: torque converter issue and fighting an insurance co?



cadillac kevin
01-07-11, 06:59 PM
Well, as some of you know, my car was in an accident in mid december. I finally had to take the car back from the shop because my insurance refuses to determine fault so they dont have to settle the claim.
When I drove my car back home I could only maintain a speed of 20 mph. If I gave it any gas, the engine would rev, but the cars speed would not increase by more than 2-5 mph unless I gave it moderate acceleration, during which time I would get vibrations, and a loud grinding higher pitched noise that seemed to be coming from the vicinity of the transmissions bellhousing. Would this be a symptom of the torque converter being damaged. occasionally if I accelerated, I would get a rattling noise like something was bouncing around in the bellhousing for a couple seconds. also, I had problems with the car lunging occasionally. it wasnt bad enough to throw me into the steering wheel , but it did toss me forward off the seat back. would this be symptomatic of a bad torque converter? I would have it torn down and looked at, but I dont have the money for that.
Also, is there any way I can make the insurance company reinvestigate the claim. I think they dont want to pay out since both myself and the other driver in the crash both had state farm. since they dont want to determine fault I have had to park my car due to it being undrivable. the police report doesnt help since the officer at the scene did not have accident reconstruction or anything, and did not assign fault to either myself or the other driver, and no witnesses stuck around.
is there anything I can do or am I just screwed? I currently have no car and I go back to school in 2 weeks.

outsider
01-07-11, 07:29 PM
you pay for insurance...they should have to cover the accident. otherwise, waht are you paying them for? switch to progressive ;)

cadillac_al
01-07-11, 09:04 PM
You can still take the other driver to small claims court because his insurance company is incompetent. He will have to either reply to the complaint and go to court or hire a lawyer or most likely complain to his insurance company and they should just settle with you rather than provide a lawyer for their client. They are hoping that most people will just take it and move on. When they see that you aren't going away, they will have to deal with you.

It sounds like your trans may have leaked some fluid while it was parked at the shop and you may have cooked it on the way home.

csbuckn
01-07-11, 09:54 PM
How is the fluid level in the tranny? I think you can get one of those lawyers you see on TV that love to eat car insurance companies for breakfast.

sven914
01-07-11, 10:20 PM
Your problem doesn't sound like the converter. If it was damaged and leaking, there wouldn't be enough hydraulic pressure to move the car.

The revving of the engine, with no change in speed, suggests that the transmission might not be up-shifting or is slipping in second gear. I would check the Governor assembly; it sits on the back back of the transmission, near the drive-shaft, and might have been damaged during the collision. Another thing you can do is readjust the Throttle Valve Cable; the force of the impact could have shifted the engine and/or stretched the T.V. cable.

cadillac kevin
01-07-11, 11:36 PM
thanks for the input guys. the trans does upshift because I can hear it. also, it did this when I drove it to the shop immediately after the accident. it behaved exactly like I described above when I went to pull away from the accident scene. unfortunately, I do not have the money to hire a lawyer to take to small claims court and many people have told me that a lawyer would cost as much as just paying to fix the car itself.

sven914
01-08-11, 12:18 AM
^Well next time you're in an accident and have to call your insurer, have them bring you a good lawyer and a better insurance policy, and maybe a ham sandwich with a hot tub.

creeker
01-08-11, 12:34 AM
Another example of an insurance company backing out of a claim, when people started submitting claims to state
farm with the katrina flooding, they claimed the wind did it, and not the water, therefore it was an act of god, seen it one of the expose shows.

creeker
01-08-11, 12:35 AM
^Well next time you're in an accident and have to call your insurer, have them bring you a good lawyer and a better insurance policy, and maybe a ham sandwich with a hot tub.

In this case both of them are insured by state farm, their not going to sue themselves.

brougham
01-08-11, 01:09 AM
Just remember that since no-one ever determined who was at fault the other party has just as much reason to sue as you do. You'd be better off fighting it out with your insurance company.

