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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am the second owner of a (once) beautiful Siver M5. I bought it in 2003 with 49,000 miles and have used it as a daily driver since purchase.

I have used this forum to learn more about this car, and read entertaining storied from other E39 owners. This board has been a tremendous resource for knowledge and experience. I have saved thousands of dollars on repairs and parts over the years because of the unselfish sharing of information through this board. I really appreciate it!

This past week I was granted a "Golf Outing" by my lovely bride of 26+ years and was fortunate to be able to travel to Naples FL in celebration of my 50th birthday. I booked an early flight so I asked my 18 year old son (really good kid, very responsible) to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to take me to the airport. I thought I would show my appreciation for this by allowing him to drive my car while I was in Naples.

The next day I received a phone call from my wife saying she was at an accident scene with my son, and that he was OK. He was on his way to an event at his school and about 100 feet from the driveway of his school he hit a parked car. He told me he remembered looking at the driveway to go into the school parking lot and a moment later opening his eyes and smelling a funny smell. He could see the airbag in his lap. Quite a shock for this young mind. I really wish I had been there for him...

The reaon I am posting this is I am searching through the best course of action to take next as I pursue repairing or replacing this car. I have read a good number of posts with stories of dealing with the insurance companies, and this has led me to make sure I keep perfec records of the conversations I have with the insurance companies. Since the accident was my son's fault, we are only dealing with our carrier (I think but not sure because of the other vehical's damage).

The car was towed to a salvage / recovery lot, and I dropped by there yesterday to take some photos. The car has 168,000 miles on it, and I had planned to drive it to 300,000 if it would make it. I love that car! Anyway, I am hopeful that the insights of some members here might guide me to the best course of action.

Here is how she looks today.
 

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Not that bad to repair,hood,bumper,fender,headlight,plastic stuff in wheel arch,all suspension parts on right front new....

Does not look like too much frame damage,if at all...
 

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Company Representative for Valley Motorwerks
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I have to say it, "It'll rub out." actually I would fix it... But at the current minimum wage rate your kid will be 50 himself by the time it's paid for...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree. There was no impact to the engine or radiator, and I am pretty sure no frame damage. I just took a call from the insurance company and they have deemed it a total loss.
 

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you got the side skirt too which is part/attached to the frame...you can cut it and do that one area - but if you hit hard enough that the contact area reached the skirt - the frame damage probably extends half way up the side of the car (past the A-Pillar)

The side skirt is pretty weak in the damaged area,no surprise it was bent by the tire...

It needs way more impact force to damage the a-pillar...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is what the insurance company came up with.

Their research shows that the car had a pre-accident value of $8,154.13 and if I accepted that they would also pay the tax of $570.78 leaving me with a total settlement of $8,724..91 minus my $500.00 deductible. So it nets out to $8,224.91.

They deemed the repairs to the vehical at approximately $11,500.00 which is why it is considered a total loss.

If I elected to keep the vehical they stated a salvage value of $1,467.72. In the event I decided to keep the vehical then the settlement would drop to $6,186.41.

The biggest issue I have at this point is that I could not find a comperable vehical near me (Minneapolis) and the closest ones I could find were in the $14.8K to $19.5K range. I mentioned this to the adjuster, and she committed to sending the detail of their findings to me by e-mail.
 

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I just took a call from the insurance company and they have deemed it a total loss.
I'm not surprised. With the age and mileage, it will cost more to repair than it's worth (considering the high salvage value).

So now your question is (I guess) do you buy it as a salvage car, knowing that you'll never be able to sell it (although it appears that you never want to) and then pay to fix it, or let the insurance company have it and buy another?

Me personally - based on my experience - a car is never the same after a hard hit. I'm sure many will disagree with me (it won't be the first time) and I am very particular and anal and demand perfection in all things, so if you are more easy-going you may never notice and it won't bother you.

Best of luck. The important thing is that the kid is OK.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate your insights Beemer Guy. There was a stage of my life when I required the highest standards, though I have become more easy going as time goes on. In thinking through it, I would rather be driving a vehical that hasn't taken this kind of hit, but I don't see anything on the market close to the price they are offering.

One consideration is to keep it as salvage, take the cash and part it out. It would occupy a stall in my garage but I would simply purchase a temporary vehical to get me through the parting out process before I could accumulate the proceeds to find my next E39.

Does anyone have a sense of the time and value of parting out this car? I office out of my home so I have a lot of flexibility to respond and dismantle / ship, etc. I have been a backyard mechanic for 20+ years so I am notafraid to pursue that track. I just wonder what kind of value I would see with a vehical parts that have 168,000 miles on them.

