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Advise about buying a vehicle with a salvage title

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Eric M., Feb 5, 2006.

  1. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    I'm looking to buy a daily driver ... good MPG, smooth ride, quiet, small, 2wd and low to the ground (have a short girlfriend!). I found a 2004 Civic with a salvage title for $7500. The Blue Book on this particular model is $12,500. A body shop bought it from an insurance auction, repaired it and is now selling it. It was hit hard on the drivers side. Both front and rear doors on the drivers side have been replace and the post between the 2 doors was pulled out. The repairs look good, some poor Bondo work at the lower rocker and some over spray clean up is about all I see. I looked under the car and it doesn't look as any of the uni-body was damaged. All panels fit well and seal well. Took it for a spin on city streets and freeway, it seemed to handle and run fine.

    I know if I ever try to sell it, the fact that it has a salvage title will hurt my asking price.

    Anyone else have any suggestions of what to look at or what some of the draw backs would be with a salvage title?

    Thanks,

    Eric M.
     
  2. PeteH

    PeteH 1/2 ton status

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    make sure you bring it to another shop for a full inspection. The people selling it will know how to hide everything.. i've seen a lot of people get screwed. but then again i seen people walk away with a steal(cheap car in decent condition)
     
  3. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    Uni-body/frame and suspension are going to be the big factors. Cause that will tell you how well the car handles/controls and wear on parts. And the headache of trying to resell later down the road. I myself have previously owned and sold 2 salvaged rigs and I just bought another one 1990 S15 4wd Jimmy.

    My opinion is if you think you are ever in doubt, suggest to the seller that you'd like to have the vehicle checked out first and see what his reaction is. The reaction will tell you a lot about how well the rig was redone.
     
  4. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    inspection is a good idea.... *you* choose the shop though - for unbiased opinion.

    IMO just because its salvage title doesn't mean its in any worse shape than some other vehicle that's had collision repair.
     
  5. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    Good ideas. I was thinking of asking if I could take it to a 4 wheel alignment shop. That should tell me a lot. I'll ask if they could take a close look at the frame / unitbody while they are under the car.

    If I offer to pay for the alignment, weather I end up buying the car or not, you can't go wrong with that deal ... unless the buyer is hiding something.

    Thanks,

    Eric M.
     
  6. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    I used to do this for a living. Anyhow deffinately have it inspected. A 4 wheel align is a good idea. Also have somebody follow you and make sure it is tracking correctly and not going sideways down the road like an old Nova. I would not shy away from one with a rebuilt title. If done correctly you should not have any problems that are not normal.
     
  7. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I have owned a salvage truck once. It was ceritifed rebuilt and had a sticker with a serial number. I had a hard time selling it but mostly because it was a little hot rod 2 wd truck in wyoming where most people lookf for 4x4 work trucks. When I did find someone interested they didn't seem to care about the salvage title. Id have a good mody shop check it out and go over the previous damaged area and if it checks out ok go for it.
     
  8. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    eric... be super careful of stolen parts on the car ,,,especially here in cali on an import... we estimate that over 50 percent of the salvages here have something stolen on them
    pay careful attention to the vin.. check really carefully for any sign of tamper.. good chop shops ,, an oxymoron, can be pretty sophisticated at doing it.. look for secondary vins and evidence the vehicle is what it is titled as... look for motor swaps panel swaps seat swaps etc etc etc...

    and of course as the other posters stated..it has a salvage title for a reason... they can make them look pretty but we all know what they are underneath....junk... lots of stolens get salvaged because owners wont take them back... and stolens tend to get run hard,,, especially if da poleeces were behind them

    I stay away from salvages unless they are for parts.... too much can be wrong with them... jumped.. flooded ..literally (look for water damage and welding under the carpet... sure signs of heavy damage or deep sea dunking)
    take a bondo magnet with you...

    be careful

    cam
     
  9. Eric M.

    Eric M. 1/2 ton status

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    Well, looks like this won't be happening. I tried to get a quote from my insurance company for the Civic and they told me they won't insure Salvage titled cars. I was told I could contract another insurance company, but since I have so many policies with the same company and am getting multi-policy discounts, I think I'll just pass for this reason alone.

    Thanks for the input.

    Eric M.
     

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