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Old 03-30-2016, 02:12 PM   #1
DonP1
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1999 SL2
Default What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

I have a 1999 SL2 with 153K miles auto. The car still runs and drives great. I get 34mpg going from Cinci to Nashville a few months ago.

On March Madness / St. Patrick's day, I was at a stop light behind a F150 work truck with a shell and tinted windows. The guy threw it into reverse and drove up on my bumper and hood, crushed the headlights, damaged the right and left fenders. I haven't popped the hood to see what smashed under.

One quick estimate was $4K.

The other party's insurance is State Farm. They are likely going to total it.

I'll likely take the car in to the "final" estimate on Friday.

If they total it, and I keep it, can I repair it myself and drive it or will it not be allowed on the road (I live in Cinci). I can find great Saturn bodies with bad engines for $350. I guess I could swap my good engine into one of those.

If anyone has gone through this, let me know your thoughts on what to do.

Thanks,

don
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

You are living in the Golden Age of Cheap Used Saturn S-Series (GACUSSS).
Find one that is not bent and prepare to change over everything including the steering rack. If your interior is good, swap that over too.
The right color is all you need
Only peril to avoid is a car of rust. Look to the South of the U.S.A.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonP1 View Post
One quick estimate was $4K.
Insurance is going to give you THAT much? I'd take it and move on. Everyone's circumstances is different - state laws, and free time on your hands often dictate that. I'm just trying to reach the moon (approx 230K miles) and then I plan to donate mine. That is still 24 to 36 months away though.
...
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As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Some states they are only allowed to total the car with your consent if the other party is at fault, otherwise theoretically they're required to fix it from what I've heard. I'd look into that if you want to keep it.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

If the decision is made to get another body ... the corrosion issue is paramount. Check the Top of the rocker panels at the Rear Doors, as well as ahead+behind the wheels, and the floor panel.
If those parts pass inspection , consider installing a mint subframe ('powertrain cradle') that has been well-coated to avoid deterioration.
Easy to swap subframe when engine out.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSaturn02 View Post
Insurance is going to give you THAT much?
I wish!

That was an estimate from a repair shop of how much to fix using new parts (where they will get them I have no idea).

The car is worth $2000 to $2500. I was told State Farm totals at 70% of value. Since $4K is way over 100% of the cars value, I'm afraid they will total it and try to give me some ****ty ass payoff based on Kelly Blue Book.

The car runs great and I would prefer to keep it, but I need the insurance to pay enough to get it fixed.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninetynineSC2 View Post
Some states they are only allowed to total the car with your consent if the other party is at fault, otherwise theoretically they're required to fix it from what I've heard. I'd look into that if you want to keep it.
This would be the ideal solution - force them to fix it back to the way it was.

FWIW my car has a good frame and no bad rust issues. The usual rusting of the exhaust hangers being the exception.

I drove ti 50 miles yesterday. Air conditioner still functions.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

If your engine is good and engine maintenance is known and you want to drive an S-Series then you want to keep the car for parts.
You would not have to go far South to find a good body with a bad engine.
Besides the engine and transmission, you would only swap over the parts you needed to get a good car. Save some parts for spares.
(FWIW, I define a good S-Series car as one that drives the equivalent of 5 years old or newer.)
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

I think you are being over optimistic at valuing your 99 at $2K - $2500. Down here in Florida, you can pick 2000+ years for $1500. I only paid $1700 for my son's 2002 SL2.

Here in sunny, but wet Florida we don't have to battle salt, so cars tend to be a lot less rust free than up north.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
I think you are being over optimistic at valuing your 99 at $2K - $2500. Down here in Florida, you can pick 2000+ years for $1500. I only paid $1700 for my son's 2002 SL2.
Depends on where you live, I reckon. That is why KBB asks for zip codes. Yeah, I think my 2002 SL2 is valued (private sell) at around $1,800, classifying it as 'good' condition. Hey, everything still works.
...
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As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

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Old 03-31-2016, 04:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Your best bet, IMO, is to be ready to be a pain in State Farm's keister

Find comparable vehicles (mileage, condition, etc.) that are higher that the KBB value.

You might need to cruise some used car lots and see what they are asking, and check for rust, etc., because if they are otherwise comparable but have significant rust, your car was worth more. If you come armed with a list of comparable replacement vehicles of similar condition, and act like you are ready to fight tooth and nail for every penny, the adjuster is likely to cough up a little more dough.

Once you settle with them, they own the car. You can ask to buy it back, but you'll be paying whatever their junkyard or scrapper would have paid for it.

If you have the time and money, you could get a junkyard engine to put in the car, and put your old engine in your new car. Or buy one of those barely running but good body Saturns and swap engines.
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

When our 01 SL1 got totaled a few years ago, the lady's insurance company (I can't remember what the company was.) valued it according to comps in the area to replace it with the same car. They mailed us printouts of all the comps with their offer.