The problem you're having sounds more like a transmission adjustment issue or lack of fluid like someone else said rather then torque converter. If the accident was bad enough it could have damaged the transmission or engine. You'll have a hard time getting anything out of them for that tho, that's something that would make the difference between repairing the car or writing it off if the rest of the damage wasn't bad enough to do that.

cadillac_al
01-08-11, 06:45 AM
thanks for the input guys. the trans does upshift because I can hear it. also, it did this when I drove it to the shop immediately after the accident. it behaved exactly like I described above when I went to pull away from the accident scene. unfortunately, I do not have the money to hire a lawyer to take to small claims court and many people have told me that a lawyer would cost as much as just paying to fix the car itself.

I know lots of people with very little education that can file a claim in small claims court. In Maine the courts have a little "kit" to do it with instructions. I think it's only a one page form. I think it's much easier to file one than to respond to one. Only the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Time is money and if you are in a well paying job then your time may be more valuable earning that money rather than trying to get a car fixed.

I was near an auto accident once and the person that got in the accident blamed me because he was watching my car when he drove off the road. My car was not involved in an accident whatsoever but my insurance paid the guy $10k because they didn't want to bother fighting it. Insurance companies are hard to figure out but I think they take the path of least resistance. That's why I feel they would pay off a claim rather than get dragged into small claims court. The guy that drove off the road wasn't going away so $10k made him go away.

cadillac kevin
01-08-11, 01:16 PM
I warmed the car up and checked the fluids today. I am about a quart low on trans fluid from where it was before the accident. (I was up to the F on FULL, now I'm down in the low hatchmarks) and there is no coolant in the resevoir. I am going to start looking for a 350 rocket and a 3 speed auto to replace the 307- 4 speed. I had planned on putting an engine swap off since the drivetrain used to work fine for an old car, but now its just a mess. I left the car in park and idled up the engine, and it still makes the noise from the bellhousing, so I'm not sure whats up with that.
as for the body damage to the car, its probably several hundred dollars, but its not really that bad appearance wise. the wheel well trim got ripped off the fender, the fender got dented twice, and the bumper got messed up and shoved directly over.
http://i987.photobucket.com/albums/ae356/jetthreatkevin/cadillac/PC271073.jpg
http://i987.photobucket.com/albums/ae356/jetthreatkevin/cadillac/PC271074.jpg
http://i987.photobucket.com/albums/ae356/jetthreatkevin/cadillac/PC271075.jpg

Robin Banx
01-17-11, 09:31 PM
I would say that the damage shown in the photos is not consistent with the mechanical issues you are describing. The cost to repair the damage shown on the right front corner shouldn't cost an insurance company more than $1,500.00 to repair. There appears to be about an hour or 1 1/2 hours repair time, a fender filler and a used wheel well moulding to be found, add in some paint time and you are done. The rubber filler between the headlights and the bumper may be harder to find but they are out there. You could fix the damage yourself somewhat less expensively than that if you are good at metalwork.
Without knowing all the details, I can't comment on the liability assessment, but if there is a chance that it might go against you, I'd suggest that you drop it and get on with a sensible repair plan if you want to keep the car.

Cheers......& good luck. R.

cadillac kevin
01-17-11, 11:00 PM
after consulting quite a few knowledgeable people, I figured it wasnt worth my money to go after the other driver, since I would pay just as much to fight as to fix the car, so I decided the easy thing to do would be to just fix the car.
so out with the craptastic 140 hp 307 that knocked under heavy acceleration and got 10 mpg and the fried 200r4 trans, in with a 350 4 bolt main chevy and 700r4 trans. It would cost just a few hundred more to do a drivetrain swap as to replace the fried trans, so I figure double my power and get better mileage (I was getting 10 mpg before the accident.)
as for the body work, I've got a set of bumper fillers, and will go to the junkyard in the spring for a new wheel well trim and bumper guard, and try to clean up the bumper or replace the side piece

Robin Banx
01-18-11, 08:22 PM
^Good plan. I approve.........from the little I could see of the car, it appears to be worth saving.

Cheers..........R.