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(Jalopnik)   Q: How can you end up with a totaled car when it has only one inch of damage? A: Like this   ( jalopnik.com) divider line
    More: Unlikely  
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9972 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Sep 2017 at 2:20 AM (36 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-09-13 09:51:13 PM  
GM does not want to fix the car you currently have.  Nor do they want to sell you the documentation, parts, and tools to do it yourself.

GM wants to sell you a new car.

Period.
 
2017-09-13 09:57:56 PM  
My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.
 
2017-09-13 10:01:31 PM  
Nice car, though.
 
2017-09-13 11:16:17 PM  

studebaker hoch: GM does not want to fix the car you currently have.  Nor do they want to sell you the documentation, parts, and tools to do it yourself.

GM wants to sell you a new car.

Period.


My dad worked at GM and you ain't lyin'.

We all have Toyotas.
 
2017-09-14 12:10:24 AM  

Creepy Lurker Guy: My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.


Yeah, I had a Mercury Marquis that got into a fender bender that cracked the grill. The replacement grill cost more than the car was worth, but it still ran just fine.
 
2017-09-14 12:44:36 AM  

studebaker hoch: GM does not want to fix the car you currently have.  Nor do they want to sell you the documentation, parts, and tools to do it yourself.

GM wants to sell you a new car.

Period.


Yep.

BMW and Mercedes have apps that work in Seattle, Portland and NYC called ReachNow and Car2Go where you get a Car as a Service (CaaS, think cloud software).  You rent a car, with gas, insurance, maintenance, etc included for $.35 to $.45 per minute using your cell phone and or a member card.  The hourly price is about $14-$18, and the daily price is $60-$80.

If the car gets a flat?  Park it, call up and complain your rental sucks because you got a flat, and they refund the trip.  You walk outside in the morning and see someone smashed into the car near your apartment?  Grab the one three blocks away.

They've admitted they're already profitable in the right cities if there's a driver present.  Once the driver isn't needed the cars will be used more per day, which means they can maintain a profit margin at lower costs.

Transportation costs should get interesting over the next three to twelve years.
 
2017-09-14 02:11:31 AM  
That's bad luck.
 
2017-09-14 02:13:27 AM  
Imagine the damage I could do.
 
2017-09-14 02:27:47 AM  
Sweet track car deal for someone though...
 
2017-09-14 04:01:46 AM  

moos: Sweet track car deal for someone though...


Maybe. I only say that because fatigue stresses are different with aluminum versus steel. If that part is stressed heavily during racing, well, not pretty. Of course it could be just fine, in any scenario.

I have a buddy who fixes up cars he buys from the salvage yards for himself, wife, kids. He's an expert, mind you, and doesn't grab anything he thinks will compromise safety in a crash. His day job is painting large emergency vehicles, so painting a car is trivial to him. Before that he did frame repair for a decade. His wife has a Mercedes AMG Black, he drives a BMW M3, and the two kids with licenses drive a Golf GTI and a regular BMW 3 series. All of them look brand new, you'd never know they were salvage vehicles.
 
2017-09-14 04:16:25 AM  
From the comments:

"Structural engineer here. The fact that this is the largest of the 3 (apparent) braces running across the short axis of the car to stiffen the frame rails tells me it has the most load on it (yes real engineering-ish). I'm having a hard time orienting the pictures with each other but regardless: corners are always the highest point of stress concentrations in any structure, and it is clearly at a corner in the frame assembly. On top of THAT, whatever those rivet looking things are attaching the two components will induce MORE localized stresses. And if that's not enough, the fact that there's a crack at all will induce it to spread (like that tiny chip in your windshield). So of all areas of the car, it's certainly reasonable to conclude its in the bottom 1% of places you'd want an inch long crack.
As for fixing it, there is probably a procedure to weld whatever alloy of aluminum that is back to 100% capacity, but if it's anything than an off the shelf alloy only Chevy is gonna know that process, and I'm pretty doubtful they'd share it. If that's not enough, even for a crack of that width the only way to ensure its 100% filled is get behind the area being welded, tack a backing plate on it (did I mention tacking can embrittle nearby aluminum?), grind it out, then methodically fill it. This isn't something you will have any guarantee of success doing from one side.
And as for "what's the worst that happens"? I'm guessing based on the component layout that those areas of the frame are largely to divert energy from the front into the rear and vice versa - which might not sound important, until you're in an accident, and the drivers side of the cabin collapses because the brace failed so the frame rails buckled and the trunk of the car hit the dashboard. So I can see why Chevy was like "nah fark this" as soon as they found it."


It seems like the guy managed to find the absolute LAST place on the entire car to hit something with.  That's honestly pretty impressive.
 