In Ohio, you are banned from highways and unable to get a plate for it unless you obtain a "rebuilt salvage" title. Read these for details.
http://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/...n_brochure.pdf
http://www.dmv.org/oh-ohio/salvaged-vehicles.php

The good thing about Cinci is that there are plenty of Saturns at numerous junkyards if you decide to rebuild.
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Prepare for your offer by looking at what local used car dealers are selling used Saturns for. Make printouts of their advertised prices. Use the overly priced ones as examples of what it will cost to get you back in a Saturn. Even if a few years younger. This is a big inconvenience to you and you need to let State Farm know it. Be sure that they know that you intended to keep your car For a long time.
...
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Progressive let us show them receipts of recent work and stuff put into the car(including tires) and paid for 75% of all work and addons onto of the nada value of the car. Someone totaled our Alero in a parking lot and got caught. His insurance was more than willing to help us out to get the most out of our car. We ended up getting over 3k for a car that booked for 1350. Don't let them pester you. Their client is the one who caused the damage and headache. Put on a show. Tell them how you've had to rent a car cause you don't feel safe driving yours.. Or how you were late to work because of the accident.. Play the guilt card. Don't settle till you're happy. You can push them pretty far since you didn't cause the accident.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

My 3rd gen SC1 got hit a glancing blow in the driver's front corner a few months ago (my son was driving and was at fault). The car ran great, got outstanding mileage (5 speed), was otherwise in good shape, and the damage at first looked like it could be just cosmetic, so it was my plan to keep and fix it. The insurance adjuster took one look at it and totaled it without even looking underneath it (age, book value, non availability of new parts, etc). I was ready for a lowball offer but was pleasantly surprised when they said $3400, minus $500 for my deductible and $200 if I wanted to keep it, or in other words, I get a check for $2700 and I keep the car (I paid only $2000 for it a few years and 30k ago). I took their offer with the hope of fixing it if possible, or if not, take some of the best stuff off it and sell the rest.

Once I got it up on jacks in my garage, I discovered the subframe was toast. Unfortunately, that and the fact I couldn't find the needed correct color body panels for a 3rd gen SC anywhere within 300 miles around me spelled doom for my trusty SC. I toyed briefly with finding a similar one in decent shape around here and combining the best of both (mine had a lot of new parts), but a few weeks of looking didn't turn up an acceptable 3rd gen 5 speed, and I needed to get the wrecked one out of my garage. Surprisingly, no one around here wanted to buy it for parts including P-n-P, so I took everything I wanted off it and sold it for scrap ($125). I hated to do that because it still ran great, got great mileage, used little oil (at 150k), and was very reliable, but I was out of options and I had gotten more than my money out of it.

Btw, in Ohio the insurance company requires you to convert the title to "Salvage" prior to them issuing a settlement check in situations where they're calling it a total loss. If you then decide to fix it, once repairs are completed you have to have it inspected by the highway patrol in order to be retitled. If it passes inspection, you can then go back to the title bureau and convert the title to "Rebuilt". In the meantime, it's not legal to drive it on public streets except to and from the highway patrol inspection station.

The process with my insurance company (Progressive) was surprisingly painless and fuss-free. They didn't even raise my rates at renewal time even with my now-no-longer-ticket-free son still on the policy. I guess me having a 40-year clean driving record and claim free forever counted for something.

I hope this info helps. Good luck.

Last edited by grant404; 04-04-2016 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by grant404 View Post
My 3rd gen SC1 got hit a glancing blow in the driver's front corner a few months ago (my son was driving and was at fault). The car ran great, got outstanding mileage (5 speed), was otherwise in good shape, and the damage at first looked like it could be just cosmetic, so it was my plan to keep and fix it. The insurance adjuster took one look at it and totaled it without even looking underneath it (age, book value, non availability of new parts, etc). I was ready for a lowball offer but was pleasantly surprised when they said $3400, minus $500 for my deductible and $200 if I wanted to keep it, or in other words, I get a check for $2700 and I keep the car (I paid only $2000 for it a few years and 30k ago). I took their offer with the hope of fixing it if possible, or if not, take some of the best stuff off it and sell the rest.

Once I got it up on jacks in my garage, I discovered the subframe was toast. Unfortunately, that and the fact I couldn't find the needed correct color body panels for a 3rd gen SC anywhere within 300 miles around me spelled doom for my trusty SC. I toyed briefly with finding a similar one in decent shape around here and combining the best of both (mine had a lot of new parts), but a few weeks of looking didn't turn up an acceptable 3rd gen 5 speed, and I needed to get the wrecked one out of my garage. Surprisingly, no one around here wanted to buy it for parts including P-n-P, so I took everything I wanted off it and sold it for scrap ($125). I hated to do that because it still ran great, got great mileage, used little oil (at 150k), and was very reliable, but I was out of options and I had gotten more than my money out of it.

