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You can see in the pictures it was damaged on the side. I would still buy it if the price was right. the word "salvaged" just scares the hell out of people.
My old Toyota corolla was hit on the side by another car it had both passenger doors damaged and because it had over 200k on it they totaled it. If I didn't have full coverage on it I would have just replaced the doors from a junk yard and kept driving it. Sometimes It doesn't pay to have full coverage on a car with a lot of miles. It's all about the money.
 

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Rick is right. They tried to total my Bronco on a $800 claim. Anything over 7 years old should be questioned before placing comp and coll on it. Remember to use your deductible in your math. Many adjusters use kbb.com to reason with insureds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
"Any thoughts on all of that? The pictures I posted don't seem to jive with my vision of a front impact and I guess the sideswipe was the embankment - or perhaps the embankment was hit following the sideswipe. Carfax doesn't mention sideswipe. And I guess the front wheel area would qualify as "front impact".

It would qualify as front impact, but the alignment check will show any real damage to that area. It either fits or it doesn't. Regardless, the front area is easy for anyone to observe. Just have the alignment shop look at it.

Go back to your book and use the 'person to person' pricing, not retail. If you are using the retail amount as your starting point you have already lost on this car. The money saved is the only advantage to buying salvaged. The discount will be deep as it cannot ever be sold to a dealer. Nor will it's brand ever be reversed.
I can't even use KBB or Edmunds for a salvage title (KBB calls the condition "poor" due to the salvage on the title and they won't place a value on it). Bumping up to the next better condition called "fair" for a party to party transaction, the Element with the EX trim package and the miles on it for the zip codes in question say $9620 (now that is with no title problems like this one has and in fair condition). Do I take $1660 off of that price like Carfax suggests, or do I go lower on a car with a title branded as salvage? That would be $7960 (Carfax's suggested discount of $1660 subtracted from the "fair" value rate).

2005 EX, 97K and damage that has been repaired as seen and mentioned in this thread.

What's it worth? Obviously the market rate that somebody will pay for it, but curious what the guy has in it cost wise from the auction buy and his subsequent repairs. Is a ballpark range of $6K - $7.9K too much?

Leadfoot
 

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The auction cost was very likely 20% of the value that day. But there is no way to tell. Regardless, this guy is not new to this. Black is a very unforgiving color and it looks like he dd good body work. Not a newby to cars. With that said, what is he asking for it?
 

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More than just a sideswipe

You can see in photo 6 that the strut (and possibly control arm, hub, or knee assembly was replaced with a used one. See the part number paint stick listing? So there was some suspension and likely unibody damage. It also shows this was "rebuilt" in someone's garage, not a body shop with proper unibody pulling and alignment equipment or a proper spray booth. So I'm sure in my professional opinion the repairs are sub-par. Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
You can see in photo 6 that the strut (and possibly control arm, hub, or knee assembly was replaced with a used one. See the part number paint stick listing? So there was some suspension and likely unibody damage. It also shows this was "rebuilt" in someone's garage, not a body shop with proper unibody pulling and alignment equipment or a proper spray booth. So I'm sure in my professional opinion the repairs are sub-par. Just my two cents.
Ah, good catch on the replaced part. So that probably explains why it was towed. I would imagine, since the owner mentioned he had it checked and nothing needed to be pulled (claims he checks all the vehicles he buys and rebuilds), that he took it to a shop for the alignment check. Probably ditto for the painting as well, but I don't know. I'm just guessing.
 

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Great eye! Grease pencil often equals salvage yard...which is not a bad thing really. But I think the guy is qualified or at least more so than most. It may be a stretch to say the repairs are "sub-par", however we do not know for sure. Wouldn't damage to the uni body be evident in wrinkling in the metal somewhere? If the car drives straight wouldn't that be the important thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Great eye! Grease pencil often equals salvage yard...which is not a bad thing really. But I think the guy is qualified or at least more so than most. It may be a stretch to say the repairs are "sub-par", however we do not know for sure. Wouldn't damage to the uni body be evident in wrinkling in the metal somewhere? If the car drives straight wouldn't that be the important thing?
Again, he had the alignment checked and nothing had to be pulled before he did the repair. Regardless, I can easily make an appointment at a top auto/collision body repair shop that has all of the equipment to check the alignment and all of the work completed on the Element.

Selling price would be $6500. If I include tax, title and plates a bit under $7K. Blue Book Value for a 2005 EX with the same mileage and package (roof rack) in my zip code sold private party to private party according to KBB would be around....:

Excellent Condition = $12,940
Good Condition = $12,190
Fair Condition = $10,915
Poor Condition = (KBB won't put a value on a salvage branded title)

So the selling price is about 40% lower than one in "fair condition", 47% lower than one in "good condition" and 50% lower than one in excellent condition. Not worried about resale value as this vehicle, if everything goes right with it, would be driven for at least 7 years.
 

