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General Discussions about the 300M and other LHs

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 #390746  by adu1982
I think i might have mentioned it somewhere here , somebody rear ended my dad while he was driving his Fit. It was decently fast enough to where it pushed him in the guy in front of him (truck with a hitch). So the front end got messed up again... Went through the guy at fault's insurance (state farm). After some debating, fighting with them and all that they totaled it and we're gonna get 3900$ and the car bag as a salvage... This is gonna be a learning experience for me in dealing with Florida DMV to try to change it from salvage to rebuilt.

Worse case i can always just sell it to the yards.

Yesterday since it was 50% off at the yard we went and grabbed a bumper reinforcement. Haven't get the car back (we will Monday) so didn't want to grab anything else wrong. Hood and bumper were gone anyway.
I know i have to show receipts and it sometimes takes for ever from what I have read but ....just wanna try it. If anybody has any experience and wants to give me any advice , it will be welcomed. We are in north Florida, Jacksonville.

Car still runs, and this is the exact same type of damage i fixed twice before when my sister was at fault so we didn't go through insurance back then so as not to get it totaled.

With having some work needed to be done on my base (including a timing belt job since now my trust level for parts lasting more than 5 years has been dashed) and a possible engine swap on the LHS, this is not the project i needed but ...... Curios and once i set my mind onto something ......

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 #390750  by FIREM
Not sure what it takes anymore in any state. Once "totaled" and released as salvage may be a bigger issue getting insurance.
In NJ did have some experience. Since I held the title even though the insurance co totaled the car it was never retitled as salvage. Insurance would only cover comprehensive after that.
Salvage title only really matters if you go to sell it. If you are going to drive it until the wheels fall off it shouldn't matter.
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 #390768  by LUNAT1C
As Bob mentioned, your biggest obstacle might be insuring the car. Florida seems to be pretty lax when it comes car regulations, but you never know. Even if you have no trouble getting the coverage you want, it might go up in cost simply because of the R-title (if you end up with one).

My uncle operates a body shop in Summit NJ and has rebuilt several salvage cars over the decades for my aunt and cousins. He did it with my Intrepid as well when it was totaled in 2004, to sell for profit. His experience in NJ was that the title never left his desk and it was never retitled as salvage or rebuilt. This would have been the case with my Special had I not registered it in PA a few months before I totaled it.

In PA, the story is remarkably different. State law requires insurance companies to take the title from the vehicle owner or lienholder and convert it to a salvage certificate if it is bought back (or whatever the salvage yard equivalent is if it goes to the crusher). If this does not happen, the insurance carrier legally cannot issue the payout check and must cancel the claim. So, I had to give them my clean title and the state then sent me a salvage certificate.

From this point, after the repair is done, the car then needs to be subjected to an enhanced safety inspection, and it must be towed there since it's not registered any longer. PA does annual emissions and safety inspections, and this is much more thorough to confirm the car is roadworthy. Florida has no normal state inspection, I imagine there is no safety inspection requirement for salvaged cars, but you would have to confirm that with the DMV.

Once the shop doing the inspection gives its blessing and I've given them ~$150 to do it, I bring that report and all the receipts for all the parts to the notary to have the salvage certificate converted to a R-title (rebuilt), get a new plate, and enjoy the car.

Some caveats there. If parts were taken from a salvage yard, I saw some details that I would need to get the VINs of the cars the parts came from, so the state can confirm those cars were titled for recycling and won't be driven again, and the parts weren't stolen from a car on the street. I didn't have this information, but I did have the salvage yard receipts, so I suppose that was fine. It's up to the individual at the notary sometimes. I slapped a fat folder on the desk with all the paperwork and they hardly looked at more than the salvage cert and inspection report.

Further, if Florida does require a salvage certificate and then a rebuilt title, CHECK THE INFORMATION ON THE CERTIFICATE FOR ACCURACY. PA sent me a certificate that had the mileage as 971,030. Odometer read 97,103 (enhanced safety took images of the odometer and VIN and plate). The kind woman at the first notary told me of the issue, and said she could go ahead and process it as is, but she would have to use the million mile number, which would further impact resale of the car. I have no intention of selling it, but I'm a stickler for accuracy, so I chose to send the certificate back to Harrisburg to have it fixed, expecting it take a few weeks. THREE MONTHS LATER I had the fixed certificate and got the title squared away and the car back on the road.

Talk to your DMV and ask them what the official process is. It could simple like NJ. It could be a royal pain like PA. Hard to know for sure. Since then I've retitled the car in Michigan, and Michigan SOS laws state that once the vehicle is over 10 years old, details don't matter. They didn't check the title status in PA and didn't ask for the mileage, so it's mileage-less clean green title car now. If I were to total it again here, I might have some trouble if the SOS finds the DMV records from PA, but I suspect they don't talk to each other. We have no state inspections, so I would hope it's not arduous.
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 #393398  by adu1982
Had forgot to update....
Succes was achieved....very easy process it seemed just have to document stuff....and wait....
Car is back on the road.....a few minor repairs and then a cheap maco paint job (it's at 195 k so it's not worth anything expensive and it is now a rebuilt title)....

Almost failed the inspection because the rear bumper slightly came out on the way there and I didn't see it. But the guy was understanding....

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 #393484  by adu1982
Took the rear bumper off this week to see if there is a way to reattach it perfectly or repair where it attaches on the side and discovered the rear bumper reinforcement is smashed to a new yard run will be needed....

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 #393775  by adu1982
Did end up getting a used rear reinforcement bar and installed it. Haven't pulled the front of to see where the bad ground is that is causing the brake and abs light to come on.

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 #394194  by adu1982
Did some work on it yesterday, she is getting close to tip top shop (well at least for a car knocking on 200k miles).
Fixed the rear hatch lock issue. Well not the lock ,but the actual rear back was just pushid in for the lock to not engage on the last step and shot the hatch as locked. So moved the latch (drilled new holes). So issue fixed. Also fixed the front and rear bumper mounting points.Hopefully in a week or two I can take it over to Maaco for some cheap paint. At so many miles, with so many accidents it had (I think this is the 4th time I save it from going to the yards) , no reason o spending on expensive paint. An as of yet still.behind on my own cars so even me doing it myself is not in the cards.

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 #394239  by adu1982
Took some stuff of and gave it a wash the other night, taking it to Maaco for a 1k paint job (I've taken now 3 cars there and they do an ok job for the price). I have to remember to take some pics before and after. Always meant too on the other cars , but never really did....

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 #394243  by adu1982
Just dropped it off, should have it back by Tuesday next week they said. Did snap some before pics this time while I was waiting for an Uber.

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 #395053  by adu1982
She's been good and have actually been driving it for the past week since both of my cars are down.....very very cheap on gas but just as cheap and uncomfortable on the seats, speakers......but like true Honda..... It just chugs along.....knocking on 200k....

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