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Old 05-01-2020, 03:35 PM   #1
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Front End Damage - How Bad Is It?

Came in contact with the back end of a 2000s VW Jetta today at 5-10mph. The contact wasn't at an angle so everything pushed straight back.

I haven't had the conversation with the insurance company yet. I am wondering what folks think of the severity and how bad to fix if they total it.

I know I need a hood and front bumper cover. The right headlight was a small crack. I am assuming the impact support beam behind the cover is shot. I'll need the other plastic bit in the front end.

My biggest concern is the frunk tub. It looks like it has been pushed backwards. If you look at the weather seal for the hood it has curves. Other examples on the internet look straight. Can the tub formed back? Does the impact support beam and the rest of the front end locate off this? Right now you can tell everything is moved aft and hasn't sprung back.

No air bags went off. The door to panel gaps looks good.

1999 Boxster
80,000 Miles






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Old 05-01-2020, 04:46 PM   #2
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You will need to get the bumper cover off to really tell the extent of the damage. You are probably very close to the totaled amount, given the mileage. What kind of relationship do you have with your insurance company?

If you can DIY it yourself, negotiate a buy out and give it a go. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:48 PM   #3
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I'm not a crash-repair technician (but I play one on TV), but my guess is that the insurance company will total it. That said, my guess is that it is pretty repairable without a lot of work. You may have to have the front pulled out on a frame puller or porta puller.
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:48 PM   #4
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Question. In instances like this where the insurance looks to total the car and you negotiate a buyout do you have to be wary of a salvage title? Or not? I don’t know just asking for my own knowledge. Rick
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:55 PM   #5
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Question. In instances like this where the insurance looks to total the car and you negotiate a buyout do you have to be wary of a salvage title? Or not? I don’t know just asking for my own knowledge. Rick
Yes, if the insurance totals it, you may be able to buy it back with a Salvage Title. You'd have to repair it, send to to a facility that does "enhanced inspections" and if it passes, the car will then have a "reconstructed title", which makes it road legal. It will always be branded "reconstructed". At least that's how it works in PA.


Lowski, Like RacerBoy said, the insurance company will most likely total it.

If you like the car, you can probably fix it yourself for 2k or less, if you're willing to do some of the work yourself and not looking for perfection. Looks like the damage was above the 'bumper beam' and nothing structural was damaged. By that, I mean suspension, steering, frame, etc. Although the bent part helps keep the rigidity in the front end. See if you can find a shop that will pull the frunk tub straight. Then look on car-part.com and if you get lucky you'll find a used hood and bumper cover with matching paint. then bolt the parts on. I saw a place in CA that has a black hood and bumper cover. They may ship or you may have to take a road trip.

If you don't involve the insurance company, the car will not be totaled and you'll keep the clean title.

Good luck.

Last edited by piper6909; 05-02-2020 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 05-02-2020, 05:48 AM   #6
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I tend to agree with the others about it being totaled but would suggest it’s not a “given”. I had a similar mishap a couple years ago. Like you, mine also trashed the bumper cover (worse than yours) but spared the hood. It did, however, also damage, to the point of requiring R&R, my right front fender, radiator/condenser and (importantly) the right headlamp. Litronic—those puppies are ridiculously expensive. (Have you ascertained whether your headlamp will need to be replaced?) No frame damage. I was relatively sure my insurance company would total it—but they didn’t. Mine is a newer car: 2001, and is an “S” model. OTOH, I had over 95k miles. Let us know what happens.
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:59 AM   #7
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Considering the age/mileage...IF it were my car, I'd do some "comparable" research BEFORE calling the insurance company on what your car's retail value would be. THEN I'd call my insurance company and see what I can negotiate for a totaled payoff.

Unless your car was special, you might be able to find another good one to buy, with the insurance money, instead of the long process to repair yours. I'm not a DIY guy so I bit the bullet, get the insurance money and go shopping.
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:30 AM   #8
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Ouch - looks a lot like the damage mine had when a Grand Cherokee backed into me at a stop light a few years ago.

In my case, it was a new hood, bumper cover (that I had to fight with my insurance to even get replaced), cover carrier brackets, hood latch, hood striker, paint, and the front side of the frunk panel pulled straight. All in all that came out to over $4000 in 2016.

Most of that can be DIYed, in my opinion. Have a good shop straighten the frunk and handle as much as you can yourself.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:56 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the info.

I took the bumper cover off this morning. The good news is the radiators, headlights, bumper beam and the radiator plumbing in the front is all good. It looks like my bumper beam indeed slid under the bumper of the other car and the frunk tub took the impact.

It looks like the main parts I will need are the hood, bumper cover, retaining strip (#11 in the figure) and possibly a new hood latch as its a bit bent. All these part changes are an easy DIY for me. Getting the frunk tub pulled back is the wildcard. Maybe I should get out that sledge hammer......