2017-09-14 04:50:29 AM  

inglixthemad: moos: Sweet track car deal for someone though...

Maybe. I only say that because fatigue stresses are different with aluminum versus steel. If that part is stressed heavily during racing, well, not pretty. Of course it could be just fine, in any scenario.

I have a buddy who fixes up cars he buys from the salvage yards for himself, wife, kids. He's an expert, mind you, and doesn't grab anything he thinks will compromise safety in a crash. His day job is painting large emergency vehicles, so painting a car is trivial to him. Before that he did frame repair for a decade. His wife has a Mercedes AMG Black, he drives a BMW M3, and the two kids with licenses drive a Golf GTI and a regular BMW 3 series. All of them look brand new, you'd never know they were salvage vehicles.


years ago when i worked at a machine shop one of the guys there loved late 70s early 80s Camaros. he too would fix up damaged cars and give them nice upgraded custom paint. when he got married he sold half the Camaros in his collection and had a fat down payment for their new house.
 
2017-09-14 05:02:52 AM  
I couldn't avoid it or stop without causing what would probably be serious accidents for multiple vehicles.

What now? He was in heavy traffic so couldn't have been going particularly fast. He could have hit the brakes. If the guy behind him rear-ends him that's that guy's problem.
 
2017-09-14 05:03:09 AM  
Q: How can you end up with a totaled car when it has only one inch of damage?

A: I dunno, length of penis Vs. how big a prick was driving?
 
2017-09-14 05:06:42 AM  
Get someone with aircraft experience.
 
2017-09-14 05:27:33 AM  
Repairing that crack depends on what kind of aluminum was used to make that part as some alloys of aluminum can't be welded while for other alloys that would be a really easy fix.
 
2017-09-14 06:52:47 AM  

Swiss Colony: I couldn't avoid it or stop without causing what would probably be serious accidents for multiple vehicles.

What now? He was in heavy traffic so couldn't have been going particularly fast. He could have hit the brakes. If the guy behind him rear-ends him that's that guy's problem.


He was on the freeway and following another car, so when the front car went over the object he likely had a second or two to see the object. Even at just 50 mph, he's traveling almost 75 feet per second. Not enough time to stop before hitting it, and too much traffic to swerve into another lane. The textbook would say he should have had more space to the car in front of him, real-life conditions rarely allow that. Leave enough space, and another car will cut in front of you.
 
2017-09-14 06:54:46 AM  
Pfft just squeeze some JB Weld in there.
 
2017-09-14 07:00:19 AM  

Creepy Lurker Guy: My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.


No, totaled means total loss to the insurance company not totally unrepairable. If it costs more to repair it than the car is worth the insurance company will total it. The car is given a totaled title and sold off for scrap. You can buy a car with a totaled title and fix it up, lots of people do. Those dents in the roof may not bother some people but they were to expensive for the insurance company to repair.
 
2017-09-14 07:04:37 AM  

studebaker hoch: GM does not want to fix the car you currently have.  Nor do they want to sell you the documentation, parts, and tools to do it yourself.

GM wants to sell you a new car.

Period.


GM is perfectly happy to sell you a subscription to their information/programming system, an MDI interface, and all the Kent Moore tools you desire.

The dealership may be a different story.
 
2017-09-14 07:18:55 AM  

fusillade762: Creepy Lurker Guy: My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.

Yeah, I had a Mercury Marquis that got into a fender bender that cracked the grill. The replacement grill cost more than the car was worth, but it still ran just fine.


I had a Renault 19 that I got into a minor prang with which resulted in a smashed headlight and a slightly bent bonnet.

Its was a £2,500 quote to fix it...  Obviously my insurance company wanted to write the car off.

They wanted to replace the bonnet, bumper, both headlights, bumper trim and full front end respray.

£40 for a headlight from the scrapyard and a bit of brute force to bend the bonnet back into place.
 
2017-09-14 07:40:25 AM  
i.kinja-img.comView Full Size


The faces of crack.
 
2017-09-14 07:55:35 AM  

max_pooper: Creepy Lurker Guy: My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.

No, totaled means total loss to the insurance company not totally unrepairable. If it costs more to repair it than the car is worth the insurance company will total it. The car is given a totaled title and sold off for scrap. You can buy a car with a totaled title and fix it up, lots of people do. Those dents in the roof may not bother some people but they were to expensive for the insurance company to repair.


Exactly. Whether or not you believe in the totalled concept (or even understand it), this is an insurance term. The dealer doesn't care whether your car is totalled or not, in fact they will probably buy your totalled car if it means socking you with a juicy monthly payment.
 
