Frequently Asked Questions
- What is unibody construction?
- What does it mean "total loss"?
- Why it is too expensive for insurance companies to repair a damaged car, resulting in the car being declared a "total loss", and why it is cost effective for car rebuilders like us to rebuild the same car?
- Do your vehicles pass any vehicle inspections?
- Is financing available?
- What is Rebuiltcars accepted Method of Payment?
- Do you guys guarantee the cars you sell do not have frame damage? I have heard that can be a major issue.
- Structural and frame repairs
Most vehicles manufactured since 1980 are made in the unitized body (commonly known as unibody) construction design. This design is particularly good at absorbing collision impacts and minimizing injury to vehicle occupants. The ability to absorb collision impact is accomplished by creating "crush zones" in the vehicle that absorb and redirect the impact energy to other areas of the vehicle outside the passenger compartment. Unitized body construction relies on a number of lightweight, high strength steel panels and parts, properly welded together, to provide structural strength.
"Total loss" does not mean that a vehicle can't be repaired, it is only the term that insurance companies use which means - it is not economical to repair a particular vehicle. (Read more about why it is too expensive for insurance companies to repair a damaged car, resulting in the car being declared a "total loss", and why it is cost effective for car rebuilders like us to rebuild the same car).
Why it is too expensive for insurance companies to repair a damaged car, resulting in the car being declared a "total loss", and why it is cost effective for car rebuilders like us to rebuild the same car?
A vehicle (most of the time) is declared a "total loss" when the appraised cost of repairs added to the probable salvage value (the vehicle in its unrepaired state) exceeds the pre-accident value of the vehicle. The settlement will be based on the actual cash value of the vehicle.
For an insurance company, appraised cost of repairs includes:
- hiring a complete collision repair shop to repair this vehicle, including:
- paying for parts at list prices,
- paying for labor at list prices,
- paying for materials at list prices.
- In addition, there is the cost of car rental, towing, claim procedures, as well as the pressure of a short time frame, etc.
Now imagine a rebuilder buys this vehicle from the salvage auction and does the same job with the same parts and the same repairs. For a rebuilder the picture is different:
- there is no need to hire a collision repair shop, because he/she owns one and uses
- his discounts for parts,
- his discount for labor, and
- his discounts for materials.
- In addition, there would not be any rental costs, insurance claim procedure costs, etc.
Right away, you can see the difference in cost to repair the same vehicle for an insurance company compared to a rebuilder.
Of course, not all salvage cars would be wise to repair-- that is where the expertise and know-how of a rebuilder plays a big role. It is not that simple to buy a damaged vehicle, repair it, and sell it. First of all, a rebuilder must look at the vehicle, estimate how much it will cost to quality repair it, and decide what price he is willing to pay for the damaged vehicle so that after repairs it will still be profitable to sell the vehicle. This process must be cost-effective without sacrificing quality. Nobody in their right mind would want to buy a damaged vehicle, repair it and sell it for less than it costs.
- All our rebuilt title vehicles pass two inspections:
- 1.Illinois Department of Transportation Safety Testing Lane
- 2.Illinois Salvage Vehicle Inspection
The purpose of the Illinois Vehicle Safety Inspection Program (IVSIP) is to promote the safety of the general public. Every owner of a second division vehicle (medical transport vehicle, tow truck, motor bus, religious organization bus, school bus, senior citizen transportation vehicle, limousine and other) and the owners of each salvage vehicle shall, before operating the vehicle upon the highways of Illinois, submit it to a "safety test" and secure a certificate of safety furnished by the Department. This "safety test" inspection for salvage vehicle must be completed prior to its salvage vehicle inspection pursuant to Section 3-308 of this Code.
The safety test shall include the testing and inspection of:
- 1. TIRES AND WHEELS.
- 2. STEERING, ALIGNMENT AND SUSPENSION (The steering system of the vehicle must be inspected to determine if excessive wear and/or maladjustment of the linkage and/or steering gear exists.
- 3. WHEEL BEARINGS.
- 4. STEERING LINKAGE.
- 5. PROPER USE OF WHEEL ALIGNMENT INDICATOR.
- 6. Excessive toe-in or toe-out is a general indication that complete check should be made of all front wheel alignment factors (caster, camber, steering axis inclination).
- 7. SHOCK ABSORBERS.
- 8. AIR SUSPENSION: Inspection of such systems consists mostly of checking for air leaks, proper height, and ride level.
- 9. GENERAL LAMP - INSPECTION LIMITS - General lamp inspection includes the following types of lamps: head, tail, stop, license, clearance, signal, marker, and identification.
