So I’m looking for some advice on how to proceed with vehicle repairs, or how to sell, or just scrap for the metal.I have a 2001 VW Passat V6…173,000 miles, and it’s overdue for it’s 170,000 service visit. I was in a wreck recently, lost control of my car and hit a curb sideways…It is defiantly out of alignment now. I brought it in to an alignment shop, hoping an alignment would fix it. They told me my frame is bent near one of the back wheels that hit the curb. The car still drives, engine seems fine, not leeking any fluids…It just feels kind of unsafe to drive around at this point…My question is how should I proceed with this…I feel like fixing this repair would cost more than the car is worth…Plus my 170,000 service is due…Thanks!
A body shop should be able to determine if it is possible to straighten the unibody structure of the car (it doesn’t have a frame in the traditional sense), and should be able to give you an accurate estimate for this procedure. However, if those repairs would cost more than the book value of the car, I think that you have to use some logic–rather than an emotional attachment to the car–in order to come to a decision that makes economic sense.
I know that if my car was being “defiant”, I would definitely get rid of it…
Ha ha!! Thanks for the input…Damn autocorrect
The cost to straighten the uni-body along with other bent parts will probably exceed the book value of the vehicle.
I’d advertise it on Craigslist as a repairable for $500.00.
It may be best to dispose of it as suggested above. But just b/c the repair cost is more than the car’s marketable value doesn’t necessarily imply it is not economical to make the repair. If you are sure the car is in otherwise good condition, the routine maintenance has been done, etc, it could well be worth it to make the repair. Instead of comparing the cost of the repair to the market value of the car, best to compare the effect to your bank account of making the repair to not making the repair. If you don’t make the repair you’ll have to buy another car, so there’s that expense, plus possibly increasing the yearly registration fees and insurance above what you now pay. Plus throw in the unknowns involved if you decide to buy a used car.
Edit: I’ll add if I had a 15 year old 170K mile Passat, even if it was working perfectly, I’d be looking to find another car. But that’s just me.
Is the car rusty?
If so, you may want to walk away from the car, without doing any repairs
A lot could depend upon what exactly is being referred to by “bent frame”. A bent axle beam, control arm, or what have you is no reason to scrap a car and is certainly no indication that everything back there must be replaced.
Maybe another opinion or two is in order.
I’d suggest a body shop or well equipped mechanic to look at it. Alignment shops sometimes just do that and minor related repairs and don’t necessarily employ well rounded mechanics.
Frame was bent but not wheel or any suspension bits?
Some techs will call a suspension cradle or an engine cradle a frame. These are sometimes bent/damaged in a collision.
Hitting a curb is a perfect scenario.
You need to determine if the engine cradle in the front, the suspension cradle in the rear or the unibody frame rails are bent.
The OP states: “They told me my frame is bent where one of the back wheels hit the curb.”
The engine cradle isn’t at the back of the vehicle.
Could be a 4motion Passat.
If I am not mistaken the rear of the passatt has a solid rear axle of sorts… The bend all the time…you just drop the entire axle or wheel holder more precisely…and swap it out. EZ
But Im not certain of your arrangement in the rear of that model… My Golf has that solid axle in back…
Which ever is the case…many times what the suspension is bolted to is a removeable part…if you are lucky… you swap out whatever is bent.
As far as junking it…DO NOT call a yard to pick it up…hell dont even drop it off. Go to a metal scrap specific yard…they weigh you …and pay you. That vehicle should fetch about 450 in CASHISH. The yard will give you a fraction of this…and then they will take it to the same place…they all wind up there.
We all know that but I was including it just to give examples of the different frames on a vehicle. It’s not really a big deal.