Anyone out there have a sense of the time and value of parting this guy out?
 

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I wouldn't fix the car, it won't be the same. It's not a camry, it's a performance car. You'll notice a difference.

But I would accept the $6,186 and keep the car. You can part it out and sell the engine/tranny/wheels (3 of them anyway)/brakes/interior pieces for way more than the $1,467 salvage value and you'll have closer to $10k to put towards getting another M5 instead of $8,224.

Still, I know it sucks to think about the prospect of parting out your baby, but better for you to do it than a heartless salvage yard.
 

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I appreciate your insights Beemer Guy. There was a stage of my life when I required the highest standards, though I have become more easy going as time goes on. In thinking through it, I would rather be driving a vehical that hasn't taken this kind of hit, but I don't see anything on the market close to the price they are offering.

One consideration is to keep it as salvage, take the cash and part it out. It would occupy a stall in my garage but I would simply purchase a temporary vehical to get me through the parting out process before I could accumulate the proceeds to find my next E39.

Does anyone have a sense of the time and value of parting out this car? I office out of my home so I have a lot of flexibility to respond and dismantle / ship, etc. I have been a backyard mechanic for 20+ years so I am notafraid to pursue that track. I just wonder what kind of value I would see with a vehical parts that have 168,000 miles on them.

Anyone out there have a sense of the time and value of parting this guy out?
you will make a lot more than the salvage value of 1500 back... if you have the time/space/etc, you can definitely make some money since the vast majority of the car is fine
 

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You can fight the valuation of your car by sending them comps. I had to do it many years ago and they had to double their settlement offer. Disclaimer: I live in California where Insurance companies are fairly tightly monitored and controlled.
 

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They don't seem to be quite as expensive as they used to. I was looking on ebay this am. Engine a few more miles than yours $3500, less miles than yours engine tranny combo 7500. Rebuilt motor $10000. I saw a full interior black with blue 2500 couple weeks ago.
I don't get the prices your insurance is giving you?? I looked up some prices of wrecks selling from yard to yard. Usually some of the parts are already sold off. This maybe in canuk bucks but I think it was in usd. $8000 for a three corner wreck , 11000 for a front end damage still had clean title. $1476 would be real cheap you could make money on that.
Your insurance company must be confused about the model or start these negotiations real low.
 

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They don't seem to be quite as expensive as they used to. I was looking on ebay this am. Engine a few more miles than yours $3500, less miles than yours engine tranny combo 7500. Rebuilt motor $10000. I saw a full interior black with blue 2500 couple weeks ago.
I don't get the prices your insurance is giving you?? I looked up some prices of wrecks selling from yard to yard. Usually some of the parts are already sold off. This maybe in canuk bucks but I think it was in usd. $8000 for a three corner wreck , 11000 for a front end damage still had clean title. $1476 would be real cheap you could make money on that.
Your insurance company must be confused about the model or start these negotiations real low.

Always turn down the first offer... that's all it is, an offer. They have to pay fair market value from what I am accustom to.
 

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looks fixable.
 

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Wow that sucks big time, glad everyone was ok. Im always afraid of that happening when people drive my car, and the others who ask and say " Ya man I know how to drive stick"
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for your insights. It looks as though I am going to have to call AAA and have them tow the car to my home. I think it appropriate to take Valley Moterworks advice and counter their offer with comparables that I have found. I would like to get the vehical home and get it up in the air so I can carefully examine the damage from the under side.

I am very grateful that my son was not hurt, and that there was no one in the other vehical.

It just sucks to have to go through this exercise. Life has plenty more for me to deal with than a distraction like this...
 

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Thank you for your insights. It looks as though I am going to have to call AAA and have them tow the car to my home. I think it appropriate to take Valley Moterworks advice and counter their offer with comparables that I have found. I would like to get the vehical home and get it up in the air so I can carefully examine the damage from the under side.

I am very grateful that my son was not hurt, and that there was no one in the other vehical.

It just sucks to have to go through this exercise. Life has plenty more for me to deal with than a distraction like this...
I agree 100%.
However, life seems to throw curve balls from time to time and we don't have any other choices but to deal with them.

My angle of view is, I would get maximum amount from the insurance to keep the vehicle, and spend extra to fix it.
I have 150K miles on mine, had few fender benders over the years, yet it drives FAR better than any brand new average car.
Even my 6-year old son refused to ride in his mom's Camry. It gives him "headache", from all the swaying around.
Best of luck.
 
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