Jump to content
CaddyInfo Cadillac Forum

It looks like my Caddy is a goner..


Recommended Posts

Driving on a busy road today, an elderly man made a left turn in front of me. I tried to avoid it, but to no avail. It was a hard hit. I was driving 45 mph. The insurance company hasn't come to look at it yet, but I am pretty sure they are going to deem it a total loss. The frame is severely damaged, the whole front axle assembly is broken and there is bad damage to the body. I am however ok. I really hope the car can be saved, but I don't think it can. If I have to get a new car I am going to be looking for another Cadillac. That car saved my life. If I took that blow in a newer crappy car I surely wouldn't have walked away as well off as I did.

PICTURE427.jpg

PICTURE424.jpg

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites


:o

With all the hard work you did in making this car as fine an example as it was, I know that this is a hard time for you. You weren't hurt seriously, which is the most important thing. I presume and hope that the elderly man who turned left and drove into you wasn't hurt seriously, either.

For what it's worth, your insurance (and his) probably contract them to repair your car or to replace it. The replacement cost is what the contract says, probably KBB trade-in because that's the lowest number for a given make/model/year in KBB. But I have found that they will repair cars when it can be done if you insist. Get an estimate before you decide.

One thing I've seen many times, including personally, is that the other party's insurance agent will try to pay you scrap value for your car for a waiver of indemnity. I would hope that this would be illegal by now but it probably isn't. I had a similar accident in 1978 in my 1969 Chevrolet wagon with the 427 cid 400 hp motor; a kid in his father's new Dodge Diplomat came whistling out of a blind driveway right in front of me and I couldn't quite stop in time to avoid totaling the new Dodge and doing $500 cosmetic damage to my Chevrolet. Their insurance agent wanted to buy it for $250; I suggested replacement with any 1969 Chevrolet wagon with the 427 cid engine in good condition and good running order. If you specify black on black with the tonneau top in good condition like your car, they will likely be in the same position of not really being able to replace your car. They fixed my car; it took a used fender, bumper (maybe straightened, but the chrome may have been scratched), running light, and big chrome "427" emblem to do it right.

If the worst comes to pass, this is a good time to buy a used Cadillac Northstar. Perceived as gas guzzlers because they are powerful V8s, prices are low. I went through a scare with mine fairly recently and did some looking on cars.com (linked from kbb.com) and found some really attractive cars and deals. A little dreaming and clicking of the mouse also revealed that I could get a 2005 CTS-V with less than 25,000 miles on it for $22K. Northstars in the 1995-2005 range are very affordable right now.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other guy was not injured either except for a scratch on his arm. His shiny new Honda SUV was demolished though. He took full responsibility for the accident. He said on the statement to the police "I am so sorry. I must have had a senior moment cuz I didn't even see her coming".. so he admits fault and he got the tickets. I hope I don't have to get a new car, but it doesn't look promising. I am going to try my damndest to talk the insurance company into fixing it though, even if it means salvaging parts from a junk yard. I have put too much blood, sweat and tears into this car to let them just take it if it can be saved. And to think...I spent the last month and a half replacing the entire front end axle/suspension/steering system. You can see in the pics that aside from the accident damage, it's in very good condition! :wipetears

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear, glad you are okay to post about it! Good luck with the repairs or the shopping, however it turns out. Keep us posted please.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

Follow me on: Twitter Instagram Youtube

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carla,

You and the guy are fine. That's what matters after all. Honestly, I hope you will find another Caddy which you will enjoy even more and work on it less. I was very attached to my 91 Seville, but after I finally bought the Fleetwood, I did realize I should have let the Seville go two years earlier.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad to hear you are ok, you'll find another, given how much you learned with this one, you'll know what to look for and how to buy it.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's sad for you, but realistically they're going to write off your car. You should probably do as above and insist on replacement rather than strictly a payment. Sadly, you're probably also in for a fight. Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carla,

If you kept the records, receipts, etc. of all the extensive work you have done, that will help to get more money from insurance.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have receipts for everything I have put into that car. The insurance adjuster should be coming to look at it tomorrow. On another note, I just got home from the hospital. I have a sprained knee from hitting the dash, and pulled muscles in my neck and shoulder from the seat-belt, but other than that I came out unscathed. Now to get on with this fight with the insurance people... I'll let you all know how it goes!

