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10

Two Main things come to mind: Flood - Interior, electronics, and engine should have been refurbished or replaced. Difficult to tell how extensive the flooding was. Lots of thrashed cars after Katrina ended up being sold as good. Crash/Totaled - The body should have undergone extensive repair, and ensure the frame is straight or you'll be paying for it in ...


5

IMHO the key thing to look at is why it is being sold as salvage. I don't know about the US, but over here we have different categories (A-D) depending on how bad the damage is. The lowest category (D) is simply "not badly damaged, but not worth enough for the insurance company to bother fixing", wheras A is "This car must be crushed and no part of it may ...


5

It sounds to me like you're being conned. While I don't know MA law, over here the wiper blades will only fail if they are perished or otherwise damaged so as to not effectively clear the screen - either of which should be obvious to you from a visual inspection or simply running your finger along the blade.


5

The cat back is just that the exhaust pipe including the muffler from the catalytic converter to the end of the tail pipe. Seems odd to me, not impossible just odd that you would need to replace the entire exhaust system from the cat back to pass inspection. I see from your profile that you are from PA and road salt can deteriorate an exhaust in that ...


4

If the codes have been cleared, and likely were after the repairs, the car has to pass a couple of emission inspection test that the ECM (the cars computer) runs once certain conditions are met. This usually takes a few drive cycles to get all the tests to run. The car will not pass the inspection until these tests have run. This keeps someone for clearing ...


4

This appears to be the relevant section of your motor vehicles inspection requirements. Scroll down to point 8 and you'll see "Glazing and Windshield Wiper(s)." The following appear to be the critical requirements: 540 CMR 4.00 4.04 Procedures for Inspection of Non-Commercial Motor Vehicles (continued) [...snip...] (a) Windshield Critical ...


4

I'm currently in the same boat as I'm shopping for a car that I can't find at every street corner either. My approach is that if I'm spending more than a few grand, I'll fly out to look at the car and have it inspected by a specialist who works on these cars on a regular basis. If I happen to have a trusted friend or acquaintance in the area, I might ask ...


3

It really depends on who you're buying it from and who inspected it. Wikipedia sums it up pretty well. The factory basically makes it refurbished but the price is generally higher. The dealer might certify the car themselves which means it's up to them how thorough they are. An independent agency might be used that could be less biased but still set their ...


3

In general I agree with the avoid sentiment. But, I have bought a salvage title car ('94 dodge spirit) and was quite happy with it. It ran reliably for me from 60k miles until 120k miles. In this case there were some special circumstances: The seller was known personally to me before the sale. He was the owner/operator of a local body shop until he got ...


3

I am assuming that you are in NC based on your profile. You can obtain a wavier if you spend at least $200 I will list the rest of the requirements at the end of this post. I am leery that the catalytic converter is bad, the ECM (the cars computer) uses the post cat O2 sensor to determine cat efficiency and if it's bad as they said it could cause the ...


2

To get smogged in California, you generally need to go to an "inspection-only" shop, that is, one that will only test your car but not fix it if it fails. (If it fails, you go to a regular mechanic and fix it, then come back for a free retest.) I believe the system was put in place to counter fraud; I don't really know how well that's working out. In any ...


2

Really depends on the car, but I'd certainly include a good pair of drive-on ramps in the list (so you don't need to put it on a lift) and a strong flashlight or similar light source. Also, I'd take a magnet depending on the age of the car, so you can detect rust or collision "repairs" that are 90% bondo. If we're talking older or more valuable cars, I'd ...


2

Not sure this question is a good fit for motor vehicle maintenance. But, if you want something done right, do it yourself. Fly to the car yourself and inspect it before signing the sale. If you have it shipped all the way to you to learn that it doesn't match the photo, you've spent far more money than if you had flown out to see the car and worst case, ...


1

There are far too many bits of information needed here, and even if we had all the diagnosis information it would still come down to an opinion. Some people have cars that cost more each year than their value, but they keep maintaining them. Others ditch theirs at the first sign of trouble. You must remember though, that the inspection is very important - ...


1

I would assume not. Up here in Canada, our vehicle inspection is pretty lax, but Lambo-doors introduce a pretty big safety issue, and they are not allowed on the road. I have yet to see a kit that deals with the problem of a car that has been flipped. I believe that Lambo's have windshields that can be broken outwards in case of a rollover. Mercedes' ...


1

Even the most a thorough inspection cannot verify that everything will continue to work only that they are working now. That said you could ask the seller to take the car to the nearest dealer and have it inspected. They would charge say 2 hours labor to pull the wheels off check the brakes etc. But how much do you pay the seller for their time to drop off ...


1

The quick lube place isn't thinking quite right. 1500 RPM means different amounts of power with different engines. Most American V8 engines tend to have a lot of low-end torque. On my 2.5L V4 car, cruising speed is ~2,700 RPM. On a former 5.7L V8 pickup, it was 1500 rpm -- enough power to move a loaded truck and 16 foot trailer at highway speed. Parking ...


1

There are two kinds of friction, static and dynamic (kinetic). Static is always higher than dynamic, and I think that's why you can't test the brakes at a sustained higher RPM, as once you passed the static point, it drops a bit. This makes the car easier to move under load. So your assessment is right, and a sustained 1500 RPM will likely get your car ...


1

The system might have a fuse that powers the OBDII stuff, and it might be blown. I have seen this happen on BMWs.


1

It's been a while, but from what I remember there are some strange rules that have to be followed in order to import a car into California. Depending on when it was purchase and/or initially licenced, you may be OK - any car less that 4 years old should be OK to register in CA. If it's older than that, you'll need to get a smog check by a state-licenced ...


1

Go around to some local shops and put their estimates against each other (openly) to drive the price down. There are a lot of "universal" pieces that can be used in exhaust repairs. I had everything (converter to the tail) replaced in my old Corsica (10 years ago maybe) for around $100. Of course this was no high end exhaust, but it was a Corsica. ;) Lasted ...


1

These two links give some diagnostic information on catalytic converters and O2 sensors: Diagnosing 02 sensor Catalytic converter causing performance problems If the 02 sensor is working properly and thus properly condemning the catalytic converter, one option is to have an exhaust shop replace just the converter. The factory exhaust pipe with the ...


1

There's not really anything substantial you can do as a field inspection to look for any major problems other than audible warning signs. It's worth it to take it to your local (trusted) mechanic and spend $100-200 for a full inspection of your car. This may be too late for you, but you should really take any car you want to buy to an independent ...



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