Should I repair my 2014 Prius or let it go?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by yum773, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    My son was driving my Prius and caused an accident a few days ago. No one got injured, it's so scary just to imagine this could have been way worse. The insurance adjusters started investigation and I have not heard anything yet but I'm pretty sure it's mostly my son's fault because he was the one turning left on yellow light. Based on the location of the damage there might be a slight chance that it was a shared fault but I don't know, I just have to wait and see what my insurance company will say. The worst part is, I did not have collision coverage. I had it until a month ago. But I tried to save money on the premium, had paid off the loan already and the car has over 120K miles on it, thought if something happens at my fault probably insurance company won't pay so much for it, I might as well just save money now and buy a replacement if that happens. I was wrong, if I try to find 2014 Prius Three with 120K miles on it, now in 2019, it still costs around $10K on the market. I should have kept the coverage..(I kept comprehensive and UM insurance)
    Now while I wait for the investigation to be completed, I'm debating if I should keep this car and try to repair it. My boss who used to own one said he drove over 300K miles until he finally replaced it. He suggested I should fix it if the repair costs less than the replacement value, as long as the battery that sits under the backseat is in good shape, it is worth repairing it, he says. I got some quotes from local shops, most of them said $6500 to $7500 to fix it because the airbags went off. But one shop gave me $5500, using used parts. But it's only based on these photos, hasn't been taken into any shop yet. (Towed back into my garage for now) I don't know about the frame, etc., but the visual damage is only on the right rear door. and obviously the side airbags. Do you think this needs to be totaled, or with $5500 I should keep it and drive another 100K 200K (maybe not that much but no one will buy this after salvage title..)I just don't want to buy a brand new car with a loan, it will increase my insurance on top of the teen driver's cost after this major at-fault accident. But I can't find any similar model Prius under $6K on the market, it's a touch decision to make. The shop that gave me the quote is a reliable one, they have amazing reviews and I've been there before for some brake work. Do you think this needs to go to a junkyard (or CarBrain has offered me $1570 cash)? Thank you!
     

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  2. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    First, glad everyone was OK.

    Second, don't beat yourself up. You made a calculated gamble that not having collision insurance would put you ahead $$$ at the end of the day. Just because it didn't work out that way, doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad bet.

    Third, I can't imagine you are going to get anything other than a very rough ball park figure (more like a guess) from using photos to estimate repair costs. Really, no advice can be given until you get a real "hands on" estimate.

    Fourth, be aware of your state's laws regarding generating a salvage title. If you repairs result in a salvage title, the value of the car takes a substantial hit.
     
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  3. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    Good that no one is hurt...
    But I would sell the car and take that money plus the $6K or $7k or more that it will actually take to fix it (price will always go up once they take apart the car) and buy whatever you can get for that price that hasn't been in an accident. This leaves the damaged car to be fixed or used for parts by someone that has experience with this kind of thing. Experience you don't have. You already made one financial decision that didn't go in your favor -- low odds that you'd have a claim -- so I'd not compound that if the car has more problems.

    Self insuring against a wreck is OK, but you have to have the resources to cover a complete loss.

    Mike
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    one other consideration, no two prius are alike. idk what your boss drove, but if you decide to go ahead with repairs, search the subject of EGR here. your at the prime mileage for a blown head gasket, another $3-4,000. bill.
     
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  5. Pluggo

    Pluggo Senior Member

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    I'm glad everyone is OK, and you have a good handle on your options, but here is one more to consider: repair the car just enough to make it safe and road-worthy. If you are not too proud to let the boy drive an ugly car, you will have more time to explore your options. It might even be a good lesson for him. I figure you might save half off the lowest repair estimate. Good luck and send us updates.
     
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  6. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    Oh thank you for your kind words. It hit me hard mentally but I'm trying to look at the bright side, good things came out actually, my son had been unappreciative and entitled, we weren't spending time together like we used to and I was trying to give him space and get used to treating him like an adult but it was hard because he's not totally independent yet (he goes to a local junior college from home). But after this happened he had the realization of the damage he caused me financially, emotionally and now he's accepting the fact that his plans of getting his own car or using his part-time job money for winter vacation with his buddies etc are now gone at least for a while and how overly confident he had been about driving, or life in general, taking things for granted, and I feel like this became a costly lesson he needed. Now that we share just one car for all of our commute, we are spending more time together, and trying to stay strong as a family.

