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General E46 Forum
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:01 AM   #1
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I hoped I would never have to do one of these threads but here it goes....

A coworker and I were driving home from a business trip in Canada on I90 westbound in Ashtabula Ohio. We were passing a truck around 3:00AM when the headlights illuminated a large deer carcus in the middle of the road. With nowhere to go, we hit Bambi and went airborne as the deer dragged under the car. Luckily the airbags did not go off and neither of us were hurt.

The battery light lit up, followed by the famous cog of death. The car limped about half of a mile before the coolant light popped up and the temperature began to skyrocket. After stopping and looking at the car, the damage is as follows:

- front bumper/fogs destroyed but still partially on the car
- power steering pump assumed to be destroyed - half of the pulley fell out of the car on the flatbed
- Transmission shutters in reverse, no forward gears (steptronic)
- Radiator and all associated lower plumbing destroyed
- Unknown damage to suspension components
- Unknown but assumed that all lower air conditioning components are destroyed

The engine runs fine and the only visible body damage is the destroyed bumper. Based on the damage above, am I right in concluding that the car should be totalled? It would be repaired at a shop since I have very little time to spend fixing it and a transmission swap is out of my league. It's a 2001 325i with 99k that was in great shape until a few hours ago.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:02 AM   #2
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:32 AM   #3
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It's really going to depend on what's going on underneath. A new bumper is like $900 ish OEM. Give or take a few hundred depending on where you get it pained and where you get parts. Trans will be used from another car for $300 tops hopefully. Cooling system is screwed most likely radiation damaged. That's $150 in parts.
Exhaust could be destroyed. Diff could be destroyed. Control arms could be destroyed but not likely. Splash guard was destroyed and needs replaced. Trust me you want it on there for times like these. It REALLY does protect the engine.
Check the ps fluid.
Check engine oil.
Your oil pan is at risk of cracking from an impact like this as well as your steering rack and ps lines. The high pressure one is like $200 alone.
I don think it will be totaled if it runs good and rolls straight. Just hope there isn't too much damage you can't see.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:30 AM   #4
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One possibility. The car is totaled. Then you buy it back for like $3000, put some of the insurance money into fixing it with salvage/used parts. You'll be pocketing some money, but driving a car with a salvage title.
But it's between you and the adjuster at this point, but you should think about a best case scenario--a big payout/fixing the car, non totaled/buying it back as salvage--and work toward that goal.
I'd suggest the NOVA's Ask an Insurance Adjuster Anything thread. Helped me hugely when my touring was totaled.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:30 AM   #5
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We can't tell you if it's totalled. Only after a mechanic has identified every part that needs replacing can it be totalled. Do you have insurance for this?
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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Its really impossible to say until your insurance looks at it. I would guess on a car like that though if you need a new tranny its going to be totaled.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DHK View Post
Its really impossible to say until your insurance looks at it. I would guess on a car like that though if you need a new tranny its going to be totaled.

I understand, though, that you would like some sort of assessment to alleviate or confirm your fears, but there's no way anyone here can help, at least not without detailed pics. Best of luck.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Sounds like totaled to me.. When the adjuster comes out and starts making an estimate, trust me, the numbers will add up quickly.. Its probably one of those things where it won't cost a ton to fix on your own but if you're going through insurance, it would add up to 3-4k easily..

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