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13

I'd be asking if the car was put on a chassis rig when it was repaired. If it's even had just one day on a rig, it was clearly enough of an impact that made the assessor/repairer think it might be a write-off. If it wasn't put on a chassis rig, the next thing to look at are signs of welding along the forward chassis, particularly radiator support and crash ...


12

The story is indeed plausible, and a quick google search indicates instrument clusters failures are not uncommon for that vehicle. As with any used car, I would have your mechanic inspect the car, though since it is a relatively small difference between claimed and displayed mileage, there really isn't a good way to disprove the sellers story. If the ...


11

The problem is, you have to take the seller at his word, and that's just not the way business transactions work. He has an obvious incentive to sell the car with a lower mileage, and regardless of what a good guy he is, can't be trusted. If you really like the car, and can't find something comparable from another seller, you might continue to press your ...


11

There are several products that claim to install a new car smell. Meguiar's G4216 New Car Scent Protectant is one of many that are available. Smell is a very subjective so reviews vary on these products. Automotive detailers use products not available on the retail market; one of these is likely what you smelled in your used car. Here is an article on the ...


11

Yes, it is customary for the inspecting agent to hold the results from the seller. It is a matter of the buyer of a service retaining exclusive rights to the purchased product. This comes up fairly often at our shop. We only give the seller the results of inspection if we have written permission from the buyer. Only a few buyers are willing to share. I am ...


9

You said "the dealer tells me that the car was likely rebuilt." The dealer should know for a fact that the car was rebuilt and issued a salvaged title, if not, walk away. On top of that, if the seller is slow, hesitant, or unwilling to comply with any of your requests for information about, or access to the vehicle, walk away. The most common damage in deer ...


8

The rules depend on the state, but if you're telling the state you paid less than you did, that's Tax Fraud. In Texas, they don't even let you do this, however. The state maintains what is basically a "Blue Book" database of car prices, and you have to pay tax on whatever they value the car at for a minimum. I'm sure other states have done similar. ...


7

I'll make this a wiki answer so others can add to it... The first and most obvious thing is the old saying "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is". Look at the condition of the interior, particularly the driver's seat and steering wheel. Does the pattern of wear match what you'd expect for the stated mileage? Paperwork - do they have anything ...


7

In the UK, you can use the registration number of a vehicle along with the manufacturer and obtain a complete MOT history which includes mileage readings. If you have something similar where you are, try doing this. You would be looking for consistent mileage increases which approach but do not exceed 80k miles. Then you would observe a jump. Possibly ...


6

The mileage of the car doesn't matter as people can get the mileage reversed. Which make the buyer dumb infront of them. I sugget you Look for the obvious signs like the head-gasket's condition, any oil leaks, try looking at the under-frame,signs of rust,check the relay box.(reason, because the relays are long lasting in most cases,and if they're replaced ...


6

I can't disagree with mikes's answer, but I'd like to suggest an even stronger view: assuming that this is a car you'd like to keep for a while, treat it as if no service has ever been done. The age and mileage will then dictate what you need to check out. Find a list of regular car maintenance items (in your repair manual if you have one, or online), and go ...


6

You could speak to a bodyshop, get the price for a repair and attempt to haggle that off the price. However, you could approach it a different way. If the damage has been done to the vehicle, it says something about the previous owner. If the repair has been poorly executed it says something else about the previous owner. My angle would be "Look, I have ...


5

The first thing I recommend is to not get a state required inspection sticker (if needed) from the seller. Many dealers will include it in the price or have a station that they use. You want an independent check of the emission status and safety. I always do an oil and filter change. Even if the oil looks clean, you have no idea if it is the right type, ...


5

Pull off the air cleaner ductwork and look at the throttle body plate. If it has a black carbon buildup on it, you can be sure it's been driven much more than 5000km. For more scientific results, try sending an oil sample to a company like Blackstone Labs. They'll look at the wear characteristics and amounts of trace materials in the oil, and can often tell ...


5

While it is not unusual for the shop not to show you, they buyer should be willing to give you a copy. Not to sound sleazy, but seeing as this buyer has already spent money on an inspection, you have them on the hook. I would see no problem with you refusing to negotiate price until he has disclosed the shops findings. There has to be a certain amount of ...