This car has been great for the last 3 years will little trouble. It came with most of the maintenance history. All I have had to do is a MAF and a coolant tank. So while I enjoy the car there are pending issues that I know may come along and bite me in the future. The cost of these future items may be worth taking the money depending on the amount. I'll see what the estimate comes back at and see if I can a la carte it depending on the results.

Things that will need to be addressed at some point.

- plugs, tubes, seals, coils in 10,000 miles
- It still has the original water pump, front engine mount, AOS, clutch and IMS.
- The rear window has a crack in it.
- The tires are getting a bit old as is the battery.
- Random fluid changes

More to come once I get the estimate scheduled and completed.









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Old 05-02-2020, 11:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lowski View Post
Thanks everyone for the info.

I took the bumper cover off this morning. The good news is the radiators, headlights, bumper beam and the radiator plumbing in the front is all good. It looks like my bumper beam indeed slid under the bumper of the other car and the frunk tub took the impact.

It looks like the main parts I will need are the hood, bumper cover, retaining strip (#11 in the figure) and possibly a new hood latch as its a bit bent. All these part changes are an easy DIY for me. Getting the frunk tub pulled back is the wildcard. Maybe I should get out that sledge hammer......

This car has been great for the last 3 years will little trouble. It came with most of the maintenance history. All I have had to do is a MAF and a coolant tank. So while I enjoy the car there are pending issues that I know may come along and bite me in the future. The cost of these future items may be worth taking the money depending on the amount. I'll see what the estimate comes back at and see if I can a la carte it depending on the results.

Things that will need to be addressed at some point.

- plugs, tubes, seals, coils in 10,000 miles
- It still has the original water pump, front engine mount, AOS, clutch and IMS.
- The rear window has a crack in it.
- The tires are getting a bit old as is the battery.
- Random fluid changes

More to come once I get the estimate scheduled and completed.
Yeah, that's great news! Pretty much what I suspected in my prior post. I would ask a body shop to straighten the tub out. It shouldn't cost much. Then look on car-part.com for the other parts. Like I said, there's a place in CA that has black frunk lid and bumper cover. I think your car is black, right? Not having to repaint will be a big time and money saver.
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Old 05-02-2020, 01:42 PM   #11
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It doesn't look bad at all!

I see that you get your milk delivered by Smith Brothers Farms. What part of Seattle are you in? I live in the Crown Hill part of Seattle.
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Old 05-02-2020, 03:57 PM   #12
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Yeah, that's great news! Pretty much what I suspected in my prior post. I would ask a body shop to straighten the tub out. It shouldn't cost much. Then look on car-part.com for the other parts. Like I said, there's a place in CA that has black frunk lid and bumper cover. I think your car is black, right? Not having to repaint will be a big time and money saver.
Yep it's Black. That's a nice site. I'll have to see what shipping costs.

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It doesn't look bad at all!

I see that you get your milk delivered by Smith Brothers Farms. What part of Seattle are you in? I live in the Crown Hill part of Seattle.
I live near Matthews Beach Park, just above the Burke Gilman Trail.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:37 AM   #13
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So I have been dealing with the insurance company over the last few days.

The first estimate I got was using their online APP. I took the required pictures and sent them in. They came back with and estimate around $4,000. This included a used hood and a used R/H light assembly. They had the bumper cover as a repair instead of replacement. The estimated hours for paint and straightening bent metal looked way low.

I didn't like the first estimate so I went to the local body shop which is also a Porsche Approved repair facility. Their estimate with all new OEM parts, frame measurement and alignment, plus all the paint blending came to around $11,000. Now I know this is the body shop wanting the biggest pay out they can and not the most economical way to fix the car.

I submitted the body shop estimate to the insurance company and they came back with a total loss offer for a base 99 with little to no options and 80,000 miles on the clock.

1. Surrender Vehicle:
Actual Cash Value/Base Price $8,938.00 Plus: Sales Tax $929.55
Unused License Fees $31.00 + Registration Fees $14.30
Less: Deductible $250.00
Settlement Amount $9,662.85

2. Retain Vehicle:
Actual Cash Value/Base Price $8,938.00
Less: Retained Salvage Value $1,820.00
Plus: Sales Tax $929.55 + License fees 31.00 + Registration Fees $14.30
Less: Deductible $250.00
Settlement Amount $7,842.85

So I have a decision to make.

I bought the car 3 years ago for $6,800. I have maybe put a $1000 in for the MAF, Coolant Tank and other general maintenance items. I have upcoming maintenance items plus original items such as front engine mount, water pump, AOS, clutch, cracked rear window and IMS that will need to be addressed in the future.

I am inclined to surrender the vehicle. If I were to try and sell it before the accident I would have be happy with a $8900 sale. Plus the surrender offer refund my sales tax which is big chunk of change.

