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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Subaru Impreza team! Hope you all are doing well, thanks for having me here, straight to the topic, I'm interested in owning a 2017 Subaru Impreza limited, This car has a SALVAGE TITLE! here in my location, before ending the deal, I really want to make sure that I'm getting a good reliable car for what I pay, I want to know that what I should be looking for when purchasing this Impreza, anything to take into consideration, what to look for or any suggestion you guys have, please share it with me,

Some things that I will be looking out for during my inspection day:
noises in the engine
check transmission for slips jolts etc
verify all electrics / features / lights,
coolant or oil leaks
They are asking for the price of $16,500and it has 39000 Miles with a Salvage Title. Is it worth it or not?

If you guys have any suggestions on what to look at.
thanks
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2022 Sport 5-Door
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318 Posts
Find out why it has a salvage title, reason matters a lot. Flood cars are too be avoided like the plague. See if they have photos of the prior damage should it have been been repaired well enough you can't see where the accident was located on the car.

Get the VIN. Google the VIN exactly, if this car was sold at auction, you'll have original photos of the damage, and be able to inspect the repairs. You also will likely have purchase price of the vehicle for it in totalled condition. The price also seems steep for a vehicle where the title hasn't been re-branded as rebuilt. I think the price they want for a 5 year old car that has a current unknown history (not to mention recalls are unknown to have been serviced) is dodgey.
 

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2017 Impreza Hatchback Base
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I bought my 17' Base Impreza from an auction with front end damage. I bought the parts and did the repair myself, all in all I have around $9500. Mileage was around 43k, I think their asking price is way out there. I'm sure you can find a clean title one for a better price. Do get the vin and check the history on it.
 

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2021 Subaru Impreza 5-Door Sport 5MT
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As others have stated, reason for salvage title is really the deciding factor on whether you should move forward with the car or not. Also, many banks won't issue loans on rebuilt title vehicles so if you're not buying it outright, you may want to talk to your bank before you even look at the car.
 

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They are asking for the price of $16,500and it has 39000 Miles with a Salvage Title. Is it worth it or not?
All I can say is that in 2018, I bought a "salvage title" 2017 with under 5,000 miles on it for around $16K.

I believe it was a brand-new car sitting on a dealers lot when it was deemed 'flooded'. The floor-mats were still in their factory plastic shipping wrap. Several other 'hints' suggested it was an un-sold brand new car.

I bought it at local independent (not Subie ) dealer who SPECIALIZES in flood-recovery vehicles. (Travels all over nation to bring back auction vehicles)

Just turned over 40K miles and needed 2 rear wheel bearings (flood-recovery vehicles often need wheel-bearings prematurely... depends on how deep the water got)

I feel that I STILL came out ahead cost-wise even with the wheel-bearing replacement... heck, I have already driven it 4 years and 35K miles replacing only oil and brakes.

At the time I bought it, brand-new 2017s from local Subie dealer were about $19K. The way I look at it is that I gave up the security of a warantee and saved $3k. (I can fix a LOT of things for $3k)
 

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2018 Impreza Limited
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I think the price is really high, but looking at picking up a weekend toy right now, and all of the prices I'm seeing are nuts.

One thing to consider is the different in base vs limited. My 2018 limited msrp was just over 30k. Base at the time was like 18k. I got my limited for 25k in 2018 when they were clearing off the lot for the 2019 models. They do quite a bit of cost savings to bring that price down for the base model (much better speakers, much better infotainment screen, leather seats, moon roof, paddle shifters for cvt models (base doesn't get paddle shifters), sound dentening, blind spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, LED active steering headlights that are so so so good at night, rear sway bar (no rear sway bar on base), and actually rims instead of steel wheels are the differences I've found so far. And I'm sure there's more differences I forgot or missed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you guys for the concerned raised here, I decided to do my due diligence before spending so much money especially after concerns raised here, I'd rather get a clean title one, anyways I already run the VIN Check on this car, yes this car was sold at auction for $4950, and the damage seems to be serious, what do you guys think?
Here is the car report: https://app.detailedvehiclehistory.com/report/vin/4S3GTAU64H3707686

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2022 Sport 5-Door
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Seeing the report, and the photos you supplied earlier, if you can negotiate price to something more comfortable for you, and the repairs were done well, it could be a decent buy.

Inspect that rear corner everywhere. Check panel gap, check the body for remaining creases, check the underside for some cheaper out "hidden so no need to repair" damage. Test drive it, make sure it tracks straight. Know that whoever bought this likely bought to fix and resell, there's a profit motive here, so make sure you're not getting scammed for garbage repair.

I saw in the first photo you shared that the sideskirt is still damaged and the auction report states undercarriage damage, was it lifted wrong? Is there frame damage under the driver door? That's something I would stay away from. If it's just the rocker panel, then that's cosmetic. Get a scan tool and make sure nothing is cleared, or have a friend/mechanic you know scan it.

Edit: I want to add, check the frame around the doors, and the driver side rear wheel well, as the damage can radiate out too, make sure it was repaired effectively.
 

