General Question

janbb's avatar

Would you pay between 5 and 10,000 to fix a 2008 Volvo in good running conditon?

Asked by janbb (61062points) 1 week ago
51 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

I was in a car accident yesterday and the estimate for the damage is as above. The car has been running fine generally and has low mileage – about 100,000. The body shop is estimating that and I will be paying out of pocket but any new car I’ve looked at is about $40,000. I’m inclined to get it fixed but would like opinions. I will need a new car but am hoping to hold off a bit.

Note: This is in General and I don’t want advice on which car to buy. Please stick to the question as asked.

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Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I am very sorry you were in an accident. I was also in one a week ago (got rear-ended on the freeway).

I would first take it to a trustworthy mechanic to have the running parts examined just to make sure nothing mechanical was damaged in the collision. Assuming it passes, I would then pay for the body repairs. A car with low miles that runs well is worth fixing, in my opinion.

JLeslie's avatar

I am assuming you are fine since you did not mention you were injured. Sorry you have to deal with this, car accidents are never fun to deal with no matter how minor or major. I am also assuming you can still drive it while you decide whether to repair it or not.

100,000 miles is not low miles to me. I would seriously consider selling the car and buying a new one. I wonder how much you can get for the car with the damage? It might be very little. Maybe the body shop would be interested in buying it? If it had less miles, less than 50,000, then I would likely definitely fix it, but over 50,000 the equation starts to change for me, especially if it is over 6 years old.

kritiper's avatar

Fix it. You don’t know what might be wrong with a used car that would have to be fixed.

canidmajor's avatar

I would check on value (Kelly Blue Book or equivalent) first, and factor that in.

Seven years ago, I discovered that someone had likely slammed into my 11 year old car in a parking lot, in a way that the plastic bumper had just popped back into shape so I didn’t know until I went to get my AC fixed. The cost for repair would have been about what you were quoted, but it was recommended not to fix, as the damaged frame would never be OK again.

If it’s not something like a damaged frame, but mostly just denty stuff, I would fix. If the structure isn’t sound, I wouldn’t.

Good luck with this!

janbb's avatar

@kritiper No – I would buy a used car that is only a few years old with a dealer’s guarantee.

@Hawaii_Jake Mechanic wouldn’t look at it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@janbb I’m sorry that the mechanic won’t look at it. I suggest you ask a body shop for advice.

@JLeslie Cars are expected to last in excess of 200,000 miles. 100,000 miles on a car from 2008 is very low miles.

kritiper's avatar

@janbb Then go ahead and spend the $20,000 or more for the used car.
But you won’t get more than about $500 max at the wrecking yard for the Volvo.

JLeslie's avatar

In the original post I thought you were thinking about buying a new car, not a new to you used car. If it will be a used car that might sway the decision more towards keeping yours and fixing it. Although, the 100,000 is still a lot. If you fix it, will you get your money back from fixing it if you sell it shortly after?

@Hawaii_Jake I think 100,000 is high, just my perspective. I am not arguing the point, I am fine that you have a different opinion, that is just my opinion. Obviously, the decision is not cut and dry for @janbb, hence the Q. Perspective might be different also because I am a woman and not breaking down is extremely important for safety reasons. Along with that @janbb lives in a cold climate. I realize a new car can break down and Volvo’s tend to be reliable cars, but that is part of what I weigh in my mind.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Just paid $4200 for body work on 2010, but it was a limited edition and only 1100 came in the color of my car.

gorillapaws's avatar

If it were me, I’d get a different car. Volvos are well-made but repairs are very expensive. Now that it’s over 100k (that’s high milage when your parts come from Sweden, imo), I’d be looking for something else. I’m glad you’re ok, but sorry your car was damaged.

cheebdragon's avatar

What did your insurance suggest?

janbb's avatar

@cheebdragon As I said, I’ll be paying for this myself as I don’t have collision any more.

janbb's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake The body shop is the one giving the estimate.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