    Having read all the responses I got (thank you all!), I'm starting to feel I should just sell it for parts and move on. It's not that I don't have the resources, I'm such a frugal person, I just hate that big chunk of money will be spent at once but also hate losing money by financing either (LOL). I'll see if I can find something around $8K with no accident history, once becoming a hybrid car owner it's really hard to not be, hopefully I can find another Prius or Prius C with a good deal. Thank you!
     
  7. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    That really makes sense, even if I can fix it just fine for $6K I know I will be worried for more mechanical problems later. If once purchased one with no accident history, at least I will be stress free for that part. And once I get a replacement I will change the insurance coverage to the level I can deal with for a complete loss (hopefully no more..). Thanks for your advice!
     
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  8. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    The car was hit only at the right rear door but you are right, we won't know for sure until someone takes a look at it. I got a quick online quote for the sale for $1570, but do you think it's worth more if I sell it, if the engine and battery and all that stuff is still in good condition? I live in the area where a lot of junkyards and auto shops are doing business, maybe it's worth checking them out if they are interested. Thanks!
     
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  9. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    I don't know, I could keep shopping around to get more quotes to see if there's any way to bring the repair cost down, it sounded like just ordering parts like the airbags and the sensor are already very expensive. And this is actually my main commute car, and I drive like 45 miles each day so I need something reliable..Definitely was a big lesson for my son. He will not be getting his own car any time soon, at least until he and I save up some more $$. Thanks!
     
  10. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Priceless, since your son wasnt injured

    Good for you to think positive.

    Things will come in time and will pop up for more ideas and work a rounds.
    Also be on the look out for perhaps Prius for sale that needs a new engine or batt etc
    and use your car as the donor.

    Or, if perhaps the insurance didnt rule at fault, it could still be not at fault.
     
  11. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    Thank you so much. Yes I'm really grateful he was fine and so as the other party.
    I was not in the car so I don't know exactly what happened (I got there after it happened), currently working on obtaining the security camera footage from a shop on the corner at the intersection. My son says he was already making the left turn when he thought it was clear and the light was almost red, and the other driver tried to beat the light. From the damage I see that's sort of true because the damage was not on the front but more towards the rear side, and the other driver's car has a small dent on the front right corner. California laws seems to say slow down on yellow and if we could prove she was speeding or not slowing down, it could be a shared fault but most of the time left turning car is responsible by default.. We never know so I can't do anything until I hear something back from the insurance company. The thing is I had the impression that my insurance company won't be actively supportive on what to do with my car since I don't have collision coverage. When I asked, they were like I could directly deal with the other party...but it's awkward and uncomfortable to call up and say hey are you paying anything for my car.I thought my insurance company (Geico) would be able to assist that with or without collision coverage, communication-wise, like a liaison. So I haven't called yet but once I hear from my insurance and say like it was 80% on us or something, I will go ahead and talk to the other insurance I guess. (and if it's 100% on us obviously I just go ahead and do something about my car right away) Thanks for the tips, I will keep that option in mind!
     
  12. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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    I was thinking that also -- my daughter is driving a car with ugly (but safe) crash damage as a reminder to be more careful, despite the fact that she finds it "so embarrassing."

    But from the OP's pictures, it looks like the air bags deployed, which is a huge expense. "Repair just enough to be safe" is a lot cheaper in non-airbag accidents.
     
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  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Even in LA this is going to be a wobbler, and if they total the car and you repair it as a salvage unit then your warranty might be kaput.
    Unless you KNOW what you're doing or you KNOW what somebody is doing on your behalf, then you may just want to cut bait as you indicated - especially if you haven't been maintaining the old G3 like it needs to be (read through the longest 10 oil use threads and EGR.)

    I'd get a used C-type.
    They're the most dependable Yota on the market and since 2019 is the last year for them you might find a bargain out there - even in LA.

    Good Luck to you AND your son.