If I buy it back for $1800 I still have to put 1-2K into it to fix it, my time to find all the parts and a body shop to straighten it. Plus I take a value hit with a salvage title and I may have issues getting insurance in the future. If it all works out I end up with approx. $4k Boxster that I know the history of. Tempting....

The other option is trying to buy it back cheaper that $1800 if it goes to local auction, but that a long shot.

Putting emotions aside let's here what you guys think.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Lowski View Post
So I have been dealing with the insurance company over the last few days.

The first estimate I got was using their online APP. I took the required pictures and sent them in. They came back with and estimate around $4,000. This included a used hood and a used R/H light assembly. They had the bumper cover as a repair instead of replacement. The estimated hours for paint and straightening bent metal looked way low.

I didn't like the first estimate so I went to the local body shop which is also a Porsche Approved repair facility. Their estimate with all new OEM parts, frame measurement and alignment, plus all the paint blending came to around $11,000. Now I know this is the body shop wanting the biggest pay out they can and not the most economical way to fix the car.

I submitted the body shop estimate to the insurance company and they came back with a total loss offer for a base 99 with little to no options and 80,000 miles on the clock.

1. Surrender Vehicle:
Actual Cash Value/Base Price $8,938.00 Plus: Sales Tax $929.55
Unused License Fees $31.00 + Registration Fees $14.30
Less: Deductible $250.00
Settlement Amount $9,662.85

2. Retain Vehicle:
Actual Cash Value/Base Price $8,938.00
Less: Retained Salvage Value $1,820.00
Plus: Sales Tax $929.55 + License fees 31.00 + Registration Fees $14.30
Less: Deductible $250.00
Settlement Amount $7,842.85

So I have a decision to make.

I bought the car 3 years ago for $6,800. I have maybe put a $1000 in for the MAF, Coolant Tank and other general maintenance items. I have upcoming maintenance items plus original items such as front engine mount, water pump, AOS, clutch, cracked rear window and IMS that will need to be addressed in the future.

I am inclined to surrender the vehicle. If I were to try and sell it before the accident I would have be happy with a $8900 sale. Plus the surrender offer refund my sales tax which is big chunk of change.

If I buy it back for $1800 I still have to put 1-2K into it to fix it, my time to find all the parts and a body shop to straighten it. Plus I take a value hit with a salvage title and I may have issues getting insurance in the future. If it all works out I end up with approx. $4k Boxster that I know the history of. Tempting....

The other option is trying to buy it back cheaper that $1800 if it goes to local auction, but that a long shot.

Putting emotions aside let's here what you guys think.
So if you go with option 2, you'd get around 7800 for a car that you already have around 7800 into. So that's a wash, if I understood correctly, and you basically got a wrecked car for free. Then you'd spend around 2K to fix it and you'd have a 4K boxster for 2K, if you don't mind a branded title.
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Old 05-06-2020, 05:02 PM   #15
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There are a lot of possible courses to take. I don't think that any of our advice will matter much. It's more about your particular aspirations and aptitude.

Being free and clear of it and having the money is a great option if you don't want to deal with it any more, and don't have space to temporarily keep a wrecked car. Shop for a nicer 986, or move the money on to the next good thing.

In most cases you are not going to get a 'run and drive' 986 for under $2000 in an auction, especially after fees.

Retaining the car I see two options that would work for me: Pull the engine and transmission, then sell the roller. (You can never have too many engines and transmissions) Buy another similar car.
Fix it enough to be a good driver, but not back to perfect and enjoy it with less worry about door dings and foul weather drives.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:20 PM   #16
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IMHO, this is a no-brainer. Take the surrender offer.

Take the funds from the offer plus the cash you would have spent on the upcoming maintenance items and buy a newer, lower mileage Boxster. You should be able to swing a nice 987 with that kind of money.

Just sayin'...........

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Old 05-07-2020, 04:55 AM   #17
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Take the money and go shopping for another car.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:20 AM   #18
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remember you can always negotiate with the insurance company. i would try to get the buyout price closer to $1,000 citing the higher estimates you received. If you get it for $1k i would take that offer with the cash then you can sit and think about what you want to do. If you decide not too fix it you can easily sell the running driving car for more than your $1k investment and you have time to really decide what you want to do.

That is assuming you have the space to keep it and time to think on it.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:09 PM   #19
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One last thought...
Keep the car and offer it up on the Forum and Grassroots Motorsports Forum
Set a price that would beat the 'surrender', but still be a great deal to a forum member. If it was local, I'd sure consider it for more than the $1820 that you are being offered.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:13 PM   #20
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No wrong answer here but...
I bought a 2 owner 98 Boxster that needed maintenance brought up to date for $4,800. Then I found another and did it again.

This was in 2011.

$9,600 is solid money.

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