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Thought on my 99 Outback after an accident?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 johnette93

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:31 PM

So a dump truck recently tried to make a right turn into the solid matter that is my 99 outback. It ended better than one would think, as my car put up a good fight and bent the truck's front fender to a 90 degree angle. There is damage to the rear driver's side door, quarter panel and bumper, as you can see in the pictures. The door doesn't open because the handle is cracked. It can be opened from the inside.

 

Insurance is actually offering to fix the whole deal, at a cost of almost $5500. They somehow valued the car at $8000. No idea how that happened. It does have fairly low miles (97k). My questions are these:

 

Do I just take it to the shop and have it repaired?

Do I take the money and have just the bare minimum repaired out of that money?

 

I have the means to replace the door with salvage yard stuff (hopefully different colored to class it up) since my car is everywhere here in the northwest. There are several doors available and I have someone who could do it for me. It wouldn't entirely match up to the quarter panel. I don't know if that is just cosmetic or if that is something that could be an issue. If it's just cosmetic, I'm fine with it.

 

It just seems kind of silly to put $5500 into a 15 year old car when I'd be happy with just what I needed to make it usable. The thing that makes me hesitate is that there could be some damage that isn't visible from the estimate that would crop up later. Also my husband just wants to get it fixed so there's the "I told you so" factor I'm trying to avoid.

 

Thoughts? I'd be eternally grateful.

Attached File  car1.JPG   117.53K   107 downloadsAttached File  car2.JPG   135.54K   111 downloads

 



#2 later_Peter

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:56 PM

or you could buy it back from the insurance company... (a few hundred dollars) put on a new fender & a couple of doors (a few hundred dollars (depending on the wrecking yard/or parting out))... live with the dent in the back fender... good driver for "practically" free... (besides the other guy's insurance company should hand you a fine looking large check...)



#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:59 PM

Looks like you got more of the tire than anything else.

If you don't care too much about how it looks, take the money and slap a door on it. The ripples in the quarter panel aren't a big deal structurally, and shouldnt cause any issues with the opening/closing and sealing of the door. You could even try your hand at body work and clean up the spots where the paint is shaved off and do some Bondo and spray paint.


If you shop around at a few different body shops you can probably find a cheaper quote to fix the whole thing, take the money and come out on top.

#4 lmdew

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:13 AM

Yes, Put on a door and live with the rest. Pocket the money for your next Subaru when you need one.



#5 Rooster2

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:00 AM

I fully agree with all the other responders. Simply buy a replacement door, and live with the rest. It should be easy to find one the same color at a wrecking yard, and easy to have someone install it for little money. I don't see any mechanical problems that need to be repaired. I am guessing the car drives just fine.

 

I don't see an $8,000 car with $5,000 worth of damage. Is the truck at fault, so truck's insurance company proposing this settlement? I don't read that the insurance company is "totaling" the car, so it is not a matter of your  "buying back"  the car to settle the claim. If that is the case, you would get to keep the car, plus get a cash settlement in the deal.

 

Is the insurance company willing to send you a check for $5,000, or just willing to pay for body shop repairs?  If they are willing to send you a check for $5,000, then take that deal for sure. This sounds too good to be true, but take the money, and smile, as you take the check to the bank for deposit.

 

Let us know how you come out on this deal. By the way, I drive a 99 Outback, same color as yours. Small world!



#6 grossgary

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:19 PM

That's what i'd do (and actually what i did just a couple months ago) - pocket the cash and fix it yourself to your own standards.  Body shop standards and showroom paint/finish/clear is not necessary on a 15 year old car that's going to blow it's headgasket sometime soon.  that's a joke, sort of.

 

Swap body panels - just get one that matches already painted - www.car-part.com

Properly address exposed areas so they don't rust (if rust is a possibility in the PNW anyway).



#7 johnette93

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

Thank you everyone for your input! It actually had the head gasket replaced already so I have that going for it.



#8 gregB

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 03:46 PM

Any concern about alignment issues from the wheel bump?



#9 johnette93

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:47 PM

I'm not sure about the alignment. I was planning on having that checked out.



#10 KRB64

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 05:56 AM

I'd check alignment before deciding. If the tire/wheel took much of the force then things could be bent. If that checks out OK then I'm with the rest.



#11 grossgary

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:25 AM

I'm not sure about the alignment. I was planning on having that checked out.

 

good idea on the alignment, try to find a place that's good and not just paying someone $8 an hour that just learned to use the machine in January.  they'll have better feedback on which parts to replace. 

 

those rear end bits aren't that hard to replace either.  a bent strut or control arm or sway bar is all a drop in the bucket and easily repairable.  nothing back there is hard or expensive.  and there's no concern for "frame" damage or anything spectucular.  easy fix.


Edited by grossgary, 13 February 2014 - 11:25 AM.


#12 ThosL

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:40 PM

I had a similar thing happen a couple of years ago.  The other party's insurance company offered me just over $3000 for it, same make, same year, more miles but in tip top mechanical condition.  I could not find a suitable replacement at that price.  J and J did the body repair for around the $3000, but the state has all kinds of regulations and I was left with a salvage title.  CT, the insurance state is always trying to generate $$$ for businesses.  So I was out over $500 and took up the issue with the state insurance regulator without success except that they ordered the insurance company to pay the mediation costs.  

 

I would move on with a new used vehicle and sell the totaled one for what you can get if they let you do that. 


Edited by ThosL, 15 February 2014 - 08:35 AM.