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ROTTEN, STINKING LEMONS! :wipetears Glad you're okay. . . and here's hoping there's some cold, delicious lemonade in your future.

Regards,

Warren

Posted Image

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved. - Ludwig von Mises

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I just got more good news. My brother says the frame looks like it's bent but can be saved, and the rest is just cosmetic and suspension work. My insurance company said if they do total the car, then I have the option to buy it back for scrap price. My brother said he will buy it back for me if I can't afford to do that and still get a new car. So either way it looks like I get to keep her! That drive train is in too good of shape to let it go to the junk yard. It has 176,000 miles on it and still runs great...which is amazing for a Northstar! I don't know that it will see the road again as is, but that drive train will go to good use one way or another.

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim's suggestion in having the insurance co. find you a similar car in the same condition (before the accident) is a good suggestion. They will most likely want to total the car.

You want to make sure the transmission is not damaged from the accident - with the damage to the front and the way the front tire is not straight, transmission damage is possible. You don't want to be faced with an endless stream of transmission issues if you fix the car.

Glad you were not seriously injured and post back any developments so we can help you.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brother was finally able to get my car in the garage over the pit and have a good look underneath. The frame is shoved up against the transmission, but only appears to be bent in that one place. The transmission doesn't appear to have suffered any damage though. The other driver's insurance is providing us a rental car for now. When I asked about the car being totaled, I was told that even if the insurance company deems it a total loss, so long as I have a mechanic that believes the car CAN be repaired, then they will let me keep it as an owner-retained total loss. They won't pay to fix it if that's how it works out, but I will get money to buy another car and get to keep this one. Eventually I would repair it and put it back on the road.

I was informed by MY insurance company that in New York, there is an insurance clause about fair LOCAL market value and that I should request that the other driver's insurance pay out on that basis. A car similar to mine in the area I live typically sells for around $5,000, whereas mine blue books for only $2,800. If I could get fair market value, then I would be able to spend a couple thousand on another vehicle and put the rest into fixing this one. That's how I HOPE everything will work out...but we'll see. As of right now I am waiting to hear back from the adjustor as to when they will be able to do an estimate on the damages. I really hope I don't have to part with this car... but I will keep everyone posted!

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

P.S. I forgot to mention above, the car still starts and runs perfectly. It will move...but the sounds that come from that front wheel are indescribably horrid. And my brakes still function flawlessly. I am keeping my fingers crossed that there is hope left for this car.

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carla: Things to watch out for when the estimate is done, assuming that the estimate is done by a mechanic as well as a body shop:

  • Thrust bearings and such in the half shaft ON BOTH SIDES. The half-shafts are splined in the differential so that should be OK.
  • Straightness, alignment, and cracks in the transmission case, particularly on or near the driver's side half-shaft.
  • The rack-and-pinion.
  • The power steering cylinder, hoses, and pump.
  • The EBTCM and TC/ABS manifold/pump.
  • The PCM.

If you can turn the key on and run the codes, that may tell you how the PCM and EBTCM are doing. If there are no codes, or at least no new codes and no CURRENT codes, that is a very good sign. Also, codes about brake fluid level and other things like that can give you a clue as to what needs looking at.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couple things come to mind in reading all the comments.

1. The insurance company does not care, nor will they take into account what you have previously put into the car. No matter how you spin it, it is still a 1994 Eldorado with 173,000 Miles. That is what will determine it's value. Run that through Kelly Blue Book and/or NADA and you'll have a close idea of what to expect (minus your buy back cost).

2. Insurance companies do not replace vehicles. They pay out what they determine (or you negotiate) they are worth and YOU find the replacement.

3. You may have trouble getting the car back in alignment (if at all). That could affect handling and tire wear from this point on. Something to consider.

