Dear God Someone Help!!!
Okay, driving home today went normally for the first 30 miles. But on mile 32, something drastic happened. As I made a slow right through a new intersection (opened up today) - about 20 mph, I heard a "thunk" from the bottom of my car and then harsh scraping. I could feel drag from the rear driver's side; my guess was right before my muffler. I immediately slowed down and stopped on the marked "island" that was just created by the construction (it WAS a two-lane).
I let my car run for a bit and checked for lights or any indication of anything gone wrong. Nothing. All sounds normal.
I got out of the car, and about 20 feet behind me was a piece of black plastic about 10" long, 7" tall, and maybe 5" wide (see attachments). Insert swears here.
I got back into my car and test-drove it home; checking gear shifts, odd noises, lighting, balance, road feel, the whole deal. Everything was normal, fuel consumption was normal, no strange smells or noises. I tried to look under my car, but it's kind of difficult with the suspension and skirts and whatnot (m3).
WHAT IS THIS THING?!? Is this from my car? Could it possibly have been picked up road debris? It is possible that I hit this thing; it's smaller than the curb at the turn I took, I'm kind of short, it would have been in a blind spot behind the curb as I turned. Or is this a BMW part and my car is forver screwed (there's no way this thing is going back on if it's my part - the anchoring brackets are all twisted and torn up)?
I looked for numbers and whatnot. It's says "SAE" on it, so I'm supposing it's part of the exhaust or fueling system, but no fluids could be seen leaking from my car, and there was no funny smell. The gas gauge didn't rapidly decrease or the mpg.
I'm at a loss here guys. I know I'm a newbie when it comes to cars (only been learning since february of this year) so please cut me some slack. I learn quick though.
Oh, and I checked the part for any "made in Germany" or "BMW" or roundels or anything, there are none. Unless they were scratched off when I dragged the piece on the floor.
1998 BMW e36 M3 Sedan
Crap, I think I may be a yuppie...
2003 MINI Cooper