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Why was my car totaled if the damage was minimal?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

Bel Air Autobody

If you’re someone who loves your car as much as we at Bel Air Autobody love our own cars, then it can be devastating to learn that your car has been totaled.  Being in an accident is bad enough, but losing your beloved vehicle in the process makes the whole situation worse.  The reason why a car would be declared totaled is because the cost of repairs is greater than the value of the vehicle.  We’ve discussed before why your vehicle might not be valued at greater than the cost of repairs, which often comes down to your car’s age, mileage, or make and model.  But why would the cost of repairs be so high that it trumps your car’s value?  This can be especially disconcerting if there appears to be very little damage. 

To help you understand why something like this might happen, let’s address the unexpected costs of repairing your collision damage:   

There might be more damage than you are aware of.
In an accident, sometimes damage can occur beneath the surface of what you’re able to see.  In many cases, technicians discover hidden damage after removing cosmetic pieces, such as bumper covers, headlights, body panels, door skins, and so on.  Many hidden areas of your vehicle are vulnerable to damage during a car accident, including subframe connectors, pieces that connect from the suspension to the body of the car, suspension components in general, brake components, as well as structural supports beneath the vehicle.  If you ever have a question about hidden damage to your vehicle, be sure to have a technician point them out to you. 

Bel Air Autobody

The parts needed might be very expensive.
Some car parts are simply more expensive than others, even if they might be physically smaller.  Also, factory parts are generally more expensive than LKQ (like kind and quality) and aftermarket parts.  Another scenario in which parts might be very expensive is if your type of vehicle requires pricier parts compared to another make and model, or if the parts needed are rare or difficult to find.  In some cases, a technician will have to rebuild broken parts if replacement parts are no longer available.

The repair might be very labor-intensive.
Collision repair work can be very labor-intensive because of the steps we must take during the process.  Just to repair rear collision damage, for example, we much first carefully remove the damaged section and then weld a new panel to the existing body of the car.  Afterwards, we thoroughly sand every seam until it is smooth and flat.  Finally, we paint the entire section of car to match the existing paint color.  Even seemingly minor damage can be quite labor-intensive to repair, at times.

Bel Air Autobody

At Bel Air Autobody in Harford County, Maryland, it is our mission to keep you as informed as possible.  Having your car repaired can be extremely stressful, but we want to make the process as easy and stress-free as we can.  We promise to provide you with a repair that you can trust and, to back that promise, we offer a lifetime warranty on everything we do.

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Topics: auto body estimate Harford County, auto body estimate Bel Air, auto body estimate Edgewood, Auto body estimate Abingdon, insurance questions, minor damage, car totaled, vehicle totaled, collision repairs, totaled