Q. My neighbor backed into my 2005 Volvo wagon driver’s side door and now I need a replacement door. There are 175,000 miles on the car and all the electrical components work in the damaged door. I got a repair estimate for the insurance company which included an extensive list of junk yard doors ranging in price from $300 to $700. The insurance company will pay for the lowest price door. I am concerned the lowest priced door may have come from a “salt water sue’’ or fresh water flood which would damage all the electrical parts inside the door but would not be obvious unless one disassembles the door and may not show up for a few years. The insurance company claims they track the VIN to protect against purchasing damaged parts. Do you have any information on where one might go to get a door that for sure has no internal water damage? I have no problem paying for a good door out of pocket. I’m just trying to save myself from hassles in a few years. Any ideas would be most helpful.
A. It has been my experience that a quality body shop will not want to take a chance with questionable used parts. The professional body shops that I know will carefully inspect any used part before installing it in a customer’s car. This is both for the benefit of the customer and the reputation of the body shop. Now you certainly can’t guarantee the life of electrical parts but if you use a good body shop, it should help minimize future problems.