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Readers Respond: Can a Salvage Title Be a Good Thing on a Used Car?

Responses: 93


Used cars with salvage titles can be a good thing for a person handy with automobiles. They spell "nightmare" for other owners. Share your experiences with used car salvage titles. Have you found a diamond in the rough? Regretted buying one in the first place. Share your experiences with used cars and salvage titles.

Salv can be good & bad @ Times

My car is going thru the salv process. I have a 95 Cadillac & when I got hit I couldn't afford to chance buying a replacement car & it have mechanical problems. So I begrudgingly went thru salv process. When I removed the busted headlight it was only minimal damage to the front. Everything was super hard reinforced ceramic! So in a nutshell not all cars crash the same. I hit close to 40 mph & didn't even bend anything underneath. I see folks here talking about a broken control arm on a 350Z. What the heck ya'll hitting? Seriously putting your kids in a salv without knowing what it hit is asking for trouble! But Im good.
—Guest wc

owned four salvaged vehicles

I rebuilt two and bought two from AMG in bBufford , Ga. The cars are all great vehicles ( all Honda) the professionally rebuilt by AMG no problems. The ones I did were a pain.To get airbags had to be reset by Honda, over 3000$ for two. The reputation of the rebuilder is key.They are harder to sell but will if you price correctly and have good work done.I am a fan of quality rebuilts for frugal buyers for long term use.
—Guest john

Bad title?

I bought a car off of craigslist, ran and drove great. Awesome right? The guy I bought it from said he was waiting on a duplicate title to come, and that he would mail it to me. I got it about a week later. I opened it up, and it still had the original owners name on the title. On the back of the title was his name in the buyers spot covered in whiteout. Wat do I do from here? I'm completely lost.
—Guest ilPedrino1994

Olds Silhouette

I bought a Mini van at 10 PM at night didn't see till I got in the light that it was a salvage title. The van runs and drives perfect. To look at it looks like it was never wrecked. But I don't get any calls on the van as it's now listed on Craigslist.
—Guest Pat A

Fun Project

I'm finishing repairs on a 2010 VW GTI that is salvage titled due to partial freshwater flooding. My wife has owned the car since new and knowing its history, I had no reservations about buying it back from the insurance company. It also helps that I was able to get it dried out before mold and mildew set in. Not being in a hurry to finish it has allowed me to find deals on low mileage used parts and keep the cost down. Once finished, we'll have roughly $5,000 in a car that retails for around $20,000 with similar options, mileage, condition, and a clean title. We aren't planning to sell it but if we were, even at 50% of retail we would double our investment and somebody would get a great deal on a really nice little car. I'd recommend a salvage titled car as a project if you enjoy tinkering, aren't In a hurry, and use some common sense about what you buy. If planning to buy a rebuild to drive, the important part is buying from a trustworthy rebuilder with a good reputation.
—Guest Tony

salvage car

I bough a '04 pontiac grand prix gt & in feb. 2012 & only drove it for 3 wks & the car needed a computer brain & other problems with it. I regret purchases the car because it is at a dealership right now & is still not completly fixed because another problem arises & I am stuck with a $1500 bill & still not driving a vehicle and still have to make a payment on the car each month.
—Guest raven


—Guest DAVID


I bought a 2005 dodge magnum from Craigslist for 5700 it had 58k on it the guy said he bought it in a auction and that it had been in a flood he said a put a new enigne in it. I had the car for about 9 months I just put a new transmission in last week but beside that the car has been driving fine but he told me since it was in a flood it is always goin to have problems I put everything I have in this car now living for paycheck to paycheck. Am I looking at putting a lot money in this car ???? Pleas of you have any info or ideas what I should do please email me at apontehc@gmail.com thank you
—Guest Chris

Guest Britney

What state are you in Guest Brit? This inspection should be FREE from your states DMV Inspection and Theft office. They are really just wanting to verify it's not stolen and that no stolen parts are on the vehicle. It costs nothing for this.
—Guest Tarry

Great bargain!!!

I recently bought a 2010 Honda accord from an insurance auction for $9400!!!! It was missing a hubcap ($25), mud guard ($60) and needed a new front passenger door ($800)... To me it was a great deal! No problems whatsoever. Balling on a budget is what I'm gonna do from now on lol
—Guest Jackie

Cheaper Carfax

You can get a salvage title query for only $10 at vinaudit.com, I got burned once when buying a used car, so now I run a vin check myself no matter what.
—Guest Jason

rebuilt cars

we rebuilt latest model cars like bmw and mercedes and they are like new. is nothing to worry about. we are using the manufacture approved equipment and all cars are restored to manufacture specification. it is depend where you buy from. and those who say is piece of junk they have no idea what are saying. sometimes car with clean title has more damage then salvage. no all salvage are junk!!!!
—Guest Agnes

Before and after pics

Want to see some good before and after pics? Every car I've ever owned has been a salvage title, fixed by yours truly. I worked for a shop and learned how to fix cars the right way. The dealer can't ever tell that work has been done. Check it out at jonscustompaint.blogspot.com. None of these cars are for sale (sold them all years ago to all happy customers) except the Mazda 3 which I'm still driving). I just want people to know how much money they are wasting by not considering salvage title cars. If you do your research and buy from an honest seller, it will be the best decision you ever make. I will say that you should always have the car inspected by an expert to make sure it was repaired correctly though. And if you are paying above trade in value (according to Kelly ble book) then you are paying too much. There is a reason that a bank will only loan to trade in valu- cuz if they have to repossess, they know that's all that they'll be able to sale it for too.
—Guest Jon123

Take it from a collision repair tech

Interesting to see that so many misconceptions still exist... Having worked at a shop before, I can tell you that cars are usually built BETTER the second time than the first. Ask any trained welder which is a stronger weld... A spot weld or a MIG weld, and you'll begin to understand. Manufacturers are the ones who cut corners in the manufacturing process to increase speed and profit. And frame damage shouldn't be alarming these days since frames are really "unibody" structures, which are just pieces of sheet metal welded together. If some thing got bent, that piece can easily be cut of, and a new one welded in it's place, but with stronger welds. And why be concerned if the air bags are blown? Changing an air bag is a matter of removing 2 bolts then unplugging the wiring harness from the airbag then reversing the precession to reinstall. The air bag light wont shut off until the dealership runs a diagnostic to ensure that all parts are in working order. But always have car inspected.
—Guest Jon123

salvaged title

I am sixteen and bought a car with salavged title .. the car runs great and i love it but i cant get a tag because the tag office said i needed to get inspected , i dnt have the money for this and i have put some money into this car in tune ups brakes and other minor things , didnt really pay much for the car and its a 2000 model some one please give me advice,, thanks !
—Guest Brittany

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