ADEQ Offers Quick Reference Tool for Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit
Reading GM RPO Glovebox Codes and Build Sheet
My 2016 Budget Challenge: What to Do With a Totaled Car
[Editor’s Note: This is another episode in Max Wong’s journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series here.]
Some stereotypes are true. People in Los Angeles suck at driving in the rain.
Last week, Mr. Spendypants and I were driving down the center lane of the 110 Freeway. The road ahead was a multicar accident scene. Blocking the left hand lane was a smashed car facing oncoming traffic, its windows completely blocked by air bags. Blocking the right hand lane was not one, but two separate pileups.
As we approached the accidents, we were struck from behind. The driver of the car that hit us had swerved to avoid crashing into the stopped vehicle in the left lane and plowed into our car, instead. The impact of the crash sent us skidding toward the stopped vehicles in the right-hand lane. If the initial impact wasn’t bad enough, the driver who rear-ended us tried to pull out of his skid only to drive into the side of our car, instead.
My first thought as we finally came to a stop on the wet pavement: Why did this have to happen to our nice car and not the clunker that I want to part out for cash?
Karina, our 1993 Volvo 240 station wagon, did her job. We drove away from the accident without a scratch. Unfortunately, Karina didn’t fare as well. The accident had smashed a rear door and quarter panel, and ripped off molding, a brake light, and a bumper cover.
The next morning we drove Karina over to our Swedish mechanic who put her up on the lift. Miraculously, she had not sustained any mechanical damage from the accident, just body damage. She is in perfect driving condition.
Even with this slightly good news, I knew at this point that Karina was totaled. Car insurance generally works off a very easy algorithm: If the cost of repair is more than 75% of the car’s value, that car is declared a total loss even if the car is in perfect working order.
The bodywork estimate: $2,000. Average value of a 1993 Volvo 240 wagon: $2,400. Boo.
Luckily, the driver of the car that hit us is insured (by Progressive). We had their adjuster give us an appraisal and got a second appraisal (and opinion) from State Farm, Mr. Spendypants’ car insurance. Both companies called Karina a total loss. This means that instead of paying to fix her, the insurance company would cash us out on Karina’s value and we’d drive home in a damaged car with a check in our pocket.
If we went through State Farm, the accident would go against our deductible and we would end up with a check for $3,199. If we went through Progressive, there would be no impact on our deductible and we would end up with a payout of $3,480.
By the way, we were totally shocked that Karina had retained so much value. We’d purchased her in 2012 for $3,500. We were anticipating that they insurance companies would give us $1,000 and we’d be stuck paying out of pocket to repair her.
Both insurance companies offered to buy Karina from us for scrap. Progressive valued Karina at $119 as scrap, and State Farm offered us a princely sum of $75 to take our totaled car off our hands. While all insurance companies offer to buy totaled cars — as a convenience to the customer — it should be noted that Karina’s used parts are worth around $15,000. The rear door that we will have to replace on Karina sells for $450. And that’s just for the exterior metal panel, not the interior of the door!
I have no idea why more people don’t understand what a total money-loser this is.
The loss of almost $15,000 in parts value is not a convenience. Instead we will take our chances on repairing Karina. We accepted Progressive’s check for $3,480.
This is where owning a totaled car gets sticky. The moment Progressive cut us a check is the moment when we lost the original title to Karina. The state of California, like most states, revokes the original title on totaled vehicles to prevent damaged cars from being resold to unsuspecting buyers. The DMV will replace our original title with a Salvage Certificate. This becomes the new ownership document. Once we repair Karina, we can re-register her as “Revived Salvage.” She will never get a clean title again, but we will be able to resell her if we want to down the road.
Yes. The process of re-registering Karina will be inconvenient, but not $15,000 worth of inconvenience. This is what my next week’s action plan looks like:
Alas, the body shop will not be able to repair Karina until the New Year. This means that we will be back down to one car for the entire month of December.
Silver lining: We can use the $3,480 to pay down our debt challenge in the meantime.
Well, there are better ways to make money than getting double-tapped on the freeway, but I’ll take it.
Amount Raised: $29,867.42
Amount Spent: $13,598.66
Nothing Stays the Same
By Robert Counts and Chad Counts
Things in your life and in your business change whether you desire this change doesn’t matter – stuff happens.
