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Old 10-24-2018, 04:34 PM   #1
jasonator
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Default Buying a previously damaged STI

I found a 2016 STI for 20K that was in an accident where they rear ended someone. It is not a salvage/rebuilt title.

Any thoughts?

If you live in Tarrant County Texas and had a dark grey STI and got in an accident on 12-27-2017 I would love to hear from you. I know its a long shot, but I thought I would ask.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:59 PM   #2
MagicDoorHinge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonator View Post
I found a 2016 STI for 20K that was in an accident where they rear ended someone. It is not a salvage/rebuilt title.

Any thoughts?

If you live in Tarrant County Texas and had a dark grey STI and got in an accident on 12-27-2017 I would love to hear from you. I know its a long shot, but I thought I would ask.
Is it at a dealership? I would demand to see a full list of what was replaced. If just the bumper and radiator were replaced, it's very different from like, windshield, fenders, suspension components, and transmission. How many miles does it have on it for it to be 20k? Basically, how much of the discount is a product of the accident and how much is just from typical depreciation?
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:06 PM   #3
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Its at a used car lot, I doubt they have/know what was done. I was able to see the accident under one of those reports, and the car is half way across the country from where it was involved.

It has 28K miles on it and appears to be in good shape.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:10 PM   #4
rtv900
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well for starters the price is in the right range because that is just about a solid 50% discount from new.

If you can't find out what actually happened, which you probably can if you try hard enough, all you can do is inspect underneath to see if you can tell major stuff was damaged.

If it didn't get into the suspension I'd seriously consider it.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:22 PM   #5
thatdamnalex
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If its from a used car lot its a risk. My first time buying from a used car lot literally when I was in the motion of bringing the pen to sign papers the guy said "oh by the way it was in a small accident, probably something superficial. They have to report any accident damage over $500"

Being naive I trusted them and the car had issue after issue. Luckily we got an extended warranty that replaced basically the whole front of the car (front control arms, front diff, one halfshaft. Still has issues tho smh
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:36 PM   #6
jasonator
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Even if I buy it and it turns it to be terrible, do you think itís worth it in parts to be pieced out and sold. Wheels, tires, Brembos, engine, tranny, diffs, interior, body parts.....??
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:38 PM   #7
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There isn't always much you can tell from this not being a salvage title IMO, because, to my understanding, the car is often totaled only after a certain threshold of damage is met relative to the retail value (which, IIRC, varies by state - some of which work differently). As this is only a 2016, it seems likely the car could have sustained massive damage without being totaled out. If the mandated threshold to total is 75% of the car's value, and the car had a value of $30,000 at the time of the accident, then we're talking $22,500 of repairs necessary to total out here in my state...in FL, this threshold appears to be 80%...Texas appears to be 100%. I assume you've already ran the VIN, which sometimes contains details. Sometimes it can also tell you about the fate of the car between when the accident occurred, when the repair was completed, and if the car was immediately sold after repairs.

Beyond just the damage, I'd also have questions regarding how the car was maintained. While not inherently different from other used cars, the fact that the driver rear-ended someone in a car that can out-handle and out-brake 98.9% of all vehicles on the road makes me wonder...is this indicative of someone who beat the piss out of the car constantly and constantly made bad choices? Was it the outcome of one of those freakish, truly avoidable scenarios that even Mario Andretti could not prevent? Was it a momentary lapse in judgment of an otherwise responsible individual? I mean...it could be anything?!

Perhaps in addition to a PPI from an independent Subaru place, it might also be worth paying someone from a trusted body shop to look over the vehicle to try to quantify both the extent of the damage and the quality of the repairs?
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:37 AM   #8
rtv900
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonator View Post
Even if I buy it and it turns it to be terrible, do you think itís worth it in parts to be pieced out and sold. Wheels, tires, Brembos, engine, tranny, diffs, interior, body parts.....??
now you are trying to convince yourself to do it

No, if it's terrible you will lose money. Nobody can buy a car and then decide to just 'part it out' and recoup their money.
People that make money doing that are people who steal cars and part them out.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:07 AM   #9
Loyale93
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Read some of these:

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=718033
https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=1679821


We don't have x-ray vision and can't tell you how good or bad it is and whether it's going to fall apart within 5000 miles.