5

A compression test will only give you a general idea of engine health It WILL NOT help you to understand if there is gunk buildup in the engine It WILL NOT tell you if you have a specific issue with your valves or rings It WILL give you an idea of whether you have good compression or not. A compression tester will give you an idea of whether you cylinder ...


5

This is something like buying a large farm at a great price with just one glitch: the owner tells you there may be a couple landmines hidden on the property somewhere. With this amount of lack of service, the vehicle risks having some serious engine wear that will show sooner or later. If servicing included oil changes, you'll have a fairly large risk of ...


5

Yes, I'd suggest it's a Porsche Boxster, circa ~2000 MY ... Here's an image of one:


4

Typically, a car that has been in an accident should be less expensive, that's always a plus if you're on a budget. Your question might be a little too broad though, there's obviously a whole range of damage that could be caused by different accidents, and each situation is unique. An accident may have just broken some lights, or there could be hidden damage ...


4

Yes you can make out the changes and confirm whether the odometer was rolled back by the following procedures: Check the Gearshift Lever for wear and tear, if the inscribing is smooth and shiny, avoid it. Check the pedals (gas, clutch brake) for excessive use Driver side door sill should not be worn out Check the oil filler cap for debris and oil gumming.


4

A newer high-milage car will usually have done a lot of highway miles (unless it was a taxi/minicab, but the TL doesn't look like that sort of car...). This means it will have been driven at a constant cruise for long periods of time. It will probably have been a company car, driven by a sales rep or similar. On the other hand, an 'average' mileage car (in ...


4

I don't know about Volvos, but speaking as a former Saab Automobile engineer I'd say there's a good chance the correct odometer reading is stored elsewhere in the car (in another ECU). A Volvo technician should be able to figure it out. Also, it's VERY hard to "fix" the odometer. Close to impossible, in fact. You'd most likely have to buy a new one (which is ...


4

This page from 'Honest John' shows the MOT pass rates (UK roadworthyness test) for various cars, broken down by make and model, and then by category (i.e. what failed), although they seem to be a couple of years old - 2013 being the most recent results. That's taken from the government database, so is likely to be the most comprehensive, at least from a UK ...


4

Exhausts inside the car is not healthy at all. As someone said, perhaps another mechanic should be considered. As to the problem, it sounds like the exhaust pipe is leaking before the catalytic converter. The engine light would likely light up because of this, since the Lambda (Oxygen) sensor in the converter would be receiving less exhausts (and more ...


4

It entirely depends on your jurisdiction, and possibly on the vehicle itself. In my county in Texas, they recently changed the law to put a stop to just the kind of thing you're talking about. Instead of charging sales tax or registration as a percentage of the price (which someone might report as being $100, even though they paid $10,000), they charge based ...


4

Uneven bonnet gaps These are a dead giveaway of a bad repair job - also, check if the gap is too large or small for the car - try and get a photo from a similar angle to one existing to check. Also check door gaps, boot gaps, panel gaps for any misalignment. Check underneath Try and get under the car if you can - if you're mechanically minded you should ...


4

There are a large number of factors that contribute to fuel economy. As others have mentioned, driver style, driving condition (hwy/city), and vehicle condition/weight (roof rack, towing, loaded full of kids/gear) will all have an effect on fuel economy. However, to answer your question, we will assume an unloaded car with a mixed duty cycle and a ...


4

It is good to check first if the coolant in the radiator has oil droplets inside, and if the oil (most of the times using the dipstick) has water inside. Then with a compression test you will be able to tell if the piston rigs are still ok, if the valves are sealing the chamber properly. However in order to understand how good or bad the motor is, you will ...


3

In every jurisdiction that I know of, the answer is yes. It is a legal requirement of the vehicle recall system. If you give a dealer the VIN, they will be able to check if the vehicle ever had the recall work done. If it hadn't, then the whole point of recalls is that the work is free to the owner.


3

In many states upon transfer the title is supposed to record the fact that the odometer doesn't show actual mileage. You can expect this will adversely impact the value of the car in the future, regardless of how believable you find the seller's explanation. Essentially, whatever he saved with a used instrument cluster is now offset by the impairment that ...


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