You only get a choice in what happens if you plan changes in advance and follow through on your plans. Even as you make the changes you plan for you will still have to deal with changes outside of your control, but at least you will have the advantage of already creating progress with your own changes.
“Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get.” George Bernard Shaw.
If you were not proactive in January 2014 and did not do a real review of where your business was, there is a good chance your net profit was not as good as the year before. If you haven’t made any changes in more than two years you are wondering:
• Why is business off?
• Why are these other yards paying “stupid” money for cars?
• Why isn’t life much fun?
• Why do I feel like I am working harder for less?
In working with and studying successful people I have learned the following:
• They know who they are and they do what they are passionate about. Business is hard and if you are not passionate about the business you are in – work becomes a grind. They many not be passionate about selling used parts, but they are passionate about growing their business. You need to get to the core of why you are in this business.
• They like to know if they are winning. They know what good is and are striving to be better. They are never satisfied. They compare, compete and improve.
• Success first. Ego second. Most people struggle with change if it’s not their idea. You may be your own biggest obstacle. Are you to busy shooting down other people’s ideas to actually see if their ideas would work?
• They are not afraid to make changes:
o In themselves,
o In their people, and
o In their business.
• The inaction caused by avoiding mistakes often costs more than trying and failing. They try, test, learn and adjust.
• They work hard. There will always be people who are smarter than you, who have more resources or who have had more opportunity. But nothing says you can’t level the playing field by out working your competitors.
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Steps to create your change:
• Start! Most ventures start with an idea and then get perfected through experience. Never let best get in the way of better. You can get a little better everyday. Most people do not have a shortage of good ideas they have a lack of execution. So pick an area for improvement and start today.
• Focus. Identify one thing that you and your team think would radically change your business. Put 80% of your focus and energy into this. Make a plan and get started. You will have to make adjustments along the way so be prepared for that.
• Identify. As owner/manager/leader you need to identify your top 20%. Who are your top producers and are committed to your company? Spend 80% of your available management/leadership time with them. They are the ones who are going to help identify the most important thing you are going to tackle and they will be the ones most responsible for its success.
• Take Away. Strip away things in your business that are not producing at a high level. It is better to do one or two things really well than many things poorly. Don’t do it because your friends or competitors do it. It has to fit into your overall business focus and be something that you have a passion about.
Counts Business Consulting, LLC
Robert Counts, email@example.com, 512-653-6915
Chad Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Previously, nobody would have considered buying used car or auto parts to rehabilitate a vehicle unless nothing else was available. Today, however, used parts has gained wider acceptance. The truth is, nowadays, a lot of people are looking to have some useful knowledge about the concept of used auto parts.
At times, these used auto parts can be comparable to brand new ones in terms of performance. Many people find that buying used automobile parts can give more value for their money, which is one of the main reasons for its rising popularity. There are new parts that are priced too expensively, particularly the bulky ones like an engine or steel wheels that maybe required by a certain situation. New parts such as these can be very expensive and you may not be able to afford buying them immediately. Thus, in cases like these, used auto parts can work to your advantage and you will be able to save on cost.
Aside from this, once a vehicle becomes unserviceable, it is hardly useful at all. But, you must be aware that because of the complicated way that an engine operates, many other parts of an unserviceable car engine can work excellently. So, the next thing you should probably do is to look for auto recyclers. Your car may already be a piece of junk to you, but to an auto recycler it is remains a pot of gold. These auto recyclers will compete to obtain the vehicle for you. Look at it as another means to earn money for your vehicle in exchange for the recyclers inventory of auto parts. Now, isn�t that something to consider as a car owner?
There is a huge competition among auto recyclers out there and there is a big chance you can buy used parts at affordable prices. Over the years, these dealers have been identified through a variety of names such as junk yards, auto wreckers, salvage or wrecking yards. But, what they are actually doing should be aptly termed auto recycling. When compared to regular retail auto shops, their prices are generally lower.