    Be not afraid.
    We're ALL more or less unappreciative and entitled at his age! ;)
    Just remember.
    He's going to be picking your nursing home! :D

    THE MOST important thing is that everyone is OK....inside and out.
     
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  14. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    Thank you, this made me cry :cry:

    I didn't know C will not be made anymore. Yes, I'm definitely going to look into it. I see some pretty good deals online already. And some buyer is asking to take a look at my wrecked Prius and saying they may be able to give me a good offer. If I can get any $$ to put towards the replacement, it will help for sure. I'm not going to explore to get anything greater than what I had though, since I'm scared of the insurance increase:cry: Thank you!
     
  15. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    A car gets totaled and gets a salvage title when the insurance co decides it's value is less that to total cost of them repairing it including stuff like rentals for the owner and any other associated costs. So they pay the owner for it or the lien and take possession of the car and the title. That won't happen in this case because the owner doesn't have collision insurance, therefore, not "totaled and salvaged) by the insurance co. So now it's just up to the owner whether to "total" it...decide if it's too expensive to repair or not.
    It's possible if it's determined that the other driver is at fault then his insurance could total the Prius but based on the op's opinion he doesn't think that's going to happen.

    Even if it went to a salvage title (which it can't in this case), the owner doesn't appear to be trying to sell it, he wants to drive it until it dies, so the "reduced value" is not relevant. It is true that a salvage or rebuilt title commands a lesser value, usually about 60% of book value simply because most people don't want them.
    All that said, I drive a 2015 salvaged title Prius (paid $9k for it 2 years ago with 24k miles on it) and now it has 51k....not a single problem until this week when the 12v battery went out. To be expected anyway after 5-6 years I guess.
    I have driven salvage/rebuilt titled vehicles for the last umpteen years, they are a great value IF you know enough about cars to determine if the repairs were properly done.
     
    #15 bettergolf, Nov 1, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
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  16. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    Thank you. It's really a tough decision to make. Even if I repair it with over $5k expense, the car already has over 120K miles on it, I wonder how much longer I can go without having to replace the battery or any major work from that point on. The boss I mentioned earlier never replaced the original battery until he let it go at over 300K miles, but every Prius is different like "bisco" said. But then you can say the same thing for any used Prius out on the market. My boss told me "you never know what other Prius owners have done to theirs, but at least you know what you did to yours". I think I kept mine well maintained, I am the only owner, bought it brand new, did oil/filter change every 5k/10k, changed all tires twice, changed front brake pads earlier this year. It has been always in good shape, no one mentioned I have to look out for this or that when I brought it to shops. I drive very gently and pretty much always kept the average mpg at 50~52.
    I am not knowledgeable on mechanical stuff on cars, I kept taking mine to the dealers until 100K miles (had extended warranty) and started going to decent local shops after. I feel more and more shops have staff knowledgeable on hybrid cars (in my city). Sometimes I see shop names with "Prius" in them. Maybe I should get some opinions from those people.

    Also I have to include the option to go with a regular gas car that costs less (used also) and deal with the low mpg for a few years and once my son is on his own I get myself a new hybrid again...:p With CA gas prices it's so annoying but it might be better than dealing with the high price on the car or the financing...:(
     
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  17. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    You might want to try a high school that has an auto shop, or a college. They can't charge your labor,
    just for the parts, at a lower price.
    Then they get the experience of repairing the car, and SHOULD have it repaired correctly.

    Or it would be a good car for you to LEARN how to work on it. :)
     
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  18. yum773

    yum773 Junior Member

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    Thank you, I am not at all DIY person when it comes to vehicles :( And safety and reliability are the most important for me, I don't know if I could try a mechanic school for my car :(But thank you!
     
  19. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Maybe you can't do it yourself, but you CAN phone the schools and see if they can/will do the work for you.
     
  20. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    My concern is this.
    Those "quotes" for repair at $5,500, $6.500 and $7,500 aren't really hard cost quotes, they are non-committal estimates based on pictures. With airbags deployed I think the cost could go much higher. Once they start doing work, if they discover more that needs to be done? It becomes a nightmare.

    Not to mention that you just have to trust in the quality of the work being done. If you find yourself dissatisfied with the work, it also becomes a nightmare.
     
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