Buying Benzes with Rebuilt/Salvage titles? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Buying Benzes with Rebuilt/Salvage titles?

On Ebay I see a lot of Benzes with rebuilt or salvage titles. I understand that these do not have MB warranties anymore. Obviously I'd avoid flooded or totalled cars, or cars with major accidents, but there seem to be some cars that were stolen and recovered. If a Benz was stolen, why does it get a rebuilt title? Is it unwise to buy one of these cars?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 08:46 AM
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with older car and expensive parts - fender bender will result in totaling the car.
You can only guess till you find full records.
I used to own 84 Volvo, that was totaled 3 times in its life, regardless served us for 17 years and ended up on junk yard for cosmetic reasons, still running perfectly.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 08:46 AM
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If the insurance company decides that the car can not be restored to good/resellable condition - financially - then the car becomes salvage. Could be a ton of problems: electrical, fire, etc. Is this a good buy? Sometimes, especially if you decide to keep the car forever. The problem comes when you decide to sell it. The value is usually around 50% of wholesale. Your only choice, then, is to sell it to a private party and let them deal with it. For the most part, I would shy away from a high dollar car that is rebuilt/salvage.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 09:45 AM
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If the insurance company decides that the car can not be restored to good/resellable condition - financially - then the car becomes salvage.
In aviation we call that BER - Beyond Economical Repair.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 05:46 PM
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If the vehicle is "totaled" and the insurance compnay sells it at auction, it goes with a salvage title. I used to work in the "recycling" industry. These cars would get the door pulled back to access power lock, or they would break a window. They would then pull off the steering column and bust the ignition. At the chop area the airbags would get pulled, wheels, tires, radio and if it were a pro job, seats, doors, bonnet, boot lid, and grille. Thiefs don't drive like granny. I have seen cars with dented undersides and leaking trannys. Many unreputable shops would buy these cars then sell them to unsuspecting ebay buyers with newspaper stuffed where the airbag belongs. Cheap aftermarket door skins from the far east and a Maaco $99.00 paint job. Good as new for at least a month. Granted, you may find a good deal, but make sure you thoroughly check the car out.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 08:55 PM
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Greetings from beautiful Vancouver B.C... I am new here... I am a diesel Land Cruiser guy (please foregive me ) I am looking at purchasing a 1987 300D Turbo w/ 81,000miles for $9,000Cdn. It was purchased by an auto broker here in Vancouver from Las Vegas auction. It looks & drives flawlessly. Everything seems to look & work fine. (Except S/R & LF window stiff & slow to open) Seller swears it is a fantastic deal & all is good... (yeah, like I wanna believe a used car salesman) He is willing to let me do a vehicle inspection. The catch is that it was sold by an isurance co. as "Salvage"
Seller claims that was due to LR fender & control arm damage. I have heard both good & bad things about the newer diesels... Do any of you have any suggestions, coments...
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 08:59 PM
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Aren't we going to extremes? Our original ML320 got rear-ended and since the estimates run about $12,000 they paid off the car at $14,000. I bought it back for about $5500 and the only frame damage was rear bumper reinforcement plus front brush guard, that could be straighten up.
So for less than $6000 our son enjoys perfectly running ML, with only some dents on the hatch and hood. Salvage certificate definitely is not giving the justice to very clean car.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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guys, what about this 2005 CL500 sport? theft recovery car. feedback welcomed

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 09:57 PM
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Car recovered from theft untouched and now it has salvage title?
Hard to believe, but if you can drive there, that might be excellent opportunity.
Just consider that it is going to be hard to re-sell, unless very cheap.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 11:27 PM
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I restored salvage cars for almost 20 years as a hobby. Most of the cars with salvage titles have the potential for becoming real problems. Finance companies won't touch them and most insurance policies will not cover collision or body damage and most new car dealers won't take them as trades. Unless you know and trust the repair people who did the repair and plan on keeping it a long time, its best to stay away.

That said there are good deals out there for those who know the vehicles they are buying well enough to avoid the pitfalls of deals that seem too good to be true. A buddy of mine and I got into a bidding war over a salvaged DeLorean DMC-12 that was a refused repair. He out bid me and got it for $15k. The car was less than a year old at that time and had less than 3k miles on it. A refused repair was a car that had been repaired by the insurance company that the owner refused to accept. It was a theft recovery that had the steering column and ignition lock assy replaced and had only a small scratch in the stainless near the roll down section of the drivers side window. I suspect the real owner realized he had a go fast looking car that was slower than it looked and saw the theft as his chance to unload it.
One other deal I passed on was a recovered 911 Turbo that had been taken off a dealers lot and was new but stripped down to a bare body shell. It was on three pallets and every part was there. The car was being stripped for parts so all of the removed parts were tagged with the correct part number and the wires if any were disconnected. There were no cut cables or hoses anywhere. It was like a major do it yourself kit without the instructions.

If an insurance company has to sell a vehicle they have repurchased from the original owner they almost always sell it as salvage regardless of its condition because they are not in the used car business and will not accept the potential liability of selling it as a used car.

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Last edited by n5160u; 02-05-2007 at 11:31 PM.
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