As said above, you need to get it inspected by a 3rd party. You need to realize that you WILL lose money on this car regardless of what happens.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonator View Post
Even if I buy it and it turns it to be terrible, do you think itís worth it in parts to be pieced out and sold. Wheels, tires, Brembos, engine, tranny, diffs, interior, body parts.....??
No

I've done this with a dozen cars. You won't get anywhere near $20k even if you sell every single part.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:29 PM   #11
jasonator
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Default Buying a previously damaged STI

These are all great points of view and exactly what I was looking for.

I have a friend in the insurance biz and he is looking up the VIN to see the dollar amount of damage it sustained.

I am going to give it a really good once over this weekend and try to get by a shop as well, take some pictures and possibly see if they will let me keep it for the weekend to ferret out any issues it may have.

The idea of a Ď16 STI for 20k is enchanting, so Yes, I am trying to talk myself into it, but Iím not a mark either. I will walk if I smell the slightest hint of too much to handle.

Iím prepared to walk if any of the suspension has been tampered with, wheels are redone, motor mounts are wrenched on, pulls, whines or creaks aside from normal Subaru stuff.

I will report back Saturday or Sunday with more, or less.

Thank you everyone.

Last edited by jasonator; 10-25-2018 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:02 PM   #12
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Not sure if your friend will be able to pull much info from the VIN especially if it wasnt considered a total loss but it wouldnt hurt. Iím not entirely sure on how things work there; however, an assessor wonít come out to get the information and calculations unless itís a claim. Your best bet is to check it out yourself and any questions you have on things youíre not familiar about - take a picture and ask.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonator View Post
These are all great points of view and exactly what I was looking for.

I have a friend in the insurance biz and he is looking up the VIN to see the dollar amount of damage it sustained.

I am going to give it a really good once over this weekend and try to get by a shop as well, take some pictures and possibly see if they will let me keep it for the weekend to ferret out any issues it may have.

The idea of a Ď16 STI for 20k is enchanting, so Yes, I am trying to talk myself into it, but Iím not a mark either. I will walk if I smell the slightest hint of too much to handle.
Obviously not considering this is that slightest hint that it will be too much to handle...

Walk away from this and find something not tampered with. The fact that you already asked if you could make money on a part out shows you know this is a bad deal. Follow your brain and walk away.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jasonator View Post
The idea of a Ď16 STI for 20k is enchanting
...or could be a huge red flag. Good luck.
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:09 PM   #15
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I have seen lots of CRAP on used car lots. The used lots play ignorant. They don't care if you don't buy it, or call them out. They'll wait for the guy who gets enamored with the shiny rims and rumble of the boxer engine, and doesn't know what to look for.

It's easy to pop the hood and look at an armor-all'ed engine compartment and think it's all good. But what you should be looking for is bent frame rails on either side of the bay. Seams that are missing the factory sealant/ caulk. Broken plastic tabs or brackets. Looking at the lines and gaps on the body for uniformity or unevenness. Look past the clean stuff.
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Old 10-27-2018, 07:59 PM   #16
jasonator
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Default Buying a previously damaged STI

I went and looked at it today. It....would be worth it to the right person. It ran well, drove well, shifted right.

Body lines were right, I could see into the bay and see the ď2x4Ē rails running from front to behind the motor and they looked solid and unmolested. Even the headlights were original and not replacements.

However... I suspect the previous owner beat on it a little. It was too far gone cosmetically for a 7k savings.

Mismatched tires
Crappy paint all over, not just the repairs part.
Headlight was chipped
Cigarette burn on the A pillar
One key-not the FOB
Had a cheap exhaust, single out
eBay wastegate
Gouges all over the interior, including the dash
Wheels were original and slightly curbed on all four corners.
Scratches everywhere.

All in all, I would spend 7 k getting it right and not worth it.

