They would love to total it, while at the same time giving you the least amount of money they can wrangle. That way, they will not get any future calls from you saying something just failed, and you are pretty sure it is a result of the incident. They don't even want to do a repair where the car is shepherded to more than one shop; for example a trip to a mechanical shop for suspension, a trip to a body shop for paint and repairs, and a trip to an upholstery shop for a new carpet. They consider that too much involvement. Often, they have a contract with a salvage yard that gives them a fixed amount of money for any car they total, no matter how bad or good it is. They should offer you the same deal, as it is really nothing to them, and a great deal for you could be in the making. For example, I got my totalled car back for $300.00, and your car is now 9 years old, so the adjuster will not be motivated to expend much effort on the whole claim. If you go this way, make sure the car does not have a salvage title, and remember it will have diminished value due to the totalling, if you ever sell Sit tight and see how that works out, and I would try to grab it back from the dealership and continue experimenting with it.