This is why I keep collision now even on older cars. The cost of new or new to me cars is just too much. Was this car reliable before the accident? Is it just body damage? Can you get other estimates? have it fixed with second hand parts cheaper?
Outside of those questions if this was a toyota, honda, nissan etc… I’d say fix it without much hesitation. Those cars really do last 200k-300K+ miles. This is a European car though. They’re not known for lasting much past $100k before needing major work. In my experience once they age to that point you’re constantly fixing something on them. All. The. Time. Don’t care where in Europe it was made, they all seem to do this. I won’t own another European car for that reason. I’d look at the book value, repair bill and go from there. If you can sell it after the repair and make enough money for it to be worth your while then fix it and unload it. Then go get yourself a new or new-ish toyota.

janbb's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Remember I specifically said I’d not asking for car brand advice but thanks for the rest.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@janbb Sorry, missed that but it honestly does matter here. If it’s closer to 5k then fix it. Pushing 10k I’d start to question if it’s worth it.

janbb's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Body shop says they won’t know until they open it up.

Zaku's avatar

Maybe. I might shop around for cheaper ways to fix it.

I found a good Volvo mechanic who seemed to really know what he was talking about, and said that Volvos require a certain regime of regular maintenance. I’d check with him whether this had been done with this car or not, or if I couldn’t get it to him, I’d look for a good mechanic to do essentially a buyer’s inspection on it (since I’d be considering re-buying my car, essentially).

I kept a car that was totaled once, but I had the body work (partially) done for not much cost by finding a great (and black market) mechanic.

I think you might be able to get a good used car if your budget is $10K, but they seem to be hard to find these days, so that would be a project, and introduce a new set of issues.

Actually, I’d probably also start shopping for an electric option.

elbanditoroso's avatar

14 year old car? Can they even get the right parts?

You’ll be spending $8K for an antique. Say goodbye to Bessie and move on.

jca2's avatar

I looked on Kelley Blue Book and, not knowing your exact model, I put in a 2008 Volvo and took a guess at a model (one that looks like an SUV) and I got the value being about 5k, for one with 100k miles on it. That means you’ll be paying that much in body work as the car is worth (approximately). I think if you did have collision insurance, they wouldn’t even fix it, they would total it and pay you out for it.

I know body work is extremely expensive. I have a 2015 Honda SUV and I was just tapped on the rear bumper this past summer, very minor body work and it cost 3k (paid by insurance).

The Honda dealer told me the car should last till around 250k in mileage, so you have that, that your engine was probably still good, but still, looking at what your car is worth at present, and looking at how you don’t know the extent of the body work until it’s opened up, it’s a gamble.

Maybe you could let the body shop guy open it up and give you a better idea of the cost. You might have to pay for an hour or two of labor, but maybe it won’t be that much once he does that. If 5k, maybe I would go for it, if I were you, because you know the history and it does have mileage that’s not awful, but definitely not 10k. For 10k, I’d say I’d take that and put it down on a new car. If you paid t0k to fix it and then turned around and sold it, you probably wouldn’t make your money back.

Also, something else to consider, if the damage was to the frame, they will tell you they can straighten the frame but it might never be the same again.

You can also ask the body shop guy what you might get for it if you sold it for parts. You could, if you’re into researching it, find out from a few places what you might get if you sold it for parts, Engine should be worth a few grand, I would think. Transmission, alternator, they should all be worth something to someone who needs the parts.

Forever_Free's avatar

So sorry to hear this. I hope you are ok.

Fix it. It is low mile for a 2008 and you know the vehicle.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 Thanks. My thinking is similar to yours.