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i bought a 2017 impreza sport about a year ago that had been rear ended same damage opposite corner. i paid $12,500 for mine with 60k miles on it and the suspension has seemed sloppy ever since i have had it. i have had almost every component in the rear end changed minus the k frame and rear differential. i have almost another $6500 in it after purchase and have still not found my gremlin yet that makes the rear end feel like its loose and i have had it all done at a subaru dealership. if it was me again today in your situation knowing the problems i have had with mine then i would definitely pass especially that price with salvage title. someone i believe said it already but at that price i would go for one with a few more miles but a clean title if you can find one. i don't know where you live but parts are almost impossible to get where i live so i have had to go to the dealership for every problem i have had minus wheel bearing which i can get fortunately. and being somewhat mechanically inclined it is a pain knowing i can fix or replace parts but cannot get ahold of them.
 

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Reasons a salvage title is issued:
  • Flood damage: Floodwaters can severely damage the electrical and mechanical systems of a car, and salt water can rust the undercarriage.
  • Riots: Riots often leave burnt or severely damaged vehicles in their wake. In most such cases, the affected cars are totaled and declared total losses.
  • Hail or windstorm damage: Major hail storms and tornadoes can severely damage a vehicle, often resulting in a total-loss designation.
  • Stolen vehicles: Car thieves rarely take good care of the cars they joyride. Even if no accident occurs, that abuse can cause such serious damage that the vehicle is written off.
If you do buy a salvage title you should plan on driving it for life as another resell is exremely difficult.
 

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Reasons a salvage title is issued:
  • Flood damage: Floodwaters can severely damage the electrical and mechanical systems of a car, and salt water can rust the undercarriage.
  • Riots: Riots often leave burnt or severely damaged vehicles in their wake. In most such cases, the affected cars are totaled and declared total losses.
  • Hail or windstorm damage: Major hail storms and tornadoes can severely damage a vehicle, often resulting in a total-loss designation.
  • Stolen vehicles: Car thieves rarely take good care of the cars they joyride. Even if no accident occurs, that abuse can cause such serious damage that the vehicle is written off.
If you do buy a salvage title you should plan on driving it for life as another resell is exremely difficult.
It may be worthwhile to mention that Insurance companies, to save time/money, sometimes declare entire LOCALE's as "flooded" and every vehicle within that locale is paid off. (instead of 'adjusting' every vehicle individually)

The ins. companies also go to great lengths to recoup losses by selling the vehicles in bulk or auction. The point is NOT ALL OF THE VEHICLES IN THAT LOCALE MAY HAVE BEEN FLOODED. It is those NONflooded vehicles which are often a bargain if you can find one becasue they still go to the auction and get bought by savvy re-sellers.

I agree that it is best to purchase with the intent to drive it into the ground.... resale of "reclaimed" title vehicles may not be easy.

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My brother worked in the insurance industry for a very long time. He told stories of how they recoup losses.
EXAMPLE: The cargo of SUGAR on a ship was insured.... it was found that a glass bottle had become broken in the hold of the ship within the sugar. The insurance was paid out on the ENTIRE ship full of sugar. .... however, to recoup losses the insurance company sold the sugar to company who dissolved the sugar in water and micro-filtered it into syrup. The syrup was approved for use in animal feed.
 

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2017 Impreza Hatchback Base
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It may be worthwhile to mention that Insurance companies, to save time/money, sometimes declare entire LOCALE's as "flooded" and every vehicle within that locale is paid off. (instead of 'adjusting' every vehicle individually)

The ins. companies also go to great lengths to recoup losses by selling the vehicles in bulk or auction. The point is NOT ALL OF THE VEHICLES IN THAT LOCALE MAY HAVE BEEN FLOODED. It is those NONflooded vehicles which are often a bargain if you can find one becasue they still go to the auction and get bought by savvy re-sellers.

I agree that it is best to purchase with the intent to drive it into the ground.... resale of "reclaimed" title vehicles may not be easy.

------------------------------
My brother worked in the insurance industry for a very long time. He told stories of how they recoup losses.
EXAMPLE: The cargo of SUGAR on a ship was insured.... it was found that a glass bottle had become broken in the hold of the ship within the sugar. The insurance was paid out on the ENTIRE ship full of sugar. .... however, to recoup losses the insurance company sold the sugar to company who dissolved the sugar in water and micro-filtered it into syrup. The syrup was approved for use in animal feed.
I bought a Dodge Neon years ago that was branded as flooded. Only damage was a dent on the hood and the motor was locked up. Turned out there was rust on the top of one of the pistons and whoever bought it before me tried starting the car and broke the rod. Replaced the motor and hood and the car ran great with no electrical issues. I know its off topic 😁
 

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I don't think that looks very good
Primary Damage Rear End
Secondary Damage Undercarriage
VIN 4S3GTAU64H3707686
Odometer : 37,300 actual miles
Estimated Repair Cost : $26,852
Avg. Estimated Retail Value : $23,056
 
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