#13 jmoss5723

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:36 PM

Fix it cheaply. Take the money and buy another Soob. One can never have too many  :D



#14 Rooster2

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 05:30 PM

I had a similar thing happen a couple of years ago.  The other party's insurance company offered me just over $3000 for it, same make, same year, more miles but in tip top mechanical condition.  I could not find a suitable replacement at that price.  J and J did the body repair for around the $3000, but the state has all kinds of regulations and I was left with a salvage title.  CT, the insurance state is always trying to generate $$$ for businesses.  So I was out over $500 and took up the issue with the state insurance regulator without success except that they ordered the state department to pay the mediation costs.  

 

I would move on with a new used vehicle and sell the totaled one for what you can get if they let you do that. 

Surprisingly, the original post does not say that the insurance company considers it a total loss. She says they want to pay her $5,000, as crazy as that may seem. If so, she would not have to get a salvage title.



#15 K9Leader

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:23 AM

The whole process whereby insurance companies determine whether to total a vehicle perplexes me.  My 2000 OBS Ltd. has been fixed by the insurance company twice when I was sure it would be totaled.  In 2011, my son rear-ended someone and trashed the whole front end - $4800 in repairs and they didn't total it.  Unfortunately, I live in Delaware and he was in Virginia at the time and the shop in Virginia that did the repairs did a great job on the body repairs but a lousy job on the mechanicals - I had to redo the radiator and other underhood components only a few months later. 

 

Then in August 2012, a tree fell on the cargo area - right front quarter, tailgate,bumper, etc. Again, big repair - $4,000+ but they didn't total it.  Ah, well, it has had most of the body panels replaced/repaired & repainted between the two incidents.  Looks like new . . . until you see the cracks in the driver's seat cushion and the coating of dog hair in the cargo area.  

 

I agree on minimal repair and bank the extra cash.  Good luck!



#16 ThosL

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 08:47 AM

The generosity/stinginess of the insurance companies varies quite a bit, also who is at fault in a given situation.

 

You gotta love the insurance claims when there is no real damage, and people like me who are only looking to functionality not to unscratched vehicles, it is ridiculous to see large variability in the claim process.  I merely scratched the rear bumper of another car during a freak snow storm a couple of years ago and presto, a $700 claim, not challenged by my insurance company.  I have a friend who was a recent victim of a contrived "accident" where a similar shakedown happened.  Problems that do it yourselfers can quickly remedy with under $50 in materials.  So the $$$ gets pocketed and maybe or not the scratch gets fixed. I would be too ashamed to make such a claim.   

 

I had an accident a couple of years ago, early morning I was backing out of a parking space, a young fellow comes zooming in with his toddler in the front seat and it was too dark or the view was too obscured to see him  though I eased my car out.  That claim with a dent in his VW car door led to a nearly $3K claim.  The result in terms of insurance is they get their pound of flesh, no amounting to around $150 a month and other insurance companies will not offer reduced premiums because of the salvage title.



#17 Flowmastered87GL

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 10:09 PM

Super easy fix.  Swap just the door handle.

A little harder.  Get a new door skin and handle and move your stuff over to it (or just a whole door, but swapping everything over is NOT hard)

No real reason to fix the 1/4 panel on a car this old and common.  Check the alignment for sure (first thing actually)

 

There are likely members here on the board that would swap stuff over with you pretty cheap on a weekend day. (I'd help if you were in Portland)


Edited by Flowmastered87GL, 15 February 2014 - 10:10 PM.


#18 johnette93

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 06:30 PM

As an update: The car was not totaled. I ended up going to a different shop. The first one was a "preferred" shop that would've required direct payment to them, and it was actually $4500 and not $5500 as I originally thought. I picked my own shop who came in with a lower estimate and I just got a check from the insurance company for $3900. The alignment is fine on the car, now I just need to fix the door. How does one even go about getting a new door skin? I would just fix the handle but I've got a kid riding on the other side of the dented door.


Edited by johnette93, 25 February 2014 - 07:47 PM.


#19 spazomatic

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:25 AM

That door looks structurally ok. If it were mine, Id cash that check and get a junkyard door handle and be done with it.
If you are worried about the integrity of the door, since your kid rides back there...replace the whole door.

#20 lmdew

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:48 AM

At the self serve yards you can pull the complete door in Colorado doors are $50 - $75 complete.  It's a wire connector, 4 or 6 bolts and the pin that goes the the rod that keeps the door from opening to far.  

 

If you not in a rush, wait for one of the same color and there will be not difference.

 

Waist to get it fixed and painted when you can bolt on a Subaru part from the yard.



#21 Rooster2

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 09:12 AM

Looking again at the photo of the door, if the door handle doesn't work, it may result from bent mechanism inside the dented door. A new door handle won't fix this. Does the door open using either the outside door handle or inside door release lever?? The door looks structurally sound, so I too, don't see a safety issue for anyone riding in the back seat. I suspect the window will not go down because of the door dent. I wouldn't attempt to lower the window, it may not rise up and close again.

 

$3900 is a good deal from the insurance company. You would have been hard pressed to get that much money for the car, had you been selling it before the accident.

 

As others have said, recommend you buy a door from a wrecking yard. Have them load the door into the cargo area. Then take to a repair garage, or a collision repair shop for installation, or have anyone handy with tools to unbolt and bolt new door in place.  If your local High School has a course in car repair, the teacher there, and students will replace the door at minimal cost. Total cost of door and installation will be under $300.



#22 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

Just replace the whole door with a junkyard door.
A skin is not easy to install without special tools, and will require painting afterward.
Not to mention, the side impact bar behind the outer door panel is probably bent, which would necessitate replacing the whole door anyway.




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