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Can You Fix A Totaled Car? The Short Answer Is Yes – But It Is Complicated! 

Can You Fix A Totaled Car? The Short Answer Is Yes – But It Is Complicated! 

Many car owners need to know the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car?’ By knowing the average price of fixing a crashed car, you can keep the repair and replacement costs at an all-time low. The full cost breakdown of the total cost of repairing a totaled car can be reduced by doing some of the work yourself and fixing the root cause of the issue. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

What is a totaled car?

A totaled car is a vehicle that has a very high cost of repair. If the cost of this repair is higher than the value of the car, then it is considered not worth it to do any repairs or replacements. However, if you want to refurbish your own, you can keep the costs as low as possible.


  • For example, if your car was worth around $2,000 before an accident or structural damage, and the insurance company's estimate for repairs is over this number, the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car’ is NO in this instance. When the repairs cost more than the car is worth, the car is considered a complete loss. 


Even if you want to repair your car since you like your vehicle, the insurance company is sometimes still required by law to register your vehicle as a complete loss. Once your car is totaled, you will be issued a salvage or salvage certificate. This means that your car, without any repairs or fixes, cannot be driven, registered, or sold. In this case, the answer is ‘no’ to ‘can you fix a totaled car?’


Typically, cars are totaled when the damage to the vehicle exceeds between 65% or 70% of the vehicle’s market value. This means that if the car’s repairs or replacement prices are higher than a certain amount of money, it will not be worth paying for the procedures. 

What happens after a vehicle is declared at a total loss? 

Once a new car has been inspected and analyzed by a mechanic, the typical protocol involves sending a check to the insured person for the value of the vehicle and sending the car to the local scrapyard. While this might work for some car owners, not everyone is ready to get rid of their car. 


Some people may love keeping their vehicle based on a sentimental attachment or the way it operates, but this depends on the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car?’


When you decide to refute a claim, the burden of proof must be provided to show the extra value of the car or to lower the cost of the repairs. To provide proof the vehicle is worth more than the evaluation of the car, extras like air conditioning, performance packages, high-tech features, and customized equipment can affect the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car?’ 

If I have a totaled car, can a repair shop fix it?

The next step in finding the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car’ is seeing if a local mechanic or dealership can carry out the necessary repairs on your specific car. Fortunately, there are many collision repair shops located all around the United States and worldwide. These specific stores can undertake the expensive and complicated repairs required for a totaled car.


  • The most important step in this process is to talk to an auto body worker or mechanic and see if you can get an estimate for the total scrap cost. See what they say and ask the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car.’ When it comes to totaled cars, the collision repair shop will determine the time involved and the hourly labor price.


You need to see if it is possible in the first palace to restore your car to a working condition, if the shop has available replacement parts, and if the mechanic has the skills required to do the repair job. Most collision repair shops will be able to give you the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car.’ 

Can I Insure My Totaled Car?

If you have a rebuilt salve or used vehicle, it is important to remember that getting insurance for a damaged car could prove to be an issue. If you can find a company to ensure a totaled or salvaged car, the premiums will be very high. 


In this case, it might not be worth it to ensure your totaled car. Keep in mind that some insurance companies can do this procedure, but you should first ask a mechanic the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car.’ 


When asking yourself ‘what happens when insurance totals your car,’ car insurance companies often find that many older or used cars are just not worth repairing. Car insurance companies determine the car’s value by using market research and software to provide vehicle valuations. 


  • According to data reported by car companies, the average collision claim was around $3750, with the average auto liability claim for property damage was around $4525. When asking yourself, ‘can you fix a totaled car,’ you need to take into account the insurance prices for your vehicle. 


If you think your totaled car is valuable enough for a repair, you can contest the insurance company’s decision to claim your car as a total loss. However, if you decide to go down this path, be prepared to prove that your car is worth the repairs and replacements. 


If you can demonstrate to the insurance company that your car has been maintained over the years and has undergone mechanical improvements, you may be able to win the battle with your insurance company for getting your car to be a reprieve. The main factors affecting the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car’ have to deal with the car’s age, mileage, and condition. 

Can I keep my car if it is totaled?

If you decide to accept your insurance company’s decision to total your car, but you still want to keep your vehicle, then your insurer will pay you the value of the vehicle. However, the insurance company will subtract the deductible due for your vehicle and the amount your car could be sold for at a used car dealership or salvage yard – like CashCarsBuyer!


Keep in mind that safety should be your number one priority and concern when keeping a totaled or salvaged car. You don’t want to keep a sentimental value vehicle if it is not working properly or safely for long-term use. 


If damage to your car is mostly exterior, cosmetic, or non-essential, then you may be able to put your car back on the road for only a slight cost. In this case, the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car’ is yes! However, if fixing your totaled car requires expensive replacements and repairs, you could be better off just getting a new vehicle and selling your old one. 

Steps To Fix A Totaled Car

  • Dismantle the Damaged Areas

Take photos of where the damage is to see where the parts go and how to put things back together. Try to prevent any further issues, cut any wires, or hurt any other internal systems while still figuring out how your car is pieced together. 


Make sure to remove the battery. This should be one of the first things you do to prevent electrical concerns and see if the battery wires are still working and providing a charge. You can’t get a shock from handling the wires, but make sure the battery is charged to keep the car working properly. If the battery does not hold a charge, you need to ask a local mechanic the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car.’ 

  • Don’t Throw Out The Damaged Parts

Keep a list of the damaged parts and make a list of what you need to replace. By keeping track of the necessary replacement parts, you can find out the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car.’ 

  • Drain the Fluids

If your radiator is working properly and holding water, drain the extra antifreeze and save as much as you can. Put the antifreeze aside and keep it for future use. If your air conditioner still has coolant, vent the conditioner and save on purchasing liquids for your new vehicle. When seeing the answer to ‘can, you fix a totaled car,’ saving some coolant and refrigerant can keep the costs as low as possible.

  • Shop for Replacement Parts

With the broken and damaged parts removed, you now know what you need for parts to see the answer to ‘can you fix a totaled car.’ Make a trip to a wrecking yard, used car dealership, auto body shop, or mechanic to see if you can get an estimate for what it will cost you.


There are no set prices for used parts, so you need to do some research and see what the best deal for your car’s make, model, and year is. 

The Bottom Line

When asking yourself or a mechanic the question of ‘can you fix a totaled car,’ you need to determine the damage to your vehicle, the location of the damage, the severity of the issues, and the condition of your car. If you have an old vehicle that has extensive damage and is not in proper condition, this could lead to a very high repair cost that is not worth the price of your used car.