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Discussion Starter #1
My wife was driving straight and a left turning vehicle said he thought she was turning right. The guy plowed right into the driver's side of the car at the front wheel and driver's door. My wife was shaken up, but not badly hurt. Fender and both doors are crushed, rear quarter is also slightly damaged. Driver's wheel is bent about 8 or 10 degrees from vertical. I assume all the driver's side suspension would be questionable as well as the transaxle. Wheel is banged up and would need replacing as well. The driver's door is bent somewhat like a Pringles chip now, open a good 5 or 6 inches up top. Air bags deployed. The air bags also cracked the window when they blew. Clearly there may be damage to the pillar between the doors and the undercarriage. I have no idea how much of the drive train might be harmed. Anyone want to take a stab at probable minimum repair cost vs. replacement cost? There's no way it isn't totaled, is there?

This is to be covered by the other guy's insurance. (Geico.) I want all the info I can have. This is a 2001 and I think it has at least 140K miles on it. This is the power door model-- I guess that's the EX, right? Cloth interior, and the CD+Cassette stereo with remote controls. Nice car, but I want it back as nice as it was or else replaced with a car that is just as good or better. I really don't like buying similar cars because with this many miles, unless you know the history you can buy a ticking bomb. Then as far as keeping it, I would assume I'd have a huge diminished value hit after this is repaired. Again, I'm assuming it is totaled, so what is it worth?

When I look up similar (non-crashed) vehicles, I find prices all over the map, from mid $4K's up to nearly $8,000. I think we have only 40K miles on this transmission. The timing belt was changed on time along with the water pump, etc.. It has a 2" receiver and I had custom springs made for it to add 300 or 400 lbs to the towing capacity. This was not our fault. I want all that factored in.

Has anyone had to deal with similar damage? What seems reasonable? I need to start dealing with this tomorrow. The wreck happened maybe a 1/4 mile from the house so I nursed it back to the driveway, but I don't need this piece of "yard art" out there for long.

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Make the insurance company total it out as high as you can get. Pull out the receipts for any work done to it in the last 12 months and add that to the price. Don't give them any receipts until you get highest price out of them. Then, take the money, buy it back and strip it for parts to sell and send it off to the junkyard. Rear door is worth 500-600, Engine with transmission around 2k. Rear bumper 200-400, etc. You'll figure out what to sell. Based on the damages, you are looking at likely frame damage which costs a lot to fix and will never drive the same again which is the reason I say to total it out. BTW, I'm looking to sell my 2001 with 170k on it mainly used as a commuter for 6.5-7k. It's had TQ converter whine for about 40k which hasn't gotten better or worse likely thanks to my own maintenance plan of Amsoil Oil once a year along with new filters.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. This morning, they are saying once the air bags go, the total automatically but we still have to hammer out the figure they offer. We're about 2000 miles apart, so I expect I'll need to buy something a bit closer to home. I may even downsize. I bought a Suburban for trips because the Honda was a bit small with 5 on the road and all of our stuff. Now the Honda is a little large in the more congested parts of town. Still, it is a great car-- we may end up with another one before all is said and done...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm trying to figure out what I paid for the coil springs to add more load capacity to this car. It was a couple of years back and I bought them from someone on this board-- had them custom made. Any clues anyone? I can't seem to figure out how to search and find the right info. I think the total value should include cost to put similar springs on the next car if needed. Not our fault this one got smashed...
 

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Likely only a 500 dollar mod at best. And usually they'll only give you fair market on them. Btw, if you no longer want them I'll buy them for 100 bucks. I went camping once in the van and it was kind of annoying when the backend was so low when we filled the back end. I'd rather not deal with it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I worded that carefully about the springs because I didn't want to sound like an idiot, but I need to remember what I paid for the springs because I still have them unused and now I have no car for them (unless I buy another of the exact same generation). I was thinking I'd tell the insurance people they should pay me for them and give them the springs, but there is probably no way they'll pay on that. Still, why should I be stuck with custom made unused parts for a car they total out?

What happened is they came too late for the trip when I wanted them, then the local shop that was going to put them on had a big wait. Meanwhile, I bought a Chevy Suburban before our next big trip. I'd like to have used them, but really I didn't have such a need for them anymore.

I really loved that Honda, but as far as a trip car to haul 5 people and a bunch of stuff, and especially to pull a trailer? The Suburban wins hands down. The penalty with the Suburban is it is so darned big in the city, and the MPG sort of stinks...

The point is, I will probably have a spare set of new +300 lb range springs for sale soon for an 01 or same generation Odyssey. They have never been on a car, just sitting in my workshop waiting to become useful one day. Once I replace the car, I'll know if they need a new home and will look at reasonable offers.

Still waiting on on the insurance folks from Geico on this for now. They say next Tuesday they'll show up and present an offer after that. Sounds like there is no chance they'll do other than total this one though, so the question becomes what to replace with. Same model Honda? Newer model Odyssey? Or do I go smaller for more of a city car since I now have the Suburban for trips and hauling, plus I have two small kids that will be around for a long time, but my third child is going to be off at college next year, so I'll often just have my wife and two kids to deal with on outings...

Sort of a shame-- I was happy enough with the existing car. One big issue as well was I had rebuilt the transmission on my 2001 only 30K miles ago, so I figured to be all set there for the next 100k miles. Now, if I buy used I may have a tranny rebuild facing me before I know it again. That is the one thing I do not like about these cars-- pretty expensive transmission bills that come up too often...

That was a couple grand +. There again, I wonder how much I can get them to pay for that. It was three years ago, but the repair should only be maybe 20% consumed as far as the life of the car-- maybe even less than that...
 
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