Hello, new here. I'm at a turning point with my Vibe as it has a few issues that will require some investment, and I've just taken a new job with a longer commute. I know from my past experience (drove an '03 Matrix for 7 years) that the "value" a dealer would assign to it is much less than the life it's got left. I bought it used with 59k miles just over 3 years ago. So I've decided I want to get it back up to speed and continue enjoying it. I'm posting in a few areas about the various issues I have and will appreciate your advice! Be forewarned that I am extremely un-savvy about cars and mechanically inept in general.
A couple of years ago I made the mistake of parking in a grass field for an event and went over a rock I didn't see. When I tried to back up it pulled the underbody shielding apart and left parts shredded and hanging. I trimmed away the shredded parts and used a couple of bungie straps to secure everything, but over time I lost more and more clips and had to trim away more in the wheel wells. The front end plastic is mostly intact, with minimal damage at the very bottom, but with the loose plastic underneath and in the wheel wells, the bumper/fender area recently started pulling loose at the sides at high speeds. I've affixed it with some zip ties and all seems to be holding for now.
At the same time a gap (maybe 2/3 inch at widest) appeared between the top of the grille and the hood. It's now a two person job to release the hood and flip the latch to lift it. I assume that the cross bar that supports the hood latch is warped but I don't see how the rock could've caused that. Has anyone else had this happen?
For my purposes, I'd like to protect the engine and the wheel wells and I'd like the pieces to stay where they're meant to. I am less concerned about the cosmetics for now. I assume I need to replace the shielding under the car but I think the bumper assembly will survive. Does anyone know what kind of costs this would require? Is it something that could be done by an amateur?
Sorry for stupid questions and I appreciate any insights you can give.
2003 Toyota Matrix (former) / 2009 Pontiac Vibe GT - 85k (current)