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Re: Minor mishap - questions

> The red part of the tail light is broken, and unfortunately I did not find all
> the broken pieces. There is no used lights around here, none of the estimators
> could locate one, and a new one is about C$ 260.00, probably closer to 300 by
> the time I pay the taxes. Is the same vintage 5k light the same? Does anyone
> have a broken light with red part intact, I could probably just "cut and paste"
> the missing part.

I'd recommend getting a replacement from a wrecking yard.  If it is difficult
to find Audi parts in Canada you might want to look south of the border.  I
have experience with Santa Fe (in Colorado), DADS (in California) and [now] 
Wolfsport (in California).  I've gotten great service from all three, and I'd 
be surprised if you couldn't find a replacement tail light lens for much 
cheaper than the quotes you have.  
> I guess my other choice is just to have the car fixed, but I am afraid that I
> will not be satisfied, and the insurance company would force the body shop to
> cut corners. I am also planning sometimes later on to have the other body
> imperfections rectified and rather spend the money now on other more pressing
> needs (suspension, exhaust).
If it were me, and if the insurance is not going to pay the total tab for 
fixing my car that was damaged by a neighbour, I would certainly go to 
them personally to let them know about it, saying that you would work 
with them to minimize the overall expense to them by purchasing used 
parts as much as possible.  If they were not then I guess I'd look into
small claims court ...

I guess there are advantages to living in the US after all ... here the only
compromise is the payment of the deductable, and I must say that I've been
pretty fortunate in that my vehicles were well taken care of with little to
no money coming from my pocket [all incidents to date have been deemed the 
other person's fault].  I guess the biggest issue I have is with the fact 
if the damage is greater than somebody's estimate of the value of the car
that's the maximum amount that you can get in return.  

Best of luck with getting things repaired Peter!

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)