I did call a salvage shop. They will pay me $600 for it only but I am considering going that route.

jca2's avatar

@janbbL Try researching it further. Maybe try googling “wanted 2008 volvo _____- engine” and see if you can find someone who wants the engine. Another option is to call another body shop (not the one you’re using) and ask them if there’s a resource for someone to sell parts for a specific car.

jca2's avatar

@janbb You can get a few thousand for the engine alone, if you sell it on Ebay. Granted, I don’t know how you’d get it out of the car and boxed up, unless you found a buyer in your area that came with a tow truck and just took the whole car away, but just wanted one part (like the engine).

jca2's avatar

Edit to add: I just looked at Ebay and put in “2008 volvo engine” to see what they had.

canidmajor's avatar

Another thing to consider is the amount of personal effort you want to expend and how much stress that will cause you.

jca2's avatar

Good points by @canidmajor.

Another considseration, if you get the car fixed, you’ll probably have to pay for a rental while your car is in the shop, and that could be a few weeks. My body shop people told me that now, parts are in short supply sometimes, due to supply chain issues. Let’s say that’s 50 to 100 dollars per day for a rental, add that cost onto the cost of your repair.

If you just go for a new car or used car, you’ll have a ride right away.

janbb's avatar

@jca2 I have a second car so a rental is not an issue but it’s a little sports car that I don’t love driving in the winter.

And @canidmajor I agree. The stress is a big factor.

Caravanfan's avatar

If it were me I wouldn’t pay it, especially if it were $10,000.

janbb's avatar

@Caravanfan Yes, I’m leaning that way.

RocketGuy's avatar

It’s 14 years old and has 100K miles on it – that’s pretty old. I’ll bet you can find a similar used car for less than $10K. Better yet, spend $20K on a good used car with fewer years and miles. It will last at least twice as long.

janbb's avatar

I’ve decided to sell it to a salvager.

Thanks all for your opinions.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Good solution.

gorillapaws's avatar

IMO that’s the right choice. I hope you get a good price and you’re able to find an awesome new(ish) one!

jca2's avatar

What does a salvager pay for a car in that condition, @janbb?

janbb's avatar

@jca2 Not much but I don’t want to go into details.

jca2's avatar

@janbb: Gotcha.

Good solution suggested by @JLeslie and others on the thread, as a headache-saver.

janbb's avatar

Oh, the body shop had suggested that as well. And at this point, stress reduction is key.

Actually, new development and a guy at the body shop is going to buy it. What makes things easier.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb That’s why I mentioned the body shop, they can repair it inexpensively and sell the car, that is what they will probably do. That happened to me with a set of Porsche wheels, the guy who could fix them came out way ahead financially, but we were satisfied with their offer, and getting the issue over with.

Caravanfan's avatar

Okay, so now do we get to shop for a new car for you? This will be fun.

janbb's avatar

^^ No thanks! I’ll be doing that on my own!

canidmajor's avatar

Come back here and tell us what you got!

janbb's avatar

It’s going to be a while….....probably January before I buy.

Caravanfan's avatar

@janbb What’s the fun of that? Let us spend your money!

janbb's avatar

^^ Thanks, but I can spend it quite well on my ownio!

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Smashley's avatar

This is why a good mechanic you can trust is so valuable. A good mechanic would give you a good assessment based on the state of your car, versus the prices you might pay for a replacement.

A salvager will give you what, a couple hundred bucks? Put the engine on your coffee table, and you can still sell a used, busted car, for more than that. In this tight market, the salvager sees value, and you are going to end up paying for it.

I would look high and low for a low-key, Volvo specialist shop.

janbb's avatar

@Smashley As I said above, the decision has been made. And I agree about the good mechanic whom I thought I had but he would not even look at the car or give me an opinion over the phone. His daughter runs the office and they are very short staffed and she would not let me talk to him. Pretty crappy.

janbb's avatar

Update: So I went over and completed the sale with the guy in the shop. He’s going to fix it up eventually and use it to transport his large dog. So that’s a good feeling. He mentioned that parts are very hard to find now so that is part of the hold up about getting cars fixed. I’m going on vacation soon so I am relieved that this is settled.

kritiper's avatar

How much did he pay you for the car?

janbb's avatar

@kritiper That’s private.

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