Bent front end jacking improperly - Honda-Tech


Bent front end jacking improperly

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Old 08-15-2016, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default Bent front end jacking improperly

Hello there... I've got myself a Nighthawk Black 2008 Honda Fit, and my first oil change has just gone wrong in every way it could.

Basically I jacked the car up from the front end, bending the radiator a tad bit inward. I don't believe it's enough to damage the car, but now my hood will not close because the latch is jacked up from the bottom piece that it attaches to. I didn't even get a drop of oil out of the car after struggling with the drain plug for 10 minutes. I thought it was like a Civic that had jack points behind the bumper.

I really don't know what to do now, I need to know how this sort of thing can be fixed at home or by a professional, and what the price tag I'm looking at will be.

Edit: Yep, I'm an idiot. Body shop looked it over and the estimate said a decent amount. Hopefully insurance will cover it.

Last edited by Zeronamous; 08-16-2016 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bent front end jacking improperly

Sorry to hear about your negative "life lesson". If you bought the Fit new and you can find your Owner's Manual, I suggest that you read it carefully before you attempt any more maintenance jobs. If you bought it used and don't have the manual, try to find one for sale on-line or from a Honda dealer. Front and rear frame jacking points are clearly shown.

Your post is the first that I have seen, in ten years of participating in Fit forums, about bending the frame under the radiator. I'll bet that you are not the first person to do this, but the others are probably too embarrassed to post on forums about it. The good news: that's a mistake you probably will never repeat on any vehicle in the future. Good luck with the repairs.

Last edited by toyomatt84; 08-18-2016 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Removed blatant personal attack.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bent front end jacking improperly

It's used. Had it for two months or so now. 120,000 miles or so. I'll look into getting an owner's manual now. I had read a how to guide on oil changes in Honda Fits, just glossed over how to jack the car up part since it always seemed self-explanatory.

My dad's got this jack for trucks that's been used on other cars too. Worked fine with my last car... Am I crazy to think this is just a horrible design flaw? It's not crazy to instinctively go for the front since you can put the stands on both sides without having to do it again. Body shop guy said cars just crumple from the front these days, usually totaling them in a wreck.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bent front end jacking improperly

Your body shop guy is right. Fuel efficient cars of today are made with light gauge sheet metal all over- body and frame, to reduce weight.. Trucks are made pretty much the same way, except that the frame rails and cross members are made from forged heavy gauge steel for strength. The light weight sheet metal that is used on the whole front end of Fits is meant to be a "crumple zone" to save your life in a front end crash. It just isn't strong enough to support the weight of the car with a jack under the radiator. Your real jacking point is a rectangular metal plate located just behind the front axles in the dead center of the car at the rear of the engine. You need to use a VERY low profile floor jack to reach this plate to jack up the car. Otherwise, use your regular jack to lift each side of the car at the back of the fenders to put each side on a jack stand. Or, a simpler method for oil changes is to use ramps to lift the front end all at once. But, watch out. Unskilled use of ramps can have disastrous results too. Also, all of the inexpensive ramps available on Amazon and eBay have to be adapted for use on cars as low to the ground as Honda Fits.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bent front end jacking improperly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeronamous View Post
It's used. Had it for two months or so now. 120,000 miles or so. I'll look into getting an owner's manual now. I had read a how to guide on oil changes in Honda Fits, just glossed over how to jack the car up part since it always seemed self-explanatory.

My dad's got this jack for trucks that's been used on other cars too. Worked fine with my last car... Am I crazy to think this is just a horrible design flaw? It's not crazy to instinctively go for the front since you can put the stands on both sides without having to do it again. Body shop guy said cars just crumple from the front these days, usually totaling them in a wreck.

Very few cars have the front jacking point on the lower radiator support.

Usually it's the front subframe.

So, yes, you're crazy.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bent front end jacking improperly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeronamous View Post
It's used. Had it for two months or so now. 120,000 miles or so. I'll look into getting an owner's manual now. I had read a how to guide on oil changes in Honda Fits, just glossed over how to jack the car up part since it always seemed self-explanatory.

My dad's got this jack for trucks that's been used on other cars too. Worked fine with my last car... Am I crazy to think this is just a horrible design flaw? It's not crazy to instinctively go for the front since you can put the stands on both sides without having to do it again. Body shop guy said cars just crumple from the front these days, usually totaling them in a wreck.
Here is some more possible bad news- if you did not get the maintenance records from past service work on your used Fit, your mileage indicates that you are very likely due for spark plugs, new ignition coils, and valve adjustment.
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