"Waiting for the wife while she does her hair while I'm at our closed shop because I can't get anywhere near my house with the car", post.
This post is only about making sure a car is a "no hit" car vs. a complete insurance total loss.
So, a lot of people have asked if I can go with them to look at cars and frankly, I wish I could sometimes. It's a lot more "fun" for me to look at cars all day (even if they are dreary piles of rubbish like Camrys) than to try and help my wife manage a gaggle of 80 or so Khmer workers.
Well, I'll share what I know about body work on cars as most of the time people are afraid of paying for previously crashed cars at a "no hit" premium price.
So, the two examples are both gold Camrys, but they are two different cars. See?
One is mine (left) and the other (right), well, honestly I have no idea. I just snapped pics of his car when he wasn't looking He doubled parked me so he deserves it considering it's my business he parked in front of.
What is normal? (Body work only, has it been in a crash?)
So, you might wonder what is normal. It's hard to know what you're looking for if you don't know what a previously crashed car looks like compared to a "clean" car.
Here are examples of what normal (uncrashed/untotaled) is (my car).
Looking at the front of the car for reference on the next few pics. Those with a keen eye will know the front bumper cover has been repainted. It's Cambodia, there's no way to avoid scratches and scuffs.
When looking at the roof line, check to see if the metallic flakes match. You'll see that the left "grain" looks roughly the same as the right. That means that the same painter did the entire area, and when you compare this to the rest of the car and realize it's consistent, that means that it's the original paint from the factory.
Same when comparing the front panels to the door. Notice the "reflection" is consistent through out the entire observed surface.
This is okay (chips and scratches are always going to happen, especially here.
What's really important is this. While there is a bit of "missed area" when being resprayed, the bumper cover sits exactly in line with the headlamps. Crashed cars are nearly impossible to get this good. If the headlamps don't align then it's likely the front was in a major accident.
See the bonnet lines are consistent. Ignore the misaligned headlight gasket itself, it's a Chinese unit because the originals were fogged over.
Same for the rear door and rear sheet metal.
Observe the reflection of the Tico and the ripples in the "garage" door. They ripple at the edge of the door (okay because the door is curved original) but all the other reflections remain relatively undistorted. Sign of an uncrashed unworked car.
Upclose you can see a very consistent and clean finish.
See the boot lid and the body are of the same finish as well. See no overspray on the taillamps either.
What are some sure signs a car has been crashed before?
Here's the front end of the dork who double parked me. If you're good, you can already see what panels were replaced due to the wrong color panels. Not matched well.
See the rear bumper doesn't align with consistently with the body. Wreck. Ignore the crack, those can happen on "clean cars". The main this is to observe the panel gap and that the gap is wider from the left than it is to the relative right.
See the front fender and the hood are ever so slightly different hues of gold? Means they've been replaced.
Same with the front fender to the a pillar gap. That means the frame is STILL BENT from it's previous wreck
Looking at the roof line of the crashed Camry, sorry for the unclear picture but you can see on the metal below that the clear coat is very "orange peely" while the metal on the top is fairly clean. That means that the pillar itself needed to be repainted which usually means a big wreck.
Alright, just some pointers for those looking at used cars. Sorry for the scattered details.
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Whether you've got a Tico or a Lexus, a Daelim or a Harley, this is the forum to discuss transport in Cambodia. Where to buy it, how much to pay and what to do when the wheels fall off.
^^Good advice, but not always true of some cars. I had a Ford Crown Victoria that had squeaky saggy doors but it was because they were just heavy doors. I straightened the hinges and realigned the doors to solve the problem and the car never been in a wreck. Had an 88 Corolla (Japan spec) with the same problem, rear doors were squeaky but the car had never been wrecked. Never bothered fixing it though as the car had 700,000 km on it.
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