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Please help me salvage my "totaled" E36

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by 165348, Mar 28, 2012.

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    165348

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    It's a 325ic with 137,000 miles. The grill and hood are wrecked and the fan was pushed into the radiator. No fluids are leaking and the car appears to drive normally.The insurance company (Quincy Mutual) totaled it, saying there was $5000.00 in damage (without even opening the hood). I haven't seen the numbers yet but please let me know your thoughts: Should I try to buy the car back from them and have it repaired myself? How much should I pay them for "salvage value"? Any tips on dealing with the insurance company?
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    MGarrison

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    Where are you in the process? Buy it back from them? Don't you own the car?

    The insurance company is saying the cost of necessary repair exceeds the value of the car - if you accept a check from them for whatever they deem the value of the car is, I think you're accepting their terms.

    If you tell them you want to repair the car, then you have to negotiate with the insurance company over what amount they'll cover (unless they refuse), and be willing to pay for whatever the insurance company won't cover. If you don't have an estimate (or 2 or 3 or 4) in hand yet, then you're just speculating as to the accuracy of what the insurance company is telling you. 5k? Sure, maybe - you might need all new front end parts, which can rack it up quickly. An a/c condenser lists for $530 alone, never mind what else is needed to restore the a/c system functionality (freon, receiver-dryer, various lines if they're damaged, maybe even a compressor if it's damaged, and so on). Hood, front grill parts, lights, light housings, front bumper, valance, radiator, various hoses and mounting parts, prep, painting, priming, etc. etc. - and even more if the hit was bad enough to require the body be straightened, and with that, potential for suspension &/or steering damage.

    You really need an assessment from an experienced body shop as to what you're in for, then you can deem what's the best path to pursue.

    If you've taken their check and they've taken possession of your car, you'd still need a good estimate of what you're facing, (as you'd be on your own using whatever you've gotten from the insurance company to go towards repairing the car), and you need to make sure they haven't hauled it off to a junkyard and had it crushed into a small cube already.

    If you like E36 convertibles enough, there is the option of buying another - I found 50 listings using fairly narrow search parameters on Autotrader, and a few on Ebay. Of course, there's a variety of sources for searching for another, and of course that has it's own pitfalls - unknown maintenance history, etc.
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    165348

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    Thanks Mgarrison. I'm holding the car till I finish having the damage looked at. The auto body place I trust said $2500-$3000. I only want the Montreal Blue color, which eliminates most E36 and Z3/4's.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    One more thought - if you want to avoid having the vehicle titled as a salvage, maintain ownership and just negotiate what the insurance company is willing to pay (unless there's some law requiring you to do otherwise).

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