Insurance totaled car over catalytic converter theft

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Messages
2,593
Location
south dakota
It appears after reading all the comments you can repair it with an aftermarket cat and maybe a sensor or two for less than $500.00. I would pay it out of pocket or total the car and keep it. Then repair it yourself. I am kind of surprised they called it a total loss however you can keep the car if you want to. Let us know what you do. It's probably a maximum of a two hour repair in a good muffler shop.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
13,622
Location
Suburban Washington DC
- Take a reduced check and get to keep the car with a salvage title.
Why for a mechanical total like that that? I'm sure the insurance company just wants to cover themselves from getting in trouble from the state, but maybe a few words from someone higher up could get you a simple payout without the hassle of retitleing it.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
379
Location
Canada
Universal cats are like $50-$75, probably another 50 or so for a guy to weld it on. I'd take the check, keep the car and keep on motoring. Branded title won't mean a thing to you if you're not planning on selling it, at that age it doesn't matter much anyways.
 

mclasser

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
3,110
Update: I decided to keep the car.

After doing more research into my state's total loss laws than I wanted to and speaking with multiple people at my insurance company, I learned that my state allows total losses older than a certain number of years to be retained by the owner at a reduced payout. The car does not get branded salvage but is flagged as a total loss whenever anyone runs a VIN check or history report. This makes no difference to me, as I do not plan to sell it and its next stop will be the crusher.

I received a reduced payout of $3,200, which is the average private party value according to KBB. I was expecting to get screwed here but was pleasantly surprised.

I talked with the the shop when I went to retrieve my car. They wanted to replace the entire front pipe, rear pipe and cat with OEM parts rather than just welding on a basic cat with a section of front & rear pipe. They said it's apparently harder and more expensive to source aftermarket parts right now versus OEM...? I don't know if I agree with all that but it's no surprise why their $3,300 bill (LOL) caused insurance to total out the car.

I looked around and found some exhaust shops located in the unsavory parts of town. Hopefully, one of them can get me back on the road for less than $500.

All-in-all, it's been an interesting ordeal. Thank you guys for all the helpful comments in this thread!
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
1,436
Update: I decided to keep the car.

After doing more research into my state's total loss laws than I wanted to and speaking with multiple people at my insurance company, I learned that my state allows total losses older than a certain number of years to be retained by the owner at a reduced payout. The car does not get branded salvage but is flagged as a total loss whenever anyone runs a VIN check or history report. This makes no difference to me, as I do not plan to sell it and its next stop will be the crusher.

I received a reduced payout of $3,200, which is the average private party value according to KBB. I was expecting to get screwed here but was pleasantly surprised.

I talked with the the shop when I went to retrieve my car. They wanted to replace the entire front pipe, rear pipe and cat with OEM parts rather than just welding on a basic cat with a section of front & rear pipe. They said it's apparently harder and more expensive to source aftermarket parts right now versus OEM...? I don't know if I agree with all that but it's no surprise why their $3,300 bill (LOL) caused insurance to total out the car.

I looked around and found some exhaust shops located in the unsavory parts of town. Hopefully, one of them can get me back on the road for less than $500.

All-in-all, it's been an interesting ordeal. Thank you guys for all the helpful comments in this thread!
Well done!

If you go to one of those shady repair shops inside an old Burger King on the wrong side of the tracks, you might want to have a Carbon Monoxide detector under your seat, especially if you take naps in your car. It might even be a good idea at that vehicles age anyway.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
8,485
Location
Ohio
I talked with the the shop when I went to retrieve my car. They wanted to replace the entire front pipe, rear pipe and cat with OEM parts rather than just welding on a basic cat with a section of front & rear pipe. They said it's apparently harder and more expensive to source aftermarket parts right now versus OEM...? I don't know if I agree with all that but it's no surprise why their $3,300 bill (LOL) caused insurance to total out the car.
If they knew you were going through insurance, they basically took their chance on quoting OEM parts. On the other hand, they should also realize that the insurance might be more likely to total it given the age and value.

