View Full Version : Wrecked Title

02-14-2007, 10:56 PM
Since this car is my first car and I'm still new in the world of cars, I would like some clarification on the definition of a wrecked and salvaged title.

My car was in an accident 5 years ago and had a wrecked title, and it was shipped off to where I live and rebuilt.

How bad is this? Does a wrecked title = bent frame? I know it means the cost of repairs is greater than 75% of the value of the car.

Can I trust the rebuild job? I know some body parts look a little misaligned. Should I have even bought this car? I know it has a salvage title, but if it cost so much to repair, why the heck did anyone bother? And does that probably mean they rebuilt it cheaply?

If you guys need me to peer at the car and give you details on the condition of some things, I will do that. I'd like to know if my car is really worth putting more money into. I want to fix things like a dent in the rear left fender and fix up the body where it doesn't quite fit together right.

Is it worth my time/money?

02-14-2007, 11:47 PM
I know that when the appraiser came to look at my car after being rear ended, he gave it a wrecked title because it needed more $$ to fix then it was worth. But he said to me, that if I decided to take the money and fix it, that it would need both structural and mechanical inspection.

So you may want to ask your local DMV, motor vehicle registration, whatever you have about the rules because they vary by country, state/province, city, etc

02-15-2007, 12:13 AM
wrecked title does not mean bent frame... it just means it's not worth it to fix (aka damages exceeded a certain percentage of the car's value)

these cars can be bought back, but it depends on u if u wanna fix it or not... it can be a good project car, or a parts donor car... some ppl buy the car back, donate it off and write it off their taxes cos they get more tht way

02-15-2007, 03:20 AM
Yes, even being moderately rear ended in a liftback is a good example. It may not do any damage that we as the owners would consider too serious to repair, but munching a few important spots in the back and cocking your hatch lid to one side is a quick way to get it totaled. What do you know about the wreck that did it in? Have you done a CarFax on it? Has it been in more than one bad accident? Start here to answer some of the most obvious questions.

02-15-2007, 06:50 AM
my rear quater was dented by a drunk z71 and the body shop said it would be totaled because the cost would be 2300 andthe car was worth 2800, I had one of the body shop guys fix it on the side for 150 bucks and no one is the wiser, but i was the happier. So no wrecked could mean a number of things, but if it drives straight and doesnt have any alignment problems i dont see why not.

02-15-2007, 03:41 PM
In some states you cant license a car that has or had a salvage title, regardless of how well you repair it.

I buy wrecked junk and fix it all the time, but it will forever have a 'salvaged' title.

02-15-2007, 04:10 PM
is wrecked title a canada thing? in the US all I have ever heard of are Salvage title and Certificate of Destruction title, the COD title is almost a death certificate for a car since its almost imposible to get it re-titled.

02-15-2007, 04:47 PM
Many people won't agree with me on this, but I don't want a rebuilt car, period. People say "bent frame" all the time as if most modern cars had frames. They're unibody, not body on frame, any time a panel is twisted, it may never all go back together exactly right. Structural integrety for a unibody requires everything interlocking properly and every panel being structurally sound. You may pull it straight, but there are no guarantees it will act how it's supposed to act if you get in a serious accident. If the damage is minor, it's probably fine, but if you damage something other than an outer panel that can be completely replaced, then yes, your "frame" is compromised.

I hate seeing cars torn apart for parts, sometimes it's not worth it though, just depends on the nature of the damage, not just the cost.

02-15-2007, 05:02 PM
The car hit a guardrail, it was only in one accident ever. I looked up the history on Carfax.

It was given a wrecked title then shipped off to BC, Canada where it got a salvage title.

Some of the body parts don't align properly. Like it wasn't put back together right. It is out of alignment, but I got it aligned and everything was fixed except the castor on the front left wheel. They said that would take a while to fix because it would have to be bent. So the car pulls to the left a little all the time still.

I can get some good close ups of the body parts that look a little off to me, and perhaps you guys can inform me whether or not it is fixable. I want to know basically if the car was simply put back together in a shitty way, or that it fits that way because the whole thing is out of whack. Hey who knows maybe that's why my new right hand taillight doesn't fit (then again that doesn't make sense because the one I took off did...).

02-15-2007, 05:53 PM
umm body parts are just to look pretty... Reinforcment bars etc. is where saftey is, you would have to take the bumper off to check etc. You could jack up the car see if there is any underbody damage.

I'm guessing it hit a guard tail and dented a fender front bumper possibly hood, and maybe the windshield. Whatever happend it probable hit more then 1 area and thats enough for an apraiser to say tottaled.

I think there are a couple diffrent series of talilights... But anyways the real finish panel could be warped, most the time body shops will try to take a heater to stuff like that and bend it back to place. Or the structure of the trunk could be warped, but i would think that it would be noticable if you looked.

People freak out over bent frames and everything but its really not a huge deal. If you bend a cars frame they just bend it back out, they can even weld new pieces in etc. If the frame is at least somewhat solid you are ok. The reinforcment bars and doors are what i worry about. How much did you pay for it? It was probable worth the money, the front rear bumper can just be adjusted with screws... My front bumper sticks out on the side a little because the hole that holds the screw in for the bumper broke when the car bottomed out.

But i dont think its a big deal, but i would definitaly check the reinforcments and the overall integrity of the area it got hit.

02-15-2007, 06:01 PM
I don't know where it got hit.

The trunk does look a little bit off, but so does the entire car.

Nobody who's looked under it has said it looked like it wasn't reinforced properly, the guy who did my alignment spent a lot of time under the car too.

I'm glad to hear that a wrecked title doesn't really have to mean the car was ridiculously smashed up.


One strange thing is that the car is missing screws all OVER the place. Like there'll be one in a place where there is supposed to be two, or two where there is supposed to be four. Everything is in place and okay, nothing rattles or looks like it's going to fall apart. It's just...strange. Like screws missing from the center console, the screws on the inside edge of the spoiler (the part you can see when you lift the trunk), one screw holding the taillight on, two screws on the inside of the fender (you can see them on the inside just under where the hood sits)...

So weird.

02-15-2007, 09:24 PM
my car is missing a ton of screws cuz of me:) i lose stuff.

its rebuilt someone probable lost em it is an old car of course stuff happends.

i bought my car with a broken strut an a bent bumper with no worries.

02-15-2007, 09:33 PM
god if I only had a dollar for every bolt/nut I dropped in the center console area... I'd have some money.

02-15-2007, 10:01 PM
You really don't want to know how many body shops I've told, "Those clips/screws/nuts/bolts/grommets are backordered" and gotten, "Oh well, we'll figure something out" in reply. It's not abnormal to be missing a bunch of fasteners or have the wrong ones that are close enough to work.