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Repair

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Discussion Starter #1
Sigh, quite a bit stressed out folks. Collision Sunday, an hour ago I was told it was totaled. I was offered 8k by USAA to keep the car, or 12k if they keep the car. I love the Volt but it is my daily driver and my only. I'm having a bit of trouble finding an equivalent car for 12k, so I'm considering taking the salvage title, 8k, and trying to recondition myself from junk yards. I feel like I have tomorrow & Friday to plan and the weekend to execute.
Right turn signal smashed, HV battery charger smashed off its brackets, parking sensor damaged, headlight heavily scratched, anything else I may be missing?
Also wondering if I should disclose my policy limits to the owner of the parked car, my lovely wife smashed into.
As a tradesman I have work early tomorrow and I'm going to bed. Still trying to process, thanks for any help.
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2014 Volt Premium 50k miles, fully loaded, SF Bay area, CA.
 

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Not sure where you are looking, but I see a lot of Volts under $12K, 2014 or newer on Cars.com. And those are asking prices, open to negotiation. I think USAA is being very generous. Bottom line is I wouldn't touch the repair job, and I think you are way underestimating the job if you think you could do it on a weekend. Have you taken it to a dealer for an estimate? Unless there is hidden damage, it doesn't look like $8K worth of damage.
 

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I came on here to post about my Volt getting totaled. Same thing - right front corner - I thought it was fine then realized it wouldn't charge. Called in a claim - got a generous settlement on it. 2013 with 100k miles, $11,800. Don't think I could have sold it for that. Test drove a new Bolt but I'm not fond of the looks - now looking at a Gen II Volt - will miss my Star Wars (black and white) interior and ice blue paint. I briefly thought of repairing it myself - but I'm not a DIY'er. Good luck and sorry this happened to you - I know the feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments so far. I was looking for an equivalent car 2014 volt with forward collision avoidance, safety package 2. It seems that safety package 2 was the last option anyone bought, which is the only reason I have or I guess had a fully loaded 2014 Volt. I've found other fully loaded Volts for 8.5k ish, but they do have 260% of my mileage. Then the question of oh how much gas driving vs ev driving roughly found by mpg.
Now I'm not very mechanically inclined I have done the simple oil change and tire rotation, and have the willingness to learn, struggle, and crawl my way up a level.
The coolant line connecting to the HV battery charger came right off, and that coolant tank is empty(1 of 3). I was quite questionable to move the car at all, per the photo, the charger is hanging on my connectors alone.
Curious on what option you have settled on DZD.
I should be asleep right now, sigh, sleep will be challenging tonight.
 

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I'd be inclined to take the 12K offer. Rent a car for a week to take the time pressure off, or use mass transit, uber until you find a replacement that you like. They are out there.
 
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I found many Volts in the bay area. Maybe plan on trying them out this weekend? If buying from a dealer, don't go by the listed price. Expect to negotiate it down $1000. For example, I would offer $10,500 for this one. They will counter with a price below listing.
You might consider upgrading to a Gen2. Here is an example.
 

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Now I'm not very mechanically inclined I have done the simple oil change and tire rotation, and have the willingness to learn, struggle, and crawl my way up a level.
The coolant line connecting to the HV battery charger came right off, and that coolant tank is empty(1 of 3). I was quite questionable to move the car at all, per the photo, the charger is hanging on my connectors alone.
Not trying to be harsh or judgmental, but these two sentences alone should lead you to take the $12k and walk away. I can clearly see that you have some structural damage (2nd pic), you have damaged battery cases and components...it's going to be a very expensive, labor intensive rebuild. Things always look much simpler than they actually are. The damaged structural piece could potentially be a nightmare when it comes to panel and/or headlight alignment. Parts will be somewhat difficult to find and will not be cheap. Then you have body work and paint - that alone can run you $3-5k depending on how nice a paint job you want. Then you still have to address the damaged battery components. The fact that it dumped the battery coolant may or may not be a major issue - I don't know.

Another thing to consider is resale. If you decide to sell it down the road, the fact that it has a salvage title will greatly reduce it's value. That may or may not be important to you, but it's something to consider.

But I've been down that road and it's always double the work and double the cost of what you originally planned for. If you're not already very mechanically inclined, I would not recommend taking this on. I bought an old Ford Ranger off a friend that had what I considered slight front end damage. Bumper was bent, bumper brackets were shot, the grill was in pieces, all of which I knew about. What I didn't consider was everything behind those parts. One of the frame horns was bent and needed straightened, several EXPENSIVE fiberglass body panels needed replaced or repaired, then came paint and body work. I spent months hunting junkyards, watching ebay and amazon daily, driving to stranger's houses for Craigslist items, did the body work myself and got the cheapest Maaco paint job they offered. When all was said and done I had over $4k into that truck and in the end it was still just a '97 Ranger with 175k miles that was worth about $3500, but luckily it didn't come with a salvage title.

Sorry for the essay, just wanted to relay some experience.

Also, I know a guy selling a very clean '12 with 63k and the premium package for $11k if you're interested.
 

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Have to agree 100% with Foose. It's not a job YOU want to be doing.
 

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I had a similar incident with a 2010 Jetta TDI Cup. The Volt seems to have a bit more damage and considerable electronics were affected. If this was not a primary vehicle and you were dying to learn about auto repair I would say "maybe" but keep in mind that if you are fussy about driving around with black unpainted quarter panels and bumper covers you may wish to take the $12,000 and run. Also, you could check a pull apart yard for parts off of other dead Volts but here in New England you probably would not find much. I imagine in California there are more but unlike a Camry or my Mark V Jetta, a Volt is still a relatively new and somewhat uncommon find.
 

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Even with the skills to do the work, not sure how you do this if it is your daily driver? Do you have a spare car to drive while you work on it?

There is a guy posting here with a 2014 he parted out. If you search the forum you can probably find it. If you had all the parts that would help a lot in an effort like this.

The context of the situation has a lot of impact on a decision like this.
 
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