I looked around and found some exhaust shops located in the unsavory parts of town. Hopefully, one of them can get me back on the road for less than $500.
Not sure if you'll get it done that cheap, but maybe... I mean, Autozone has a Magnaflow universal catalytic converter for about $250 (and in stock at 5 of their nearby stores). Curious what you end up paying though.
 

ZeeOSix

$100 site donor 2022
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
35,194
Location
PNW
I looked around and found some exhaust shops located in the unsavory parts of town. Hopefully, one of them can get me back on the road for less than $500.
Probably with a stolen cat ... 😄
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
464
Location
Georgialina
I have a thread about the catalytic converter being stolen in my 02 Accord.

I spoke with the insurance company and they have decided to total the car over this. The adjuster said this is due to the age of the car, coupled with the high costs of the cat, oxygen sensor and repair to the surrounding exhaust.

I'm pretty sad. This car has sentimental value. It has been in my family since new and still runs & looks great.

They will let me know the exact payout amount tomorrow but I have been given 2 options:

- Take the check and turn over the car and title to the insurance co.
- Take a reduced check and get to keep the car with a salvage title.

If I was to keep the car, what would a salvage title mean? Is it undriveable with a salvage title until it is fixed and certified by the state? Is the salvage branding then converted to clean?

I thought about finding someone to straight pipe the exhaust but it wouldn't be able to pass an emissions inspection, and it would obviously not pass any sort of re-certification by the state without a cat.

This is my first time dealing with a totaled vehicle. Any advice would be appreciated.
I'm thinking with cat. converter thefts running rampant, that insurance companies will probably soon require an optional extra cost clause to be added to vehicle insurance policies if the owner wants coverage for cat. converter theft.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
12,564
Location
SE British Columbia, Canada
I carry liability + comprehensive on this car. Comp only costs me an extra $35 per year.
That’s not bad, but what happens now regarding insurance once the new cat is installed. Just curious. What is the deductible amount to make the claim? The other route was to not have comprehensive, and just get a new cat installed on your own dime.
 

mclasser

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
3,110
I went to two shops in the industrial area of town. You know, the types of places with random plate-less cars in the parking lot and no office so you have to walk right into the work bay to get someone's attention.

I showed them pics of the damage and got the following quotes:

Shop #1:
$580 parts and labor
90 day labor warranty
2 yrs parts warranty

Shop #2:
$280 P&L
1 yrs P&L warranty

Both places said the stuff they install will pass emissions. My guess is the janky cat they put on will trigger a P0420 code in two years or so. You really have to wonder what shop #2 is installing for less than $300 lol
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
28,741
Location
CA
I went to two shops in the industrial area of town. You know, the types of places with random plate-less cars in the parking lot and no office so you have to walk right into the work bay to get someone's attention.

I showed them pics of the damage and got the following quotes:

Shop #1:
$580 parts and labor
90 day labor warranty
2 yrs parts warranty

Shop #2:
$280 P&L
1 yrs P&L warranty

Both places said the stuff they install will pass emissions. My guess is the janky cat they put on will trigger a P0420 code in two years or so. You really have to wonder what shop #2 is installing for less than $300 lol
You’d be lucky if either of those keep the CEL off long enough to set the monitors.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
8,509
Location
Scruffy City
Is this car a 4cyl automatic?

it doesn't even look like the rear pipe is available OE...

Shame they hacked the flanges off, if it were mine id try to put the flanges back correctly...
 
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
5,720
Location
The land of USA-made Subies!
There’s a reason why this is at the end of my driveway, 250’+ from where they can begin to touch my stuff…
8C376196-1B14-45CE-9780-0E6522CD8AAE.jpeg
 

TiGeo

$50 site donor 2023
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
4,221
Location
Richmond, VA area
I trying to work out why anyone would claim this on their insurance. Just have a new cat welded in at any exhaust shop, doesn't have to be OEM....it's a 2002. So you have full coverage on a 20 year old car?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top