You Can’t Judge A Car By Its Cover, A True Story.

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You Can’t Judge A Car By Its Cover, A True Story.

We were recently called out to inspect a 2013 Nissan Altima Coupe.  It had 19” wheels with low profile tires, tinted windows, and more; at first sight it was a sporty, shiny, great looking car!  Well…

Every On-Site Inspection comes with a CARFAX report which was the first thing we ran.  It had been in an accident and was totaled, meaning it has a salvage title.  No big deal though, we inspect salvage titled vehicles often that are in great shape.  Just because a car has been wrecked does not necessarily mean it’s a bad car.  As long as trained eyes inspect it and verify that repairs were completed properly, it’s not a bad way to get a good deal.  Then…

Our checklist consists of 106 points.  Items 1-17 are all about the exterior; sure there were some things that stood out, like the way the hood, fenders, and doors were misaligned, and the damaged grill.  These are all cosmetics.  Onto the interior, checklist items 18-42; the further down the list we went the scarier the situation got!  Item #22 “inspect center console and glove box”, the center console wasn’t even bolted in!  Item #24 “check the operation of all seat belts”, both front belts were deployed and didn’t work.  Item #25 “examine airbags for obvious deployment or replacement”, the airbags had deployed and it was “repaired” by going to a craft store (YIKES).  Someone had purchased vinyl fabric, glued it over the steering wheel and hot glued the emblem on, then hot glued the passenger side dash together where the airbag had exploded and covered the whole thing up with a nice looking dash mat.

Unfortunately, the list of unsafe and improperly repaired items goes on.  Even more unfortunate, the customer had purchased the vehicle before having us out to do a used car inspection on it.  One of the most bewildering things we found was a 2×4 piece of wood attached to the frame up under a fender.  It’s too frequent that someone falls in love with a car and forgets to do their homework.

Buying a used car is often the second most expensive purchase in a person’s life, and a used car inspection is less than 1% of the cost of most used vehicles.  Using your hard earned money on a bad car is an expensive lesson you don’t want to learn.

Choose safety over instant gratification, choose skepticism over an all trusting veil, and choose On-Site Inspections!