You will definitely be able to save more or less 50 percent on the used or re-manufactured auto parts than the original ones. What�s great about buying auto parts is when you happen to obtain some parts that are more popularly known because buying such brands would usually be very costly. Nowadays, a lot of used auto part dealers are providing online shopping options and they have fantastic deals available on their websites. Finding a reputable used auto parts seller or supplier store through the Internet is going to be relatively easy.
Not so long ago, seldom does it cross a person’s mind to purchase used car or auto parts to restore their vehicle except when it becomes inevitable. Today, however, used parts has gained wider acceptance. As a matter of fact, it is now among the few concepts that everyone would like to be knowledgeable about.
There are occasions that a used auto part can turn out to be just as functional as a new one. Other than this, among the major reasons why used auto parts has gained considerable importance is their cost-efficiency. Oftentimes, a situation can take place when a car owner would need to buy large and brand new parts such as the motor, steel wheels, or engine that could be very expensive. The price for these parts can be so high that you may not even manage to fit it into your budget. Thus, in cases like these, used auto parts can work to your advantage and you will be able to save on cost.
Aside from this, once a vehicle becomes unserviceable, it is hardly useful at all. But, you must be aware that because of the complicated way that an engine operates, many other parts of an unserviceable car engine can work excellently. You might as well use this knowledge to your advantage and contact an auto recycler. There are a lot of useful things that these auto recyclers could salvage from your vehicle which you probably consider useless already. The recycler will purchase the vehicle from you. At least, you could still make some money out of your vehicle and the recycler can have an inventory of auto parts. Why keep an un-functional vehicle when you can turn it into cash?
Today, the number of used auto parts dealers are plenty, such that they are always willing to sell these auto parts much lower cost. As years passed, these people have been called in several names such salvage, wrecking, junk yards or auto wreckers. It’s probably more fitting to call them auto recyclers. They usually, sell the auto parts at much lower prices than in a regular retail auto shop.
When you choose to buy used auto parts, you should be able to obtain them at about half the price of their brand new version. What’s great about buying auto parts is when you happen to obtain some parts that are more popularly known because buying such brands would usually be very costly. Besides, many used auto parts dealers can be found through the Internet and they usually offer great discounts. Finding a reputable used auto parts seller or supplier store through the Internet is going to be relatively easy.
If you are the mechanic type, then that is just fabulous. This is great, because you know a lot when it comes to installing and repairing car parts. The most frustrating part of it all is when you are busy on a vehicle and you find that there are a few parts that need replacing. In the end, this can cost you, and if you are doing it for a customer, cost them plenty of money. There are solutions to many problems and there are certainly ways you can slash the prices of car parts by deciding to use recycled parts.
Recyclers offer consumers great deals when they are looking for used car parts. The thing is, people might think that this is a bad idea, but the truth is there are so many recyclers around, it is amazing. The other great thing about these recyclers is that their prices are hard to beat. You will always find one beating the other, so look around. The reason for this is that insurance companies save lots of money when they pass wrecked vehicles down to junk yards.
Buying recycled parts is good, because when these parts are purchased, the pollution from manufacturing new parts is prevented. Manufactures use a lot of oil when making new parts and this is saved when recycling. Reusing the raw materials can be a benefit to the environment, and when you go out and find your recycled vehicle part, there are many places that you can go to in order to get them. Statistics have shown that there are over 4 million vehicles recycled each year in the United States, and that makes tons of vehicle parts available to you.
Recycling parts can save a lot of space when it comes to landfilling, and why should something that can be used again be thrown away? That is money being thrown away. Also, the other reason why you should consider used car parts is that you are purchasing quality parts that were manufactured by their original manufacturer. Recyclers have the skill when it comes to determining damaged parts and those that can be reused.
It is true: used parts can save plenty of money, and it is clear that this is by far the cheapest alternative available to you. The one question many people has it this: are we getting the same quality? That is a good question. Today, many recyclers supply warranties on parts. This means that you will not be buying a potato. Another advantage is that recyclers are much faster when it comes to a specific part you are looking for compared to many dealers. Their businesses run on a network and this allows them to communicate with other recyclers. If a recycler does not have the part you are looking for, there is a great chance that they will find it immediately.
Recycled car parts are better buys than brand new car parts for replacement. For one, they are much cheaper and for another, you know that you’re doing your share of keeping pollution down.