- 10. VEHICLE LIGHTING.
- 11. ELECTRICAL WIRING.
- 12. HEADLAMP AIM.
- 13. FRAME, CAB, AND BODY. Inspect frame and cross member assembly of chassis; check fuel tank to make certain secured to vehicle, and that cap are present and capable of being tightened; inspect for torn metal parts, moldings, etc., which may protrude from vehicle; inspect bumpers for hazardous condition or unsafe mounting; inspect for removal of front or rear fenders; inspect door latches, locks, hinges, and handles for proper operation, fastening, bad adjustment, broken or missing component; inspect floor, fire wall, and occupant compartment; inspect seat(s) for proper operation of adjusting mechanism and to see that they are securely anchored to floor.
- 14. MIRRORS.
- 15. WINDSHIELD WIPERS.
- 16. WINDSHIELD WASHER.
- 17. VEHICLE GLAZING (glass).
- 18. EXHAUST AND FUEL SYSTEMS. The EXHAUST SYSTEM includes the manifold(s) and piping leading from the exhaust ports of the engine to and including the muffler(s), resonators, and the tail piping. The FUEL SYSTEM includes the fuel tank(s), fuel pump, and necessary piping to carry the fuel from the tank to the carburetor.
- 19. BRAKE SYSTEMS.
- 20. DYNAMIC BRAKE PERFORMANCE TESTS.
- 21. EMERGENCY WARNING DEVICES.
- Public Act 093-0637
- Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Administrative Code
- TITLE 92: TRANSPORTATION PART 448 OFFICIAL TESTING STATIONS CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SECTION 448.EXHIBIT A REBUILT VEHICLES
- TITLE 92: TRANSPORTATION CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SUBCHAPTER e: TRAFFIC SAFETY (EXCEPT HAZARDOUS MATERIALS) PART 448 OFFICIAL TESTING STATIONS SECTION 448.APPPENDIX A SAFETY TEST PROCEDURES AND SPECIFICATIONS Section 448.EXHIBIT A Testing Procedures
The Illinois Vehicle Code mandates that the Secretary of State Police physically inspect all salvage vehicles that are eight model years old or newer before a rebuilt title may be issued. The purpose of the inspection is to identify essential parts and review all required documentation. These inspections are not intended to certify the safety or roadworthiness of the vehicle or the quality of the workmanship in the rebuilding process. Before being brought to the salvage inspection station, all vehicles must first be taken to an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Safety Testing Lane and pass a safety test.
The inspection of the vehicle shall include an examination of the vehicle and its parts and of the application and proof of notification, if applicable, to determine that:
- (1) the identification numbers of the vehicle or its parts have not been removed, falsified, altered, defaced, destroyed, or tampered with;
- (2) all information contained in the application for a certificate of title is true and correct; and
- (3) there are no indications that the vehicle or any of its parts have been stolen.
- (c) The Secretary of State shall, by rule or regulation, carry out and implement the provisions contained in this Section.
- Salvage Vehicle Inspections
- Illinois Compiled Statutes (625 ILCS 5/3-308) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 3?308) Sec. 3-308. Inspection of rebuilt vehicles.
Yes. It depends on your credit history (for car sales only).
We accept several methods of payments:
- money order/cashier's checks
- debit/credit cards (For auto sales only: if you want to buy a vehicle with your credit card, credit card charge fees will be applied; No fees for auto repair)
- personal check (We accept personal checks for up to $500. If the payable sum is more than $500, we will ask for another method of payment or will have to hold your car till the check is cleared.)
- electronic wire transfers
* If you buy a car from us, a non-refundable deposit of 10% of the cost of the vehicle will hold a car or truck for 10 days. The balance of the purchase price will be due at that time.
Do you guys guarantee the cars you sell do not have frame damage? I have heard that can be a major issue.
To assure proper repairs we utilize Car-O-Liner frame and unibody straightening machine with computerized 3D measurement equipment. This equipment enables our technicians to measure and straighten vehicle by up to millimeter accuracy to a factory specifications. (Car-O-Liner is a preferred partner of Toyota Motor Europe and its Authorised Repairers) For more info on this equipment you can go to www.car-o-liner.com
To assure proper structural unibody and/or frame repairs we use Car-o-liner unibody and frame straightening machine with 3D computerized measuring system. Use of the computerized measuring system helps technician to determine extent of the damage to vehicle's unibody or frame. In addition, the measuring system assures the technician that he has fully returned the vehicle up to factory specifications. For more info on this equipment you can go to www.car-o-liner.com