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Just curious if buying a used Element that got side-swiped and has been rebuilt, inspected and licensed with the title having this listed on it "Salvage - Non-Removable" would be worth the gamble for the price savings? . . .TIA
Will your insurance company cover it and provide coverage similar to what they'd provide for an Element that hadn't been "salvaged"?
 

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My car is not salvaged, but it was in a bad accident before I bought it. The dealership hid all the damage very well but after a while, I had to deal with all the expenses and costs of repairing it the proper way. Radiator went on me, then the ac compressor, then there were creaking and squaking noises, the front bumper wasn't the right bumper. There was a lot wrong.

All in all, I would say that it cost me about $3500 to properly fix a car that the dealer sold to me as "certified used".

Now, I know you're talking about salvaged and used, my advice would be to NOT buy that car, because you simply can't trust the work that was done to it and you deserve better. We all do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
My car is not salvaged, but it was in a bad accident before I bought it. The dealership hid all the damage very well but after a while, I had to deal with all the expenses and costs of repairing it the proper way. Radiator went on me, then the ac compressor, then there were creaking and squaking noises, the front bumper wasn't the right bumper. There was a lot wrong.

All in all, I would say that it cost me about $3500 to properly fix a car that the dealer sold to me as "certified used".

Now, I know you're talking about salvaged and used, my advice would be to NOT buy that car, because you simply can't trust the work that was done to it and you deserve better. We all do.
Well, I've already got my 2005 RR EX Element that I bought new off the lot and have 93K on so far. I deserved it, bought it and love it. This one is for my teenage son who has yet to reach the point in life where he deserves a top notch car. I drove all kinds of sheet when I was his age and beyond college (an old beat up Datsun pickup, a beat up Mustang, a beat up Volare, a beat up Escort, a beat up Toyota pickup, etc...). He's got to earn it for himself and IMO - this rebuilt salvage is pretty much a luxury vehicle compared to what I had when I was his age.

Too late. I'm picking up the car in a few days. I've got a shop that will put it on their alignment rack and check everything out underneath as well as check all the repairs that were done for a mere $69.

I will follow up with how it drives, how it checked out and any subsequent work that may or may not be needed.

LeadFoot
 

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You can fix about anything. This is a unit body vehicle. Did the whole body/frame have to be bent back into shape? My concern would also be the alignment. Does it run straight....not sideways....rear wheels following front wheels. I think I would want to see the numbers from a 4 wheel alignment.

You may be fine.
 

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One major reason (beyond expense) that Insurance companies write of a vehicle with certain damage, is liability. Todays chassis are designed and engineered to crumple an exact way in an accident, routing the force of the collision around the passenger compartment, to protect the vehicle occupants. It's only designed to do this once. If there is chassis damage that looks like it has compromised the main crumple zones, Insurance companies consider that none-repairable, and will salvage the title. A shop may be able to repair the vehicle, make it drive straight and true, with no problem. But in an accident, where the original chassis would have crumpled as designed, and kept you or your passengers alive or uninjured, the repaired version won't. Have seen it happen where what was originally a 5 star crash-rated vehicle crumple up like a beer can on one side, because the chassis had been compromised in a previous accident and "repaired". The repair shop that "fixed" the vehicle was sued and went out of business, but the money received in the settlement wasn't worth the life of the driver. Why do you think they make them put "salvage" on the title and won't let it be removed even if the vehicle has been repaired? :roll:
 

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This one is for my teenage son who has yet to reach the point in life where he deserves a top notch car. I drove all kinds of sheet when I was his age and beyond college (an old beat up Datsun pickup, a beat up Mustang, a beat up Volare, a beat up Escort, a beat up Toyota pickup, etc...).

LeadFoot
One major reason (beyond expense) that Insurance companies write of a vehicle with certain damage, is liability. Todays chassis are designed and engineered to crumple an exact way in an accident, routing the force of the collision around the passenger compartment, to protect the vehicle occupants. It's only designed to do this once. If there is chassis damage that looks like it has compromised the main crumple zones, Insurance companies consider that none-repairable, and will salvage the title. A shop may be able to repair the vehicle, make it drive straight and true, with no problem. But in an accident, where the original chassis would have crumpled as designed, and kept you or your passengers alive or uninjured, the repaired version won't. Have seen it happen where what was originally a 5 star crash-rated vehicle crumple up like a beer can on one side, because the chassis had been compromised in a previous accident and "repaired". The repair shop that "fixed" the vehicle was sued and went out of business, but the money received in the settlement wasn't worth the life of the driver. Why do you think they make them put "salvage" on the title and won't let it be removed even if the vehicle has been repaired? :roll:
There's a difference between driving a clunker and a death trap. Let's hope this car is not the latter. Also, the reason I'd want the uni-body checked before I bought the car.
 
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