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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-03, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Spotting a dodgy car

A thread was started in the mech forum on buying a certain car, a post was put up warning the guy to check on the the history of it as it was cheap 17k for ELxr6 ,6o clicks.

What I would like to know is how can you tell if a car is dodgy ie been in a crash/chopped and what signs should you look for.

Has anyone brought one with out reliasing or had any bad experinces , I know nobody likes saying they got ripped or mislead but it could help others like me who arent to good in this field.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-03, 07:20 PM
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well i nearly bought a black 69 mach1 mustang. lucky i didn't. Had a FULL (blue ribbon) RACV inspection and it showed what i think they called spot welding in places (due to a bad accident). The floor pan had been pop riveted back on and billions of other probs, the car looked good on outside but seemed to be 2 cars together. My mum actually bought a car which was 2 cars joined, she didn't realise but the the used to drift side to side. She had a wheel alignment done but didn't change anything, got the dealer mechanic to look at it and yep from behind the drivers door there was "spot" welding again. I guess spend the money and get it looked at, talk to the previous owner (usually listed on the sale sheet) and just do some minor inspections.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-03, 07:28 PM
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dazd,

There are heaps of things that you can check out to see if the car is a dud or not. Heres a few i always look for.

-Under bonnet and in the boot, look for body bolts that have been removed/replaced, look for distorted welds/seams in the body work.

-Look for paint overspray on suspention, radiator etc. as factory painted cars are painted with no mechanical parts fitted, this indicates some sort of body/paint repair.

-Bad/irregular tyre wear is a good indicator that the car was either rapped out or badly maintained or both. Same for any other maintenance item like discoloured oil, dirty coolant etc. Remember though, a lot of dealers change all the fluids in all used cars just for this reason.

-I would avoid vehicles that are very cheap compared to others of that model.

-ALWAYS DO A REVS CHECK!!!!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-03, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
My mum actually bought a car which was 2 cars joined, she didn't realise but the the used to drift side to side.
It's called 'Crabbing'. It's when a car is in a HUGE smash, normally from the rear or sides. When you by a car it's one of the Must Do's of testing. Say you want to take it for a testdrive, and get your mate/wife/dad to follow you from behind. If the car "Crabs" - that is drives in a straight line with the rear tyres a few cm out from the front ones so the car actually looks like it is driving forward on a 5 degree angle - then AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-03, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 8EHiND
It's called 'Crabbing'. It's when a car is in a HUGE smash, normally from the rear or sides. When you by a car it's one of the Must Do's of testing. Say you want to take it for a testdrive, and get your mate/wife/dad to follow you from behind. If the car "Crabs" - that is drives in a straight line with the rear tyres a few cm out from the front ones so the car actually looks like it is driving forward on a 5 degree angle - then AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
ah ok thanks 8EHiND. There used to be a car dealer in Dandenong (Melbourne) that rumour has it used to buy write offs and do a bodg job of fixing them and sell them cheap. So i guess if u see a car cheap be real suspicious of it straight away!

Truly the deepest kiss one can feel, and the one most sought after, is the one you will not survive....
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-03, 08:56 PM
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Hehe, that was me that said that, but I guess I am just weary of things that seem too good to be true. I did heaps of looking around before I bought my car, and though there is bound to be some differentiation between prices, when are car is cheaper than average and has such low km's, I guess it's only natural to think of why that is so?

I guess you can never know exactly what the car is like, how it was driven etc by the previous owner, but if you're lucky and know a few people that work with cars, mechanics etc, get them to help you out. It's what I did and knock on wood, my car's been great.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-03, 10:55 PM
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another thing to look for is missaligned panels, check all the bonnet, door, boot and gaurd gaps, make sure all the doors, bonnent and boot shut smoothly.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-22-03, 01:42 AM
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8EHiND

So thats what they call it eh, hehe. Drove behind a couple of cars that looked like that recently and it looked like the weirdest thing.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-03, 03:06 AM
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I've found the easiest way to spot a really dodgy car is look for the Mitsubishi badge
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-23-03, 06:03 AM
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Paint overspray and panel fit usually show up any major smashes the car has been in. (I know panel fit isn't always the best, but you can look around similar models to see what's common)

Any welds are more likely to be visible underneath.

The EF Ghia I recently looked at had some overspray on the rear window rubbers. There was also a little corrosion beginning to form around the same areas. Coupled with a whining noise in the diff/tailshaft made it undesirable.... probable rear-ender I guess.
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