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Old 12-18-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
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Keep or trade

I have a dilemma. We recently were given a 04 Buick Rainer CLX AWD with a 5.3l engine and a towing package (includes self-lvl shocks). It was recently wrecked and has $6700 of damage. The insurance will pay out $8500 on it, or let me keep it and pay $7100 for repairs.

Overall it is a good solid car. It has all the bells and whistles. It used to belong to my dad and he spared no expense on it. If it needed anything at all, he took it back to the Buick garage.
So I can take the cash and add a few thousand with it, and get a newer tow vehicle, without the ‘extras’ (talking $10k), or have this one fixed. The $6700 is an estimate, and I was told by the insurance company that will only go up. Repairing could cost me a few thousand out-of-pocket.
What would you do?
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:42 AM   #2
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Take the money. The repaired vehicle will never be the same and will be worth a lot less due to its history.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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I agree, take the money and buy another car. If you keep the car you will likely find more problems down the road.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:49 AM   #4
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After the estimate, if the bill comes out higher, the insurance SHOULD provide a supplement to cover the extra repair costs. That's how we always do it.

Depends on what was broken. All body or frame?
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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If it is badly damahed take the money. Too many hoses, wires, and other stuff that could be hidden damaged and bite you later. Trade value will never be close to blue book now. The Buick is a good light weight tow vehicle, but is a little narrow if you have a full width trailer - the GF has one. A good used truck will tow more. Or, if you find a GM truck that needs a motor..... keep the Buick and get the money and swap motors then scrap Buick.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Can I get a good TV that can pull, saying 5000 lbs for only $8500? That sounds like a well used half ton truck, at best. Not much money for a used vehicle of any sort.

The accident was a low speed impact with a pole. My mom was driving, and, well she isn't altogether with us anymore, mentally speaking. Damages were to the hood, passenger fender, light, and the upper frame. Where the light goes in will need pulled out. The doors open fine, and I believe it runs.

The insurance company is calling it totalled, but gave me the option to buy it for a reduced settlement. If I fix it, the costs are mine, and they'll give me $7100

Talked to the shop, and paying him 3 shop hours to pull it apart for a closer look. If it got into the suspension, I may not have an option.

My problem is it was my dads car, and he passed away last May. So there is some emotional attachment to it. Money and emotions never mix well.

I'd rather fix it and spend $8000 knowing the vehicle is only worth $6000 afterwards. I'll keep it until it is junk anyways, so actually cash value really isn't a point. But I can't spend $10,000 in repairs either.

At the same time, if I spent $10,000 on a replacement vehicle, what can I really get. I looked at new F150 and they are $40k to $50k. That is insane!
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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With what you described, it may be fixable with your emotional attachment. Insurance companies total cars too easily today. I get to see what they auction off and send overseas here at the port. They will fix that one overseas and be driving it. Different rules and regs there. Have it checked first to see if it is fixable, if so, they are good vehicles. The GF's is nice to drive.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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Another option. My wife's 07 KIA is paid off. We can trade it, plus the $8500 cash from State Farm, and added a $2k more. We could walk into a dealership with $18000 worth of down payment. Still won't put us into a new truck, but but we can borrow another $5k to $10k, and we'd drive away something newer with light towing abilities.

We have 19' Superlite by Gulf Stream (2800 lbs dry) which I'm living in F/T. In the summer we drive a few hours for a in state weekend camping. We don't need too big of a vehicle.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
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Now you are talking personal choices. I can give my opinion on fixing a wrecked car, but going into debt is up to you.
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2007 Salem Sport LE 26FBSRV (TH) w/ my Victory Motorcycle in it or a EZ GO Shuttle cart.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:52 AM   #10
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After I slept on it, I realized everyone is right. I hate to see it go, but it really makes no sense to fix it. I'm going to go ahead and total it, and start the search for something different to cover my tow needs. It is a shame though.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:49 AM   #11
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Looks like we might try to get a Highlander this weekend. It tows 5000# and we only need 3000#. And my wife likes the idea that it seats seven, so it can pull double duty taking the grandbabies and mommy and daddy to Dinsey World next spring.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:21 AM   #12
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One of the rules of thumb that I've found to be true is that you don't buy a tow vehicle for your current RV, but for your NEXT RV. If you're sure that this 19' Superlite is going to be your long-term RV, great, but if you're planning on moving up to something larger and heavier in the next few years, I'd consider that next RV in selecting a tow vehicle. Otherwise, you're either going to have to trade TVs again or run with your TV severely overloaded.

By the way, that 5000 lb rating is with the tow package, which includes extra coolers, etc. Without the tow package, it's 2000 lbs (at least it is on my wife's Highlander).

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Old 12-20-2013, 11:01 AM   #13
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I go to UHAUL to install the Class 3 hitch, brake control, and tranny cooler. Most vehicles I've bought in the past will only tow 2000# or < without the brake controller. The veichile's brakes aren't ruggage enough to handle all the extra heat. The local guy in UHAUL always done me right and for a good price.

I wouldn't buy for the future, because I don't know what the future holds. New technology is always coming out for vehicles. Just wait and see when that time comes. Besides, I'd like my next one to be a Class C. My dad always drove As, but I like the Cs better.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
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The factory tow package also appears to include additional engine cooling - at least it did on my wife's Highlander:

Quote:
Tow Package:

Heavy duty engine cooling system; Auxiliary transmission cooler; Trailer towing preparation; Weights: gross vehicle weight rating (lbs) 5000 and max payload (lbs) 822; Heavy duty alternator; Pre-wire harness.


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