2017-09-14 08:19:23 AM  
when i was a teenager we would lightly bounce tennis balls and rubber balls like lacrosse balls and have a beater car drive over them. you would hear balls hitting the bottom of the car and they would build up quite of bit of energy and bounce pretty high after the car passed.
 
2017-09-14 08:31:04 AM  
Should have looked on ebay for the part.  My husband collects classic cars and buys and sells other cars.  He takes them apart and sells them on ebay then scraps the rest.  When he's looking for a discontinued part, that's the first place he goes to get it.  He bought a wrecked 60's Caddy for 50 bucks years ago and is still selling parts off it.  He's made over 3 grand off that car so far.
 
2017-09-14 08:57:56 AM  

max_pooper: Creepy Lurker Guy: My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.

No, totaled means total loss to the insurance company not totally unrepairable. If it costs more to repair it than the car is worth the insurance company will total it. The car is given a totaled title and sold off for scrap. You can buy a car with a totaled title and fix it up, lots of people do. Those dents in the roof may not bother some people but they were to expensive for the insurance company to repair.


When someone totaled my previous car by backing into it, causing a bunch of sheet metal damage but no structural issues, the insurance company totaled it, and I "bought it back" from them for $200.  So I got a nice several-thousand dollar check for a paid-off car, and still kept the car.

So I drove around a crappy looking car for another year.  Didn't bother me in the least.

I would have done the same with this car.  OK, it's no longer under warranty.  Get the thing welded up.  Big whup.  Use the insurance check to buy another one that is under warranty, and you've now got two cars for the price of one.
 
2017-09-14 09:05:10 AM  

Creepy Lurker Guy: My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.


Our Kia was totaled (by the previous owner). It took a bumper, the left front quarter panel and the driver's door to repair it. No structural damage. Sure, we have a salvage title, but we paid $1000 less than book for a car with new paint, a complete structural inspection, and the repair place threw in a new set of tires.

Turned out it had the original battery (eight years old), so the first cold day the car wouldn't start. Another $110.
 
2017-09-14 09:08:58 AM  
An inch? Wow, that's almost as small than the average Corvette owner's penis.
 
2017-09-14 09:25:19 AM  

Anschauer: Get someone with aircraft experience.


Looks like they found the car equivalent of the golden beebee.
 
2017-09-14 09:25:34 AM  
I did the same with my 1986 RX-7 when it was five years old.
 
2017-09-14 09:29:45 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size



Solved.
 
2017-09-14 09:30:16 AM  

Creepy Lurker Guy: My 1990 Honda Civic DX has 470,000 miles on it and has been totaled four times.  Still runs great and gets 36 Mpg.  I recently drove it 1,200 miles to see the eclipse.

I find the concept of "totaled" rather silly.


It sounds like a great car, but with 470,000 miles on it, I suspect you're "totaling" it each time you need an oil change.
 
2017-09-14 09:41:47 AM  
Ask my former girlfriends how one inch equals wrecked.
 
2017-09-14 09:43:41 AM  
The auction website seems to have an oddly specific estimated repair cost for a car that allegedly cannot be repaired.
 
2017-09-14 10:07:43 AM  

mrmopar5287: The auction website seems to have an oddly specific estimated repair cost for a car that allegedly cannot be repaired.


It's not that it can't be repaired, it can't be repaired by the insurance company. You may find somebody willing to weld the crack or you might be able to find a replacement part at a junk yard but the insurance company doesn't want to be liable for that.

Also, the repair estimate was probably generated by an algorithm.
 
2017-09-14 10:28:40 AM  

max_pooper: mrmopar5287: The auction website seems to have an oddly specific estimated repair cost for a car that allegedly cannot be repaired.

It's not that it can't be repaired, it can't be repaired by the insurance company. You may find somebody willing to weld the crack or you might be able to find a replacement part at a junk yard but the insurance company doesn't want to be liable for that.

Also, the repair estimate was probably generated by an algorithm.


Yeah, that's the big one.  Not only is it an expensive repair, it's a repair to a vital part of the car's frame.  You could get it done perfectly, or it could just look alright and be a waiting timebomb to totally crush the car in an accident like the engineer said.  It doesn't matter how much money it would take, the insurance company does not want that potential risk on their hands, nor does the Chevy dealership they took it to for initial repairs.

After getting it branded with a salvage title, though, all bets are off.  If you want to assume all that risk yourself and try to get it fixed, feel free.  Just don't expect to get any kind of good insurance or expect any shop to touch the repair with a ten foot pole.
 
2017-09-14 10:37:37 AM  
Wonder if that was 6061 or 7075?
 