I've been in your position many years ago. I got a nice Buick Centurion cheap. Had to do a valve job, replace the starter, radiator, carb and several other parts as I recall. Then I got rear ended and it was totaled. The insurance company could not have cared less what I put into it and told me so. I then told them, OK, find me a replacement with the same mileage. They informed me that they are not in the business of buying replacement cars. That was up to me. I WAS able to negotiate the price up a little, but not much. That's why I said get your ducks in a row and get your own prices to counter if they low ball you. Best of luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate to say but I agree with rangers assessment of the insurance company's willingness to pay. I had similar experience and the ins co said all that money you put into that car is upkeep. If you spent $10,000 on an engine for a $5000 car it is just upkeep unless you have receipts and can show that it is upgraded from original. $20,000 shocks would be the same example. So if you can show any upgrades from original that would be a plus! Good luck to you and its good to hear you are basically ok.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very sorry to hear about this. I worry alot because the drivers lately have been extremely loony. (more than usual) I have just barely missed a few accidents myself this month. It really sucks too. And the worst part is these people arent even from out of state. Makes me kind of glad my Seville is in the garage.

On a plus note it didnt even pop the tire. Thats weird. Good luck to you. hope it is fixable

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the drivers lately have been extremely loony. (more than usual)

I'll bet CELL PHONES are a huge contributor to the poor driving on the road today.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The tires didn't pop right away, but the front ones have both since leaked out all the air. I was astonished at that too though, especially as hard as I hit that curb! I guess in the end it DOES pay off to buy the expensive tires rather than cheap ones. Cheap ones would have exploded on impact.

Jim, I did run the codes, and nothing new came up. As I said the car does still run. I believe the air intake might be crushed though because it sounds a little starved for air. I had to drive it a few feet to get it to where it's sitting now. It wasn't pretty, but it moved. I don't even have any brake fluid leaking. Actually, the only fluid that appears to have leaked at all is my washer fluid. The tank exploded under the fender.

As per the insurance, the adjustor is coming Monday to look at it. In the meantime I am doing some research into LOCAL value for cars similar to mine. I remember when my brother totaled one of his cars, and he fought the insurance company because they wanted to give him KBB value. He showed them listings in the paper/internet etc of the same vehicle in similar condition, which were listed at higher prices than KBB, and eventually convinced them to pay out the AVERAGE price from the local market. It did take longer to get a check by doing that, but if you can get an extra thousand or so dollars, then it's worth it to wait. In the meantime at least we will have a rental.

I know a lot of people think it's stupid for me to be so worried about saving this car, but it is a big deal to me. I LOVE that car!! Everyone keeps telling me "oh it's just a car, get over it", but to me it's more than that. That car has become part of the family, and I'm not going to let it die without a fight. If it is in fact un-fixable, then I am sane enough to let it go...but I am still going to rob the drivetrain out of it. :D

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too did what your brother did...

When my 2006 DTS burned up in my garage fire in 2006, my Ins Co tried to lowball me.

I got LOCAL selling prices for cars like mine and finally got them to up their original offer by almost $10,000, to a more reasonable price for my car.

But it took me about a month to do it... :) :)

Maybe your Ins Co will be fair with you... I sure hope so.

Posted Image
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The insurance adjustor came on Monday to look at the car. He said by the looks of it they will almost definitely deem it a total loss. He was a very nice guy, very respectful and easy to talk to about everything. I showed him a picture of what the car looked like prior to the accident for comparison purposes, and he looked at the picture then the car, shook his head and said "wow, what a shame." He seemed to have genuine appreciation for the car, which made me happy. I'm still waiting to hear back about it. They are supposed to contact me by the end of today with an offer for the car, and to tell me how much it will cost me to buy it back if I want to keep it. Apparently the other driver's insurance company DOES look at the local market before making a decision on the value of the car.

Looking at the underside of the car, I must admit I am absolutely baffled. Nothing actually broke! Everything is pretty bent, but it's ALL still attached. Tie rods, sway bar links, strut, coil spring, brake lines/hoses, all the wiring, control arms, cv shaft... Obviously after that much trauma it will all have to be replaced, but I am just astonished that as badly as that wheel bent in none of the suspension components broke. It makes me that much more happy that I was driving a Caddy. All things considered that car took it like a champ! I do plan to restore it..crazy as that may sound. It may take me a while to get it all done, but I want to do it. It all depends, at this point, on how much I will have to pay to keep it. If I do then I figure this would be a good time to get all the "little" things done that I have been putting off.. like the new cloth top, a new driver's seat, and some other minor cosmetic things. If I'm going to restore it, then I may as well take my time, get it ALL done, and do it right.:D

big4870885.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...