Ray Paulsen

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A 35 year addiction I can't shake even after retirement

Whatever car I come in contact with " example " a friend or anybody for that matter pulls up my driveway, we chat, I harmssely without even thinking touch the car, and suddenly say this car has been painted.

The response is usually, how did you know or no it has not,  I now have to prove my point

Run your fingertips around the curved edge of the hood where it meets the windshield, a panel that has been painted will feel rough to the touch like fine sandpaper.




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Did you buy a lemon

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A clean titled vehicle at one time could have been a salvage

A clean vehicle titled history report is not conclusive evidence that a vehicle has never sustained significant damage, a car dealers can "wash" salvage-titled vehicles through states that have lax titling and reinspection requirements

The dealer will repair the salvage-titled car and then export it to a state that allows the dealer to acquire a new, clean title. That vehicle can then be sold as a "clean-titled" vehicle, although it had, at one time, a salvage title.

How to Spot an Accident Repaired Vehicle

In a span of over 35 years I honestly can't figure how many vehicle's I have checked at dealerships or have pre- inspected at dealer auctions before bidding " for sure in the upper thousands.

Today you got the luxury to obtain a history report for a small fee on any vehicle, it's a good investment to narrow down choice, but remember a history report is only as good as to what is reported and should be used as a guideline only

Here are a few major steps you as a buyer can follow in my footsteps to lessen the fear buying an accident vehicle

1,,, Stand back about 15 feet from car looking down sides from front and rear and determine if the car is sitting straight…at same time look for ripples or waves

2,,, Look for color match between panels that may differ slightly from the original

3,,, Check gaps between body panels-are they all evenly spaced ?

4,,, check for paint overspray-door gaskets-trunk and engine

5,,, Doors-look for a close fit-ease of opening and closing

The above mentioned check list is old hat you will find on most websites, let's go one little step beyond

Checking for front impact

 Open hood check bolts that secure fenders and hood - have they ever been tampered with ? - these bolts by most manufactures are body color and should be bonded with paint to the panels - As soon as a wrench is fitted and bolts loosened, the paint bond is broken showing teeth marks on the bolt, a sure sign of red flags

Checking for side impact " example "

Open rear doors - check bolts that secure doors - have these bolts ever been tampered with ?

Checking for rear impact

Trunk...3 area's to be checked...under the mat any signs of body filler or dust...if there is a musty smell then beware there could be possible water leaks, access the side liner to check if left and right inner fender wells match.

A dealer knows selling you a vehicle where an accident has been reported, but can you trust the answer along with being shown a full report ?............. Purchase your own history report.
Note i used the word REPORTED accident...reported accidents are where there is a claim through the insurance company, accidents where owner's don't involve the insurance company wont show on history reports from " carfax or autocheck " and you will have wasted your bucks...the main reason most likely being the owner did not want to involve Ins Co as future rates would outweigh present expence

I have come across many cars with clean reports and finding excessive damage, in such findings should you not be totally satisfied with an answer, but still considering purchase, take car for an independent inspection

An accident reported costing $ 4000. - $ 5000. range with today's costs will be very minor and should not become a major factor in your decision making 

Get a Free Vin Check History Report

The only thing that is truly free is the air we breathe, pretty well everything else " advertised " with the word free has got a catch to plant the hook.

AutoCheck and Carfax are the leaders providing vehicle history reports, it's a service well worth the money, but I dislike the way they both advertise their service. What you get for free is a description - year - model and other factors that you already know.

And here comes the HOOK, whatever vin number you submit there will be a number of issues that you can only access with a paid up membership, this is the information you really want and it's not free, don't let it drive you nuts thinking about what these issues could be, because I guarantee if you submit 100 vin numbers, every one will have issues listed. I have yet to come across a vin number that did not have issues listed, if you find one please post it in my forum so I can re-write this web page.


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