View Full Version : Crunch...

08-26-10, 03:30 AM
As many of you know (or maybe don't know) I drive a Chevrolet Cavalier. It's my daily driver for when I'm working on the Caddy and durring the winter. Well, on August 23, 2010, my poor little Cavalier was totaled on my way home from work.

Many of you might say "oh, it's just a Cavalier, get another one", but it was special to me. I got it from my grandparents a few weeks before I got my license. (They got a new car then, and asked me if I wanted it. I jumped all over the chance.) I basically learned to drive in it before I got my license, and I have had it for about 4 years now. It's been really good to me. I commuted with it every day to high school and then to college, it's gotten me through HUGE Michigan snow storms, and it even made the trip down to Florida with me this past summer. It's my little Chevy buddy.

Then on monday this week I got out of work at about 5:30 pm, and took the long way home like always (I like driving after work.) I was near one of the stoplights and looked up to see if it was green, as traffic was moving along pretty good. We were doing about 27 in a 30 zone. I looked back down from the light to find a Ford Ranger completely stopped right in front of me. I slammed the brakes hard, but it wasn't enough. I slid right into the back of it.

The airbags went off, the inertia-reel belt kicked in, and the car came slamming to a stop. I got out to find a very angry lady sitting in her Ranger. We were both fine. So was her truck. It had a slight angle to the rear bumper. That was about it. My Cavalier didn't fare so well. We had it towed to my grandparents house (the same grandparents I got it from) because they have a big yard and don't mind if it sits there for a few days. It still runs, but sounds like death. It's a shame and I am sad. It's like loosing a friend.

Here are the pictures.





I've been looking into a new car for a few days now. I've got my grandparent's Silverado to drive around in until I find something. Drive safe guys.

RIP 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier LS 2.4

08-26-10, 04:06 AM
Sad to hear about your lost, yeah, I understand, some times a car is more than a car for a person, even a little cavalier!

I could not understand the lady suddenly stopped her Ranger or she had been behind red light and was not moving in first place?

By the way, although your Cavalier is dead, but front rims looks terrible! What kind of brake pads did you use?

08-26-10, 04:15 AM
Ouch. Did your face sting? Never had one go off in my face before.

Night Wolf
08-26-10, 04:36 AM
Are you mechanically inclined? Even a bit? Yes? Keep reading. No? Keep reading anyway cause it's a perfect oppertunity to learn how to fix stuff.

From the looks of it, the car received no structural damage. No doubt because even a stock Ranger's rear bumper is higher then the Cavi, and if you were on the brakes hard, the nose took a dive.

It clearly missed the bumper which saved it from major damage, but also made non-structural parts of the car take the hit.

I'd say if you get the hood open then look at what REALLY is bad. You should be able to hit up local junkyards and get parts cheap. Obviosuly radiator support, is the radiator leaking? A/C condensor/lines, if it even had (and/or you still want A/C)

I mean, if it's just a commuter car, but it means something to you - it can be fixed very cheap. That passenger side fender can be hammered out. Obvisouly a new hood and lights, again this stuff can be had cheap at a salvage yard.

From what I can see so far, it looks like the most difficult thing would be to possibly need a new radiator support welded in if that one can't be hammered back - you might even be able to find a salvage yard willing to weld it in for you, either way it shouldn't be too much money.

Airbags... eh, salvage yard or leave them out... could always get a cool non-airbag MOMO steering wheel FUH RAZE

Windsheild can be replaced too. Heck if you have comprehensive insurance it'll probably cover it.

I'd say get the hood open (could be fun) and to a damage inspection. From the looks of it, about $500, a weekend and a BFH would get it back on the road. You said you are looking at other cars and I'm sure you'd be spending a lot more then that, along with the joys of getting a new used car and not knowing what problems lurk.

08-26-10, 04:42 AM
sorry about your ride. My cousin was in a wicked accident in a 1997 Bonneville SSEI and he said he smelled like corn-starch afterwards.....from the air bags....what ever corn starch smells like I have no idea :P

08-26-10, 07:39 AM
Hmm... I think I'm with Rick on this one, Matt. Get it open and at least LOOK at what you've got to do.

Sorry to see these pics. That little Cavalier was a strange, yet actually cool car in its own right. I only rode in it twice, but it was decently quick, and rode pretty well (except when you tried to kill me on that speed hump, as previously discussed :p). Good luck man.

08-26-10, 08:16 AM
Ouch. Did your face sting? Never had one go off in my face before.

Your accidents are always.....from behind....

08-26-10, 08:39 AM
Your accidents are always.....from behind....



08-26-10, 10:16 AM
Glad you're still in one piece. Now take a 2x4 and a BFH and beat the dents out of that Cavi. :BFH:

08-26-10, 03:11 PM
Sorry about your loss. I have 1994 cavalier and I have a huge emotional attachment to it too.

It would be super cool if you could fix it.

08-26-10, 03:35 PM
Glad you're OK. It's good to know that the airbags on that old of a GM car still work....I have a '94 and two '95s, and often wonder if they would fire correctly...

08-26-10, 04:22 PM
It may have already been totalled by the insurance comapny and may already be considered a 'parts only' vehicle especially due to its age and the firing of the air bag. I guess it all depends on how you and the other driver handled the claim and your local laws. Down here in FL you would never be able to register a car with that VIN again. That was almost the case with my '90 when I got rear ended. I had to settle for much less than the estimated repair cost so that the car would not be considered totaled. I agree with above that its not a difficult fix but unfortunately 'the man' may not allow it. A damn shame.

08-26-10, 04:23 PM
You can't reregister it with a salvage title?

08-26-10, 04:43 PM
I was told it would have to be repaired 100% and pass a safety inspection. The repairs would have been more than the car is worth so the ins company would (probably) not have given me enough money to repair it well enough to pass that inspection. I know nothing of what is required in that inspection nor whether I would be able to pass it by doing the work myself with salvage parts. I would assume that me fixing it would be an automatic disqualification since I'm not a repair shop. Who knows... thats just my situation. I decided to just play it safe and not get the state involved too much.

08-26-10, 07:05 PM
Oh yeah, I'm betting the insurance totaled it out already. Similar thing happened to the car I learned how to drive in.....'91 Mazda 626. Dad was going to the grocery store, he was stopped at the turn signal, and the light went green and someone ran the red light and hit him on the driver's side front quarter and pushed the fender back to the door and put a huge indent into the driver's side doors. In 2004, this car was only worth maybe $1,000 (192k miles), so even though the damage wasn't structural and the car ran just fine, it was totaled. Kinda sad to see it go.

08-26-10, 11:03 PM
Yikes, Matt! Glad you're OK, but sorry about the car. I can understand your attachment to it. Seeing you with it in FL put me in mind of Mr. Incredible in his car.


08-28-10, 03:19 AM
How many miles are on that Cavalier??? And did it need some work done to it before this happened(like running rough, brakes, tires, trans slipping, etc). If it ran great, wasn't needing any work done, or you just did something major like overhauled the trans or engine, it might be worth fixing.

All of it depends on how solid of a car it was before this happened. I know some people who have a 10+year old car with 150k+ miles on it that runs and drives like new, still looks very respectable. I say fix it if it was a solid car before this happened. The only real big expense would be fixing the airbags, which you don't HAVE to do.

08-28-10, 03:50 AM
Always sad to see a loyal car die before its time, but glad you're OK.