Btw, in Ohio the insurance company requires you to convert the title to "Salvage" prior to them issuing a settlement check in situations where they're calling it a total loss. If you then decide to fix it, once repairs are completed you have to have it inspected by the highway patrol in order to be retitled. If it passes inspection, you can then go back to the title bureau and convert the title to "Rebuilt". In the meantime, it's not legal to drive it on public streets except to and from the highway patrol inspection station.

The process with my insurance company (Progressive) was surprisingly painless and fuss-free. They didn't even raise my rates at renewal time even with my now-no-longer-ticket-free son still on the policy. I guess me having a 40-year clean driving record and claim free forever counted for something.

I hope this info helps. Good luck.
Had to be maroon/ Burt orange/ yellow.... those are the hard to come by colors...


To OP.... keep it, lets see how that core support looks.... if its to bad I can find blown up engine/trans cars for about $250 drop sub frame and rinse and repeat if its to bad... (or if its fixable use the parts car for the front dog house.. just paid $180 for a blown trans car only for bumper/absorber/airbag/SDM, but cheaper then going to the JY and pulling parts)

Also what color is your car?
...
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Miles(k) 2013~15
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
I think you are being over optimistic at valuing your 99 at $2K - $2500. Down here in Florida, you can pick 2000+ years for $1500. I only paid $1700 for my son's 2002 SL2.

Here in sunny, but wet Florida we don't have to battle salt, so cars tend to be a lot less rust free than up north.
Cinci seems a little more pricey than Columbus or BFE locations. $2000 - $2500 gets you a descent 125K mile Saturn.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamping.ap View Post
When our 01 SL1 got totaled a few years ago, the lady's insurance company (I can't remember what the company was.) valued it according to comps in the area to replace it with the same car. They mailed us printouts of all the comps with their offer.

In Ohio, you are banned from highways and unable to get a plate for it unless you obtain a "rebuilt salvage" title. Read these for details.
http://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/...n_brochure.pdf
http://www.dmv.org/oh-ohio/salvaged-vehicles.php

The good thing about Cinci is that there are plenty of Saturns at numerous junkyards if you decide to rebuild.
Thanks for the good info.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by grant404 View Post
My 3rd gen SC1 got hit a glancing blow in the driver's front corner a few months ago (my son was driving and was at fault). The car ran great, got outstanding mileage (5 speed), was otherwise in good shape, and the damage at first looked like it could be just cosmetic, so it was my plan to keep and fix it. The insurance adjuster took one look at it and totaled it without even looking underneath it (age, book value, non availability of new parts, etc). I was ready for a lowball offer but was pleasantly surprised when they said $3400, minus $500 for my deductible and $200 if I wanted to keep it, or in other words, I get a check for $2700 and I keep the car (I paid only $2000 for it a few years and 30k ago). I took their offer with the hope of fixing it if possible, or if not, take some of the best stuff off it and sell the rest.

Once I got it up on jacks in my garage, I discovered the subframe was toast. Unfortunately, that and the fact I couldn't find the needed correct color body panels for a 3rd gen SC anywhere within 300 miles around me spelled doom for my trusty SC. I toyed briefly with finding a similar one in decent shape around here and combining the best of both (mine had a lot of new parts), but a few weeks of looking didn't turn up an acceptable 3rd gen 5 speed, and I needed to get the wrecked one out of my garage. Surprisingly, no one around here wanted to buy it for parts including P-n-P, so I took everything I wanted off it and sold it for scrap ($125). I hated to do that because it still ran great, got great mileage, used little oil (at 150k), and was very reliable, but I was out of options and I had gotten more than my money out of it.

Btw, in Ohio the insurance company requires you to convert the title to "Salvage" prior to them issuing a settlement check in situations where they're calling it a total loss. If you then decide to fix it, once repairs are completed you have to have it inspected by the highway patrol in order to be retitled. If it passes inspection, you can then go back to the title bureau and convert the title to "Rebuilt". In the meantime, it's not legal to drive it on public streets except to and from the highway patrol inspection station.

The process with my insurance company (Progressive) was surprisingly painless and fuss-free. They didn't even raise my rates at renewal time even with my now-no-longer-ticket-free son still on the policy. I guess me having a 40-year clean driving record and claim free forever counted for something.

I hope this info helps. Good luck.
Yes, this helps a lot. I think I am in a very similar situation. It might be best to get a $350 non-running car with a clean title and swap the motor/tranny rather than try to get the title converted to rebuilt.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: What to do? Car likely going to be totalled

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Originally Posted by Saturninin View Post
Also what color is your car?
The most common color? Gold, LOL!
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