First time buyer low on cash and doesnít mind those things.... hey, it is a steal.

Iíll stick to my FXT and 4R for now.

Thank you all for sage advice and wisdom.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:57 AM   #17
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Good thing you inspected the car in detail, jasonator. GL with your future WRX/STI hunting.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:16 PM   #18
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Purchased an '02 bugeye with 100k that had a minor front end collision and was parked for 9 years .. Went through all the systems and it's a beast now, just a lot of stuck bolts

I think how well the previous owner treated it is the factor to observe ..

Buy from a private seller .. Homie of mine purchased an '09 Outback 5speed from a buy-here-pay-here lot .. 2 months along of owning the car the trans gets hard to shift .. Found metal shavings in the trans with brand new looking fluid .. Your mileage may vary, it's all relative I suppose
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:53 PM   #19
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NOpe... don't do it. Unless you have a full bodyshop and can turn wrenches.
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Old 11-29-2018, 10:42 AM   #20
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A couple of things to keep in mind: 1) If the title is clean, but the Carfax report says "sold to insurance company" or something similar, any dealer will treat it the same as a salvage title. Trade-in/re-sale value will be the same as a salvage title. 2) It can take 6 months (or more) for the "sold to insurance company" record to appear on a Carfax report.
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Old 11-29-2018, 11:07 AM   #21
SirBrass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonator View Post
However... I suspect the previous owner beat on it a little. It was too far gone cosmetically for a 7k savings.

Mismatched tires
Crappy paint all over, not just the repairs part.
Headlight was chipped
Cigarette burn on the A pillar
One key-not the FOB
Had a cheap exhaust, single out
eBay wastegate
Gouges all over the interior, including the dash
Wheels were original and slightly curbed on all four corners.
Scratches everywhere.
Bolded items would be absolute dealbreaks and true signs of abuse, especially the ebay WG. That WG alone would have killed the entire deal for me. That means the boost was mucked with and not competently. No f'ing way unless that $20k came with a complementary IAG-built long block (obviously a "you're smoking something really good to expect that" item).

Glad you walked away.

Unless the car is absolutely pristine or a CPO, buying a used recent model STI is a huge risk and usually not worth the meager (comparatively) savings. Better to buy new off the lot with all factory warranties in place and bone stock. Guarantee of "has not been abused" is a massive cost factor and worth it to pay it, IMO.
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:38 PM   #22
Jack
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A very good point was brought up here. Carfax......in my opinion......is completely useless. I bought a car some years ago and knew it had been in an accident as I could see the blend lines on the A pillars and a wheel well liner was missing and the under tray was missing. Carfax was clean. 2 years later, as it was being sold, the buyer mentioned the accident on the Carfax in Connecticut. Yup, hood, fender damage reported. I think a lot of cars are "raced" to auction right after being fixed in order to beat Carfax to the sale. Dealer says "clean carfax" and hands it to the buyer. Buyer pays full price. A year later, what's this? An accident reported with $10k in damage. You can't go after the dealer who likely knows all about it from inspecting the vehicle but had his clean carfax.
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Old 11-29-2018, 01:39 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
A very good point was brought up here. Carfax......in my opinion......is completely useless. I bought a car some years ago and knew it had been in an accident as I could see the blend lines on the A pillars and a wheel well liner was missing and the under tray was missing. Carfax was clean. 2 years later, as it was being sold, the buyer mentioned the accident on the Carfax in Connecticut. Yup, hood, fender damage reported. I think a lot of cars are "raced" to auction right after being fixed in order to beat Carfax to the sale. Dealer says "clean carfax" and hands it to the buyer. Buyer pays full price. A year later, what's this? An accident reported with $10k in damage. You can't go after the dealer who likely knows all about it from inspecting the vehicle but had his clean carfax.
It's useful if you're buying privately and the carfax lists maintenance within a month of the sale date, like our Malibu did. There you can be reasonably certain that the latest reportable items are on there.
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:39 PM   #24
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You probably made the right decision to walk away. Leave this can of worms for someone else to deal with.
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