Auto body repair & detailing/rear 1/4 panel 2014 chevy malibu
I backed into a truck and broke the tail light, Replaced that, but now realized the 1/4 panel must have also come out as the panel is a little out at the front and the lower panel is not completely attached to the main panel. A little shove gets them back inline. How do I get them reattached? Can I do this myself? No visible damage to the body.
Hey Marie!....I took a look at the rear section of a 2014 Chevy Malibu, and from your description of the damage, it sounds like the rear bumper cover, ( which I think/hope you are referring to as the lower panel ), has become misaligned with the actual 1/4 sheet metal panel, where the 2 should attach together and sit flush against one another. If you are able to just pop the cover back into place, then all should be good, as most bumper covers are attached to the 1/4 panel with plastic retainers, that are actually designed to be snapped into place. If it will not stay aligned, in order to fix this, you will need to remove the rear bumper cover. To do this, first you will need to remove both the Right and Left hand sides of the trunk interior trim panels. Next, remove both tail lights, and remove any bumper retaining clips underneath them. You will now need to remove the clips/retainers, that attach the bumper cover to the wheelhouse splash shields just behind the rear wheels. Once this is completed, there should be 1 screw/bolt, driven up vertically at the leading edge of the cover, where it attaches to the bottom of the 1/4 panel. Remove this as well. Lastly, check underneath the cover, and remove any existing clips/retainers, that attach it to the lower body. The bumper cover will now be able to be removed.
Now you can inspect where the cover connects to the 1/4 panel, and see if there is any damage to the 1/4 panel flange, retaining brackets, and the bumper cover flange as well. This will be needed to be repaired as necessary, and broken/damaged retainers/clips replaced. Re-install the bumper cover in the exact reverse order of removal.
In regards to the 1/4 panel and tail light not lining up and sitting flush, unfortunately, the panel will need to be repaired and refinished for a proper end result.
I hope this all helps you out. If you have any other questions, please drop me another line....Thanks...Dave.