Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:24 am Post subject: should I part out or fix.........
We have a 2003 Impala base model that my wife was driving. Last week while she was driving to work a car beside her hit a wet spot and got out of control, spun around and hit my wife in the drivers side door. It also got the driver side front fender and bent the inner tie rod, the rod that is hooked to the steering cylinder. I can fix that easy enough because the part is not that expensive and then be able to drive it.
I just spent almost $1700 on the car just a few months ago rebuilding the front and rear suspension with all new parts. I put brand new tires on it and had a 4 wheel alignment done at the GM dealer.
We were thinking about another car but decided rather than get strapped with another car payment right now with the economy in the shape it's in to just fix this one where it was safe to drive. I knew the front end needed some work, struts mainly but once we decided to keep it I went a little crazy and replaced pretty much everything. All 4 struts complete, control arms, front sway bar, hubs and some more stuff.
The car was driving and handling like a dream which is probably why my wife was able to keep the car under control when she was T-boned on the wet highway at 70 mph. Anyway, now we are right back where we were a few months ago, only with different parts. The other persons insurance took responsibility but as I figured they totaled the car and paid her what they called fair market price. I decided to keep the car because I figured If I could find a door and fender the same color (the silver looking color) I could get it going again and maybe salvage something out of this mess. I really can't afford to go out and buy a new or even a low mileage used car right now but also don't want to keep throwing money at this car that has this much damage with the miles it has on it even though the miles are all highway miles.
Has anyone here ever parted out one of these cars and if so how did you come out on the deal. I have the room to store it until most of the good parts are sold, then I can haul the rest to the salvage yard for a little more to add to the kitty. I figure I should be able to sell the engine and transmission and get most of my money back and the rest could be added to the newer car fund.
I figure I could fix it for around $1500.00 but if I used it as a trade in on another lower mileage used car would I even be able to get that much out of it. Money is so tight right right now so I have to get the most bang for the buck I can out of this thing.
tough call for sure. So when you said the other party was liable was there no payout to get you into another vehicle ? I know the current market value for an 03 Imp is $3-$4 in good shape. Those needing work are $1k or less. I was offered $1200.00 for wifeys car as trade-in bait and its in good shape.
If you like the w-body and as it sounds like you have already bought your car back I would think that it would be easier to buy another Impala and swap all your "upgraded" parts to the new car than to repair the damage to yours. There are plenty of parts cars out there so I would not expect to sell much if you part yours out.
It really depends on how much damage was done to the car. If the unibody was tweaked, you don't have much of a choice other than to junk it. If all you need to do is straighten out a fender and throw on a new door and tie rod, I'd vote for keeping it.
As far as parting it out, you won't get much out of it at all. Unless you have highly desirable parts (SS bumper, spoiler, etc), odds are it won't be worth your time to part it out. I ended up unloading a barely operable 1998 Intrigue to a junkyard for 300 bucks cash and thought that was a great deal for me.
Protip: If you don't know what you're doing, don't do it.
I had a guy look at it and he said nothing was bent and all it needed was a door, fender and the tie rod.....and maybe a wheel because it is a steel wheel and he said that most of the time if they get hit hard enough to bend the wheel in like it did the wheel also gets bent in the process. I haven't called around to the junk yards but the last time I looked for a fender and a door for a car like this they were really expensive.
They gave me $3000.00 and said although it was in really good shape that was all they would pay because of the miles on it.......163585 miles. I talked to a lawyer about it and he said in this state, Va., they pretty much call the shots because they have lobbied so hard and that all the insurance companies have banded together with deals between each other that no matter who is at fault everybody gets screwed.....accept them of course. Our insurance is going to take a hit regardless of who was at fault because the way they look at it an accident is an accident and when you exchange insurance information your insurance company finds out about weather you tell them or not. Now they have it set up that if you have medical expenses or time missed from work the party at fault doesn't have to pay the doctors fees, or any of that stuff. You have to get that money from your insurance company if you have medical coverage on yourself and if you don't you have medical coverage on your policy, which most people don't, you have to hope your health insurance pays it.
We checked with our health care people and they said they will cover part of it but didn't say how much but they did say the deductible for each visit would be $60.00. The doctor said she needs to have 3 visits a week for at least 5 weeks and all those $60.00 have to come out of our pocket plus anything else that our insurance doesn't pay. When it's all over and the doctor releases her then the at fault insurance company get's out their sharp pencils and decides how much they feel they have to pay.
I was going to take the money we got for the car and fix it but now I can't even do that because we need it to pay her doctors bills so at least she can get her neck fixed.. I guess I'll just look around in the meantime and see what I can find as far as parts go and fix it when this is all over.
If the doorjambs & critical areas arent damaged it would be worth looking for used parts to slap on & get your money's worth out of it. I'm talking just throw on a new fender, door, fix suspension, ect. and everything closes, looks allright. If its damaged beyond that & needs any kind of "straightening" I dont know.
You have been paid off by the insurance company so finacially your about as far as you can go with it. It will show up as totaled on the title, so resale value is gone. If you can just toss new body parts at it you could be a little picky & look for silver ones & avoid the multi-colored beater look Luckily your silver, so it should be easy. Around here a fender is only $40ish & a door $75ish at the local junkyard. Wheels, theres always Craigslist as a last resort.
To try to give you a "bright side" laugh...My friends wife drove a pile of crap Escort. It was in great shape, dead reliable, but it was a Escort. SHE rearended somebody & the insurance company totaled the car (rad support was bent, not replaceable). They got almost $2k for the car from insurance, bought it back for scrap price & we fixed it for cheap-$100. He traded a shotgun & $50 for the car in the first place, plus she drove it for another 5 years till it started getting rusty. In the end, the "accident" wound up making the Escort a goldmine. Go figure!
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