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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've been looking for cars now that we can actually save up some money and get one. A lot of the affordable ones have rebuilt/reconstructed/salvaged titles. What does that mean?
 

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Yikes. I'm thinking it means the car was seriously wrecked, then "fixed", but I could be wrong. My car was wrecked when I bought it, but I knew the person who wrecked it, and most importantly, the frame was not damaged.

Funniest vehicles I ever saw for sale is when I went to an auction where the USDA was selling their pickup trucks. They all looked like they had been pulled up from the bottom of the Mississippi.
 

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All four of my cars have been previous write-offs, which I guess is the English phrase for salvage title, and I've never had problems related to previous accidents. As long as it is fixed by an expert before you drive it - someone you can trust - it saves you a hell of a lot of money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilBigBug View Post

Oh yeah, a link would probably help:

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/2632433789.html
Oh I like it! Very cute. You're going to test drive any car you seriously consider buying right?

I have always checked the carfax (www.carfax.com) on all cars that I looked at while car shopping. Just ask for the VIN number of the car or write it down yourself when you go to look at the car and then look up the number on the website. It will give you the detailed information about the car's history. It will let you know if the car was really owned by an elderly couple who only used it to go to church and back on Sundays!
You seem to hear that story a lot while car shopping.


I agree to have a professional mechanic check it out too.
 

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This is what I was able to find out from a search. The fact that the car has to go through the inspection process, makes it seem like it might not be too bad, and when you think about it, buying any used car is somewhat of a risk...this might be a little more so:

"A "rebuilt title" is placed upon a rebuilt or reconstructed vehicle, which previously was a salvage vehicle but has now been repaired and restored to operation. These vehicles are often severely damaged before they are rebuilt and refurbished parts are typically used during reconstruction. In most states, an inspection of the vehicle is required before the vehicle is allowed to return to the road.

Normally when an insurance company has declared a car as a total loss, it becomes a "salvage vehicle" and CANNOT be driven on the highways or have a valid license plate. It can be sold ("AS IS") to an automobile rebuilder to be used either for parts or to be restored ("rebuilt"). If restored, it must be inspected and ultimately a "rebuilt title" will be issued for the vehicle. A rebuilt vehicle with a rebuilt title CAN be driven on the highways. The guidelines for getting a rebuilt title vary by state."

Buyer
1.\tYou must have the vehicle inspected by the Washington State Patrol (WSP) before it can be titled or licensed.
\t For the inspection you must present all original receipts for the parts used to repair the vehicle.
\t Bills of sale for parts must be in the name of the person presenting the documents and vehicle for the
\t inspection. Internet bid receipts (e-bay, etc.) will not be accepted.
2.\tAfter the inspection is completed take the following into a vehicle licensing office to apply for a title.
\t WSP inspection documents
\t Vehicle registration
\t The Notice of Cancellation letter
\t Applicable fees

Cute car!
 

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I think there is a similar process in the UK. My cars came with a certificate that proved it had been repaired to roadworthy standard after being written off.
 

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A safety inspection is a pretty minimal inspection and the only real concerns with that, is if the car is able to stop properly, signal lights working, and safe tires and the suspension, to some degree. Such an inspection doesn't care jack about the condition of the engine/transmission. Doesn't tell you if you're buying a "lemon".

Mine passed a safety inspection with a leaking water pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by fadeaway1289 View Post

Oh I like it! Very cute. You're going to test drive any car you seriously consider buying right?

I have always checked the carfax (www.carfax.com) on all cars that I looked at while car shopping. Just ask for the VIN number of the car or write it down yourself when you go to look at the car and then look up the number on the website. It will give you the detailed information about the car's history. It will let you know if the car was really owned by an elderly couple who only used it to go to church and back on Sundays!
You seem to hear that story a lot while car shopping.


I agree to have a professional mechanic check it out too.
Yes, I will test drive it. Hopefully I just won't get lost as it's in an unfamiliar city.


My brother-in-law is a mechanic, as is my neighbor. I'm covered on that one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty_Shell View Post

A safety inspection is a pretty minimal inspection and the only real concerns with that, is if the car is able to stop properly, signal lights working, and safe tires and the suspension, to some degree. Such an inspection doesn't care jack about the condition of the engine/transmission. Doesn't tell you if you're buying a "lemon".

Mine passed a safety inspection with a leaking water pump.
I'd be more concerned about the structural integrity of a vehicle that was previously totaled. Heaven forbid you get in a wreck or rollover and the car doesn't hold up like it should.

As I said not worth the risk to me or my family.
 

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pull a carfax on it and you will have a good idea of what happened.

another indication is that the insurance companies go to around 80% of the cars value before they consider the damage enough to total it. Find out who did the repairs on it too.
If the car is book value at 7000.00 for instance, and the damage was 6600 or more, how much damage would there have to be to reach that repair number?

be cautious, make sure your mechanic friends check for welds were they dont belong, open all doors and lift on them to see if they are tight on the hinge, open and close everthing. Look in the trunk for water stains that would indicate the trunk seal is bad. when you test drive it have one of the mechanics follow you from behind to make sure the car is tracking correctly.

If everything works out, buy and enjoy.. it is a kinda nice looking car.
 

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I read that thread title as car er... word for breasts that begins with 'T'. That was confusing.
 

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My father is a mechanic and has been making Franken-cars for me (they have a salvage title, he rebuilt them after buying them smashed up). I'm driving one now and have had some odd problems crop up--but nothing he couldn't fix for me quickly.
If you have mechanics in the family like you mentioned I would be less worried about purchasing a salvage vehicle--but make sure to run it by them first!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatman View Post

pull a carfax on it and you will have a good idea of what happened.

another indication is that the insurance companies go to around 80% of the cars value before they consider the damage enough to total it. Find out who did the repairs on it too.
If the car is book value at 7000.00 for instance, and the damage was 6600 or more, how much damage would there have to be to reach that repair number?

be cautious, make sure your mechanic friends check for welds were they dont belong, open all doors and lift on them to see if they are tight on the hinge, open and close everthing. Look in the trunk for water stains that would indicate the trunk seal is bad. when you test drive it have one of the mechanics follow you from behind to make sure the car is tracking correctly.

If everything works out, buy and enjoy.. it is a kinda nice looking car.
Cafax isn't free.
 

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I hope carfax tells if the car was ever in a car chase on the COPS TV show. Maybe not, 'cause a little buffing will take care of those rims that had sparks flying everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatman View Post

Cheaper than finding out that you just bought a total POS.
That's why I test drive the car, and take people that know cars with me. I'm not spending $35 EVERY FREAKIN' TIME I want to see the history of a car. That's bull****, and I don't have that type of money.
 
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