2017-09-14 11:26:48 AM  

NEDM: max_pooper: mrmopar5287: The auction website seems to have an oddly specific estimated repair cost for a car that allegedly cannot be repaired.

It's not that it can't be repaired, it can't be repaired by the insurance company. You may find somebody willing to weld the crack or you might be able to find a replacement part at a junk yard but the insurance company doesn't want to be liable for that.

Also, the repair estimate was probably generated by an algorithm.

Yeah, that's the big one.  Not only is it an expensive repair, it's a repair to a vital part of the car's frame.  You could get it done perfectly, or it could just look alright and be a waiting timebomb to totally crush the car in an accident like the engineer said.  It doesn't matter how much money it would take, the insurance company does not want that potential risk on their hands, nor does the Chevy dealership they took it to for initial repairs.

After getting it branded with a salvage title, though, all bets are off.  If you want to assume all that risk yourself and try to get it fixed, feel free.  Just don't expect to get any kind of good insurance or expect any shop to touch the repair with a ten foot pole.


Seriously, and you REALLY don't want to fark around with frame cracks on a vehicle that has 500+hp.
 
2017-09-14 12:11:08 PM  
Buy it so you can sell the parts on eBay.
 
2017-09-14 12:19:01 PM  
Here's a non-adwalled version of the story.

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a12240997/this-corvette-was-t​o​taled-thanks-to-one-microscopic-crack/

Farkers should BOYCOTT story AND discussion links that are from sites that insist you open your computer to 3rd party ad-based malware. Make your wishes known to Fark Management by not generating ad revenue from THEIR discussion links.
 
2017-09-14 12:24:04 PM  
Krieghund  . . . It sounds like a great car, but with 470,000 miles on it, I suspect you're "totaling" it each time you need an oil change.

Which is precisely why I consider the concept absurd.
 
2017-09-14 12:34:55 PM  

Swiss Colony: What now? He was in heavy traffic so couldn't have been going particularly fast.


This is a silly assumption.

mrmopar5287: The auction website seems to have an oddly specific estimated repair cost for a car that allegedly cannot be repaired.


This was a warranty issue.  It could be repaired, and even for less than they cost of the car, but the manufacturer refused to warranty the car after the repair, because they said it would "compromise the integrity of the car".  Most likely, there were some parts involved in the repair that were put together to a spec in the factory that the manufacturer doesn't think the average mechanic will be able to meet in his shop.

It was really the cost of having to warranty the car themselves that caused the insurance company to total the car, not the cost of the repair.
 
2017-09-14 12:36:07 PM  
"When reached for comment, the debris stated, "DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MEET A STRANGER IN THE ALPS?!"
 
2017-09-14 12:52:38 PM  

NEDM: After getting it branded with a salvage title, though, all bets are off.


You can wash that title through a few states and the salvage title will be gone. I was told by someone in the used car business to never buy a car that had been titled in Kansas (especially without any good reason). Something about the Kansas MVD and their titling process makes that state an easy one to wash titles through.
 
2017-09-14 01:09:01 PM  
My BMW M Coupe was totaled, and it wasn't even moving. It was parked on a city street. Hit by a plumbing truck loaded with steel pipe, in a snowstorm. The truck driver saw my car at the last second, and of course missed the brakes and hit the accelerator. He also only hit the back left quarter of the car, just to make sure he caused the maximum amount of damage to the frame. It was like an automotive Final Destination.
 
2017-09-14 01:13:55 PM  

8 inches: Imagine the damage I could do.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-09-14 01:24:14 PM  

Harlee: Farkers should BOYCOTT story AND discussion links that are from sites that insist you open your computer to 3rd party ad-based malware.


I run Chrome with uBlock Origin, Ghostery, and AdBlock Plus. I got the story, no ads, and no "whitelist us" popup. (I sometimes get the popup from Kinja-associated sites, but you can just dismiss it an keep reading.) So I'm not sure what you're talking about.
 
2017-09-14 01:29:31 PM  
What the "Rear Transmission Tunnel" might look like:

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-09-14 02:38:08 PM  

Uzzah: Harlee: Farkers should BOYCOTT story AND discussion links that are from sites that insist you open your computer to 3rd party ad-based malware.

I run Chrome with uBlock Origin, Ghostery, and AdBlock Plus. I got the story, no ads, and no "whitelist us" popup. (I sometimes get the popup from Kinja-associated sites, but you can just dismiss it an keep reading.) So I'm not sure what you're talking about.


I'm behind 7 proxies.
 
2017-09-14 02:39:07 PM  
This morning, in left lane, Corvette approached from behind very fast.
Followed at reasonable distance until I got over.
Zoomed ahead and followed next car at reasonable distance.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
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