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My 1995 Maruti Zen: Fixing the grille & lights after a minor accident

The car had taken the impact extremely well. I cannot imagine how it would have done if it was a new age Maruti.

BHPian BeemerBug_06 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The Inevitable

Living and driving in an overcrowded city with bumper-to-bumper traffic at every other junction with almost no one obeying traffic rules results in..well, accidents. Thankfully, in my 5 years of driving, I have never met with any bad accidents although I have had several near misses like several others here would have had. Yesterday could have changed a lot of things.

So it was about 3 PM in the afternoon, I was headed to Worli for some work in the Zen. The road was not entirely full as it was afternoon and there were few cars as compared to rush hour time. A Santro Kaali-Peeli taxi was driving in front of me at a distance of a good few meters and a scooterist was riding alongside the taxi on the left. As we approached, the junction signal near the KIA showroom, the scooterist all of a sudden in a matter of nanoseconds decided to swerve from the left to the extreme right and sped off into the lane on the right. He cut the taxi which was going straight causing the driver to panic brake. The taxi did not have working brake lights and my reaction time too was a bit slow, I'll admit it. I was driving at about 50-55 odd km/h when the taxi abruptly braked and by the time I could apply the brakes successfully, the Zen's front end bumped into the taxi's rear bumper making a loud THUD noise.

The impact was harsh, people on the pavement stopped in their tracks, and others came out of their shops to see what had happened. The taxi sped off as I sat there aghast.

It all happened so fast and suddenly, almost like a flash. I felt a bit dazed. Thankfully, not a thing happened to me. I was wearing my seatbelt and was safe from any sort of whiplash or impact. Once I made sense of what had happened, a crowd gathered to help, so I parked the car on the side of the road and got down to see what had happened.

Due to the intensity of the impact, I expected the front end of the car to have crumpled like tissue paper, but I was astonished to see that it had had nothing there except for a minor fender bender. The radiator, condenser, battery, and cross member were all absolutely unscathed. It was rather miraculous. I then sat back in and drove off to finish my chores, with mixed thoughts about the situation.

The damage caused was very minor. The car had taken the impact extremely well. I cannot imagine how it would have done if it was a new age Maruti. The side light and headlight on the left had gone loose due to a broken bracket, the bumper had come down from one side due to a dislodged clip and the bonnet was a bit misaligned from one side, but apart from that, it was all good. Miracles do happen. The grill had gone loose too, so I took it off temporarily. Nothing was broken.

A little later on I realised that the car was pulling to the left, most likely due to the accident. So I drove straight to my wheel alignment shop and got it sorted.

This happens to be my first big bad bump. I hope it is the first and last. I'm grateful to whatever superior force is out there as it ensured I didn't get hurt and that the car too got away with minor damage. The car did a brilliant job in taking the impact. I would also once again want to stress the fact that our roads are filled with bad drivers so its best to be alert at all times. Also Please Please ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS AND HELMETS. I cannot even fathom to imagine what would have happened had I not been belted in when the incident happened.

Safety first!

The car was luckily not affected mechanically due to the accident and I could drive it around normally. However just having to look at it in that ugly condition, without a grill and a crooked headlight frustrated me. I'd rather not use the car than drive it in that condition, I thought.

Thankfully, I had enough on me to pay for repairs. So earlier today I drove to CRK automobiles, a well-reputed FNG in my neighbourhood which recently restored our Toyota Corolla, to get the issue fixed. An hour's job helped 1513 look all neat and happy again.

If there's anything that the accident taught me. It is that accidents happen, its best to be careful at all times and take the sweet with the sour and then move on to better things

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