to shear the pole off the bolts, I'm guessing it wasn't too light of a hit.
 

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the foam is only there for light bumps and pads the plastic cap on the steel bumper not a big deal. However the plastic cap can easily hide damage to the actual metal frame bumper under it. If none of the catches are broken on the plastic cover you can pop it back into place by hand - be sure to do it when the bumper has been sitting in the sun and is nice and warm and flexible this will help work it back into the catches. The fog light may have simply just popped out when the plastic flexed so it might be a very simple fix.

Taking a good look up under and behind the plastic cap to make sure the steel bumper is intact and not heavily damaged would be a good idea. Some crushed foam padding which protects the plastic cap from the steel bumper is not a big deal
 

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Typically.....

My rule of thumb is whatever the damage costs APPEAR TO BE, multiply by anywhere between 5 and 10 to get the real ESTIMATE!:(
 

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The plastic bumper cover has to come off to inspect for damage underneath -- it can't be seen looking up under the car. As was noted, if the impact sheared the pole bolts, and knocked the cover off the clips, as well as popped the fog light, there's a good chance there's more to it. If it turns out there's little or no damage underneath, you will have the confidence that entails. If there is damage, you can decide what to do, but you will make an informed decision.

Incidentally, if you take it to a body shop that does a lot of Subarus, they will probably be experienced enough to look at the exterior damage and have a good idea of what might be damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Post-carnage, here is what I have surmised: the post I hit, while being 6" steel & cement filled, was not bolted in. My dumb luck, guess other morons have made the same slick move as me, running into the pole.

Surveying the damage, doesn't appear to be that bad. Crawled under neath and looked at the foam in the bumper and it is all in tack :29:. Three items damaged: 1) the bumper popped off on the side where it wraps around the headlight, clips appear to be whole so should be able to pop back in, 2) fog light fell out, clips that hold fog light in are broken so probably need to replace the whole unit, 3) the undercarriage cover under the corner broke off its clips, so will need to be replaced (does a new cover come with the mounting clips?).
 

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sounds rather benign. with impact/collisions, pictures are worth 10,000 words. i've repaired lots of wrecked Subaru's so i can speak from Subaru experience. i've pulled, straightened, measured, and replaced - plenty of man hours doing this stuff with my own two hands. but without seeing it, it's hard to say.

most of the apocalyptic commentary about hidden damage and high costs are standard replies that are given to any collision related post, but likely not in the cards for you...but again, post a picture.

the under covers are often removed because they degrade and break often or to give easier access to underneath and they are prone to cracking and falling off in the long term anyway, so it's not really necessary. being a 2011 i'm sure you'll want to replace it, but if you need to remove it temporarily so it's not dragging then feel free to do so.

it will not come with mounting clips...as least they normally don't, i don't know how the 2011's mount specifically but that's not the norm.
 
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