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Should I buy a Volvo that's been in an accident?

After hitting a deer last week (or it hitting me which is what it seemed like to me) in my little Honda Civic, I’m missing my old Volvo. There’s one listed at a local dealership - 2004 XC70 w/28k for a good price. However - the web posting reads “This Volvo was previously involved in a collision and has been repaired. This vehicle was damaged on the rear end…Powertrain warranty included 5 years or 100,000 miles.” Normally, I would steer clear, but it is a Volvo. Am I crazy to consider looking at this car? If not, any suggestions for key questions/inspections, etc.

On the same topic, there’s a dealership nearby that sells lots of cars way, way under market because this is what they do - buy damaged cars and fix them. Is it really crazy to think about shopping this way? Not that I’m really thinking about visiting them - it’s the Volvo I’m really interested in, but I’d be curious to hear folk’s input. Actually, their Volvo’s are even cheaper…

I’d love to hear what you all have to say.

I would never buy a damaged car, unless I did the fixing! There are so many used cars available, why take the risk? And, while Volvos are fine cars, they are no longer unique in their safety features. Anyway, there are plenty of other used Volvos available, one that haven’t been crashed and repaired.

The mileage for the year model is very good and could be a deal depending on the price.
A rear end hit is not nearly as fretful as a front end hit but I would have the car examined before buying it.

A rear end hit is normally not that big a deal UNLESS one or both of the rear wheels was shoved clean up to the rear seat; as in slamming the brakes on in front of a loaded Kenworth.

My opinion would be that it’s feasible depending on the price and what an exam of the damage shows.
I’ve owned several damaged vehicles and driven them for 100s of thousands of miles but I’ve always gone over them closely before purchase.

A wrecked car would not be my preference, sure it might seem ok, but some problems like our voyager within $500 of being totaled experienced later problems like a trans that could not stop leaking fluid due to a slight misalignment of something or other, and an ac unit that had eaten itself up and was going to cost 2500 for a total replacement within 3000 miles of the total fix of the car!

I guess this means I can’t interest you in my little Honda that the deer hit :wink:

Ask to see pictures taken of the car BEFORE it was repaired (they exist) so you can better judge the extent of the damage. If the damage deformed the rear suspension in any way I would steer clear…If you decide to buy it, have an alignment shop do a “4-wheel alignment check” first…

Back in the 60’s a Vovo was a tank. Today it is a car. The trick is to avoid hitting deer, not buying a tank to hit them with. :slight_smile:

I would never buy a car that’s been wrecked. Once bent, the only way to return metal to it’s original state is by resmelting.

I am going to disagree with the people who think Volvo’s safety features are not still ahead of the curve. Volvo’s focus on safety is unique and keeps them ahead of the other auto makers. Other auto makers focus on things like fuel economy and reliability, as well as safety. With Volvo, reliability and fuel economy are secondary. That is why Volvos are so heavy. That is also why Volvos require more repairs than the average car. That is also why many safety features come standard on a Volvo, but are optional in other cars.

I will agree, however, that you should ask to see the pictures that were taken when the car was damaged and that you should get it thoroughly checked out by your trusted mechanic after you show her or him the pictures.

Even if the repaired damage isn’t the issue, you will need to be prepared to put this car in the shop often. As long as you don’t mind doing that and you can afford it, and it passes your mechanic’s inspection, and it is priced a lot less than a comparable used Volvo that has not been in an accident, it sounds like it might be a good deal.

That is a lot of trouble to go through to verify that this is the car for you. It might be easier to get a car that hasn’t been in an accident.

The trick is to avoid hitting deer

Easier said than done.

After hitting a deer last week (or it hitting me which is what it seemed like to me)

Whitetail deer are incredibly stupid beasts. I call them “rats on hoofs”. I have had deer run into the side of my car. For some reason, they see this noisy beast charging down the lane with glowing eyes and panic, and wait until the last second to charge across (instead of freezing and waiting for the danger to pass). Whatever.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on this one. I got great advice! If I so decide to look at this car - Caddyman - your input made so much sense, I really appreciated it.

Happy deer free trails, y’all.

Well said. I agree.

Steer clear.

The truth is Volvo used to stand alone or ahead with safety. But their design trickled down to all modern cars pretty much. There are other incredibly safe designs available from crash ratings from makers who you would not even know. These include Saab(very cheap used), Subaru, and Honda.

As a former truck driver, I was taught that if a deer runs out in front of your truck, you are better off hitting it than trying to avoid it. Hitting a deer will cause less damage than swerving to miss it, which can lead to collisions with other cars and catastrophic damage to yours. Of course this rule was applied to $100,000 trucks that typically weighed between 50,000 and 80,000 pounds and could be carrying unknown thousands of dollars in freight. So I am not sure the same rule applies to passenger vehicles. However, I think it is generally a good idea to keep that in mind when driving. If a dog or a racoon or other small animal runs out in front of your car, it would be nice to avoid hitting it, but think about the costs involved in a major collision, and you will probably be better off hitting the small animal than totalling your car. It may sound inhumane, but when you weigh the costs, sometimes hitting the animal is the safest choice.