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Does having a reconstructed title void my warranty?

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Hello all,

I recently purchased a '16 Forester that had been in an accident and was totaled. The car was repaired and inspected by the State Police and now has a Massachusetts "reconstructed" title.

The Forester has 11,000 miles on it, and lately I notice a bad whining sound from the passenger side front wheel -- sounds like a bad wheel bearing.

My question is, if I bring this to my local dealer for repair, are they going to look up the Carfax or title history and say to me, "This car was totaled, your mechanical warranty is void"? Or will they cover mechanical problems under the warranty?

I would love some feedback from anyone whose been in a similar situation. FWIW, I find the local dealer to be a real pain in the neck.

Other than the wheel bearing, the car runs and drives as new.

Thanks in advance,

Jeff in Boston

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Warranty void


Recalls still valid




If you go to the dealer, they will run the VIN specifically to check for recalls and for a salvage title.


Interestingly enough, if you buy a Subaru part over the counter, and it fails in the 1 year warranty. When the claim is submitted to SOA for reimbursement, we have to put the VIN on the claim. If the car is salvaged, they won't even cover the parts warranty. That's pretty rare, the one time we saw it, we covered the part cost at our dealership, but corporate wiped their hands of it.

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If the car is otherwise sound w/o serious electrical/mechanical issues, just replace the wheel bearing. Or at the very least, have it inspected by the dealer or a competent shop, then go from there. Should do this regardless as they might find things an inspector missed or wasn't concerned with looking at.


For a car that new to have been totaled, the damage was either very significant, or it had underside structural damage (frame/unibody) and written off. You can try googling your vin number i.e. try "vin 12342341234" or try just the number, etc., and if lucky, you'll get some hits under images. Double check the vin listed for the image is the same as yours (if it's a silver Subaru and the image is of a silver Subaru, and interior color matches, but rims are different, it's likely the same car, especially if vin is the same as auction vin pics. Or maybe yours has a scratch on a bumper, and the online image has the same scratch, etc.- just further confirmation. Sometimes cars are so badly wrecked, you wouldn't believe what's in your driveway is the same thing. It was likely sold at auction (sometimes more than once) and the auction site's listing would have been the one posting the images, which seem to remain regardless of sale date.


I follow some you tubers that deal with fixing wrecks, and they've shown cars with completely missing chunks of the front going back on the road. Some shops will even repair rollovers, etc.


A reason for searching out pics, is it might be helpful in the future. If your front right wheel bearing is whining at 11k, an online pic shows it was curbed hard enough to snap the hub from the axle, then they might have reused the wheel bearing while replacing everything around it. pics could also be helpful with what you might want a secondary shop to give a twice over (don't tell them anything about the history-ever. just ask them to verify everything is OK). I'm not a fan of overly explaining things to shops. If they are competent, they'll find it on their own. If they are predatory, they might try up selling.

Edited by Bushwick
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Yes, no warranty.



As someone who has rebuilt totaled subarus and seen plenty of others It wouldn’t make any sense to warranty totaled vehicles, take on that liability, and make others pay for the damages and inspections and repair ability of others. The manufacturer would essentially be subsidizing the person that caused the accident, owned the car, towed the car, repaired the car, inspected the car and bought the car. That’s crazy.


Consumers would also get stuck between dealers and rebuilders claiming it was the others responsibility to cover a given repair.


If it was totaled I’d want to know where/how for future notes.

Edited by idosubaru
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