Reading GM RPO Glovebox Codes and Build Sheet
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
The 2016 AARA Annual Weekend
The AARA 18th Annual Meeting and 2nd Memorial Mark Buessing Golf Tournament was held on Sept. 16-17, 2016.
The event filled weekend started on Friday, September, 16th with a meet and greet cocktail reception sponsored by SA Recycling. The beautiful courtyard at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort kept everyone cool as they enjoyed the warm evening with good conversations, drinks and hor’doeuvres.
We were lucky enough to have Mike Swift, the ARA president, join us and mingle!
The weather was warm Saturday morning but 108 people showed up to play golf at San Marcos Golf Course in Chandler, Arizona and enjoyed the continental breakfast sponsored by Rim Vault.
We changed things up for the 2nd Memorial Mark Buessing Golf Tournament. This year it was a flighted 4 on 4 scramble with contests on every hole and an additional putting contest sponsored by Liberty Iron & Metal. This really kept things interesting.
The golf tournament proved to be fun for all ages. A special thank you to Tom Buessing for all the time and energy he put into rounding up the sponsors and golfers for this great event.
The Liberty Iron and Metal putting contest winner was Fergie!
A big thank you to Car-part.com, Spectrum, Coyote Towing, Blue Grace Logistics, Riteway Auto, Consolidated Personnel Services, AAA Pallet, Manheim Phoenix, Parts Trader, Phoenix Automotive Cores, IAA, Power Plus products, RSA Cores, Hollander, LKQ, DV Towing, and Brock supply for being hole sponsors.
In addition, we had URG, Custom Auto, Aviation Auto, Martin Auto Museum, American Auto Recycling, New Way Auto parts, M&R Auto, Alma Auto parts, MKT Analytics, Dulaney Auto Parts, Supershear Inc., Hidden Valley Auto, Just Trucks and Van, Stadium Auto Parts, Global Parts Solutions, Carolina Auto Recyclers, Nordstroms Auto, James Environmental, Sabori Core Consulting, RAS, and American Group Logistics as sponsors on Mark’s Friend’s hole. A big part of this event is to raise money for the ARA scholarship fund. Thanks to all of the sponsors we were able to raise over $7000!!!! And everyone had fun doing it.
All of the teams hit the course with gusto and not only did the balls fly, but the teams had a blast and worked up a good appetite.
Thanks to Wendy Wilson and her friend for all of their volunteer efforts!
There were so many winners that afternoon at the awards luncheon following the tournament; it seemed that everyone walked away with a prize.
The overall tournament winner was Mike Pierson’s team. Mike along with Jeff Inman, Trace Udall and Jarrod Wright took home the trophy until next year. Nice Job Team!
The Saturday evening exhibitor’s reception sponsored by Jeff Jaramillo Insurance and G.J. Sullivan was well attended and enjoyed by all. SA Recycling sponsored a wonderful meal at the Crowne Plaza which was followed by the 18th annual meeting.
Brent Sapergia from SA Recycling started things off with a few good stories then, Kristie Werner from URG, did an excellent presentation on the core program and e-commerce. Next, Car-part.com’s Jeff Mastervich had an informative discussion on Website services with the members, followed by a message from Mike Swift, president of ARA. The final speaker, Reuben Farris from Phoenix Automotive Cores, had an interesting presentation on the core program benefits.
Arizona Color Vehicle Wraps and Graphics provided signage for the event and printed the event program. A special thank you to Jim Foxwell, Samantha Marcantonio, Matt Nisbet and all the staff!
Watch for details soon about the 2017 meeting. If you’d like to help plan the 2017 Annual meeting, have some ideas, or suggestions to make the event more fun and memorable for the members, email the AARA at email@example.com or contact any of the AARA board members.
GET YOUR ROOM RESERVATIONS IN TODAY!!
AARA has a room block at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort.
The group rate is $89. To make a room reservation call 1.877.685.5594 (give them block code YJQ) or book online at Arizona Automotive Recyclers Association.
The deadline for the group rate is TODAY AUGUST 31st 2016 !
REMEMBER TO REGISTER FOR GOLF AND DINNER !
AARA 18th Annual
Cocktail Reception, Golf Tournament &
Membership Meeting September 16-17, 2016
Crowne Plaza San Marco Golf Resort
One North San Marco Plaza.
Chandler, AZ 85225
The Arizona Automotive Recyclers Association (AARA)
would like to invite you to attend the AARA Annual Meeting.
Register now to attend. This is one event you won’t want to miss!
Saturday, September 17, 2016
2nd Annual Mark Buessing Memorial Golf Tournament
Net proceeds go to ARA Scholarship Foundation
Attend or become an exhibitor at the largest gathering of progressive automotive recyclers in the country. Register @www.araexpo.org. Or visit Automotive Recyclers Association at www.a-r-a.org for more information.