It’s been a stressful few weeks, but when I remember my children and grandchildren are healthy, everything else is gravy.
TTAC’s long-term test of the 2015 Honda Fit EX came to a sudden halt at 7,987 miles just after I began a left turn through three lanes of stopped traffic south of a red light on Groesbeck, a major road in Macomb County on the east side of Detroit.
I was going to a music store, but couldn’t remember exactly where it was, which landed me traveling in the wrong direction on Groesbeck. To effect a U-turn, I pulled into the left turn lane of the seven-lane highway to turn into some business frontage.
We discussed the general process of repairing a salvage car a few weeks ago and one commenter asked about airbags. Joe Btfsplk writes:
How do you deal with deployed airbags? Are used parts allowed to be used in salvage vehicles? This seems to get little attention in the article.
Dealing with deployed airbags in modern cars can be a tricky and costly situation. The installation of used parts is allowed but may not always be the safest solution.
Salvage and rebuilt vehicle listings on Craigslist (and other classified sites) are ubiquitous. They often manifest themselves as late-model metal with low prices and even lower standards of ad copy.
But have you ever wondered how those vehicles end up on Craigslist in the first place? What happens to a salvage or rebuilt vehicle between the time it’s sold at auction and its first appearance on your local classified site?
One of my good friends and long-time TTAC commenters asked me this question.
If you have a moment, what are the high and low values right now at auction for the following:
2000 Chevy Monte Carlo SS 40K miles gold/tan
2006 Mustang GT premium 27K maroon/tan
2006 G6 GTP folding hardtop 53k black/black
I could only give him one response and it wasn’t, “Go play darts and put some numbers together!”
The answer came in three simple words.
Condition, condition, condition.
The prospect of buying a salvage titled car for almost half the price of one of its clean titled counterparts is tempting for many potential car buyers, but increasingly it’s becoming a losing proposition. I have bought and reconditioned a few dozen salvage cars (I currently own three). As I am getting ready to embark on a new car buying adventure, I sat back to look at the math for my current daily driver.
I purchased my 2005 Cadillac STS from an insurance auction a few years ago for about $3,400. After it arrived, I spent another $2,300 to repair it and get it back on the road. I went through the receipts a few months ago and wrote up a summary of the costs. It worked out to be a great deal for me at the time but now that I am getting ready to replace it, I decided to take a look back and see if I actually saved any money in the long run.
When I peruse the websites of some of my local yards, it seems like some of these cars have very little damage but some insurance adjuster has written them off based on whatever metric the company uses.
I’m an experienced shadetree mechanic and it seems like getting a 3-4 year old car for 30% of its original MSRP would be a screaming deal, and since warranty coverage is no longer an issue, it comes down to diminished value on the salvage title. I tend to keep my cars for 8-10 years so who cares.
Here’s where my doubts creep in.
If it was such a great idea, I would have surely read more about it. In the case of this one nearby yard, they have a huge collision repair facility. So why aren’t they repairing and flipping these cars? Googling doesn’t provide a whole lot on the pros and cons, just on the procedural aspects.
Any experience or stories ?
It’s amazing what having a ton of cash can buy you these days. For example, if you have a tween daughter with big dreams to be on stage singing about her favorite Asian foods, up to $4,000 can buy her a music video featuring a clown in a panda costume, plus the music and lyrics.
That said, why allow your daughter to become the next big viral sensation (for all the wrong reasons), when for the right price, you can buy a wrecked 1995 Ferrari F50?
How’d you like to buy a new Chevrolet? A real Chevrolet. Not a Daewoo. Not a New GM assemblage of lowest-bidder Chinese electronics and focus-grouped inoffensiveness. A brand-new Chevrolet from the time when Chevrolet ruled the world with a cast-iron fist. A brand-new 1958 Chevrolet. With four miles on the odometer.
Every once in a very blue moon, I’ll go to a mini-warehouse auction.
The realities of this low-down clearance process is completely unlike the miracles and glories that come with episodes of Storage Wars. You want junky third world quality furniture? Or memoirs of the 1980’s and 1990’s left behind by your neighbors from their very last estate sale before they finally moved to a condominium? The local storage auctions are the place to go. 80% to 90% pure junk.
This is where I recently found this wrecked 2002 Toyota Solara SE with 140k miles. For $375, it was all mine.
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