How to identify a shifter car and why it’s bad
Many motorists, buying cars at the secondary market, risk to get a pile of scrap metal for their “blood money”.
It is proved by impartial statistics: more than 50 % of cars for sale have been in accidents.
Of course, the damages from accidents may be different, and elimination of most of them may be only cosmetic, but if a car has been on a roof, that is rolled over, its further use is usually not safe.
What are the dangers of upside-down cars?
What are the dangers of a car that has performed somersaults over the roof? Such serious accidents damage a lot of body parts, which leads to significant changes in the geometry of the body. It is impossible to repair it in makeshift workshops, that is why the windshield and rear window are installed with bad adherence and may leak or be energized and crack when driving over bumps.
The most dangerous is the fact, that supports may be driven in such a way, that no alignment will help any more, – the car will be driven sideways, and any distraction of the driver from driving may lead to disastrous consequences. But even if a car is not pulled off the road, incorrect position of struts causes uneven wear of tires on the wheels.
Signs of a shifter car
As a rule, cars are carefully prepared for sale, so it is difficult for an inexperienced person to determine whether or not they have been in an accident. But if you are careful, you can identify it by a number of signs:
- First of all, it is necessary to stop at the inspection of the body parts and its paintwork, which should be smooth, mirror-like, with no undercurrents, irregularities and the same color. It is a good idea to arm yourself with a special device (thickness gauge) and measure the evenness of coverage. Next, you should check the gaps in the doors, fenders, trunk and hood – they should be the same along the entire length, and the doors, in turn, should close easily, without catching in the opening.
- The metal canvas roof in factory conditions is stretched rigidly and does not sag, so if after pressing it it sagged, and then with a pop it returned to its place, it is a sure sign that the roof has been repaired.
- When replacing the roof, the welds on the side struts on the outside are patched and painted over well, but under the trim they are usually not treated and can be easily seen.
- In case of low-quality repair, its traces will be visible on parts, and if there are many of them, including the roof, it is an evident proof that the car was overturned.
- The marking of glasses shall correspond to the year of car production, and if the most of them were replaced, it shall be alert, since they are almost all broken in a serious accident. There are scratches on the side windows, it means they are leaning against each other or are clutching the door parts, which were damaged in an accident.
- Windshield and rear window must lie flat in the openings – poor roof repair may cause their warping.
- In the interior trim should be stretched evenly, without creases, wrinkles and gaps, and plastic – without scratches, because in an accident, as a rule, it is damaged by broken glass.
- It is necessary to examine very attentively the places of airbags fastening and try to define from them, whether they have worked or not. It is impossible to check the mechanism itself, and our “dodgers” have learned to cheat on-board computer, installing special “cheaters” in a control unit, and as a result, it shows that airbags are in place.
- Traces of roof repair can be also found under the rubber seals of doorways. At the factory, all body parts are welded together by contact spot welding. When replacing the roof and rear fenders, these points are drilled out and the new parts are welded by semi-automatic welding, then sanded, covered with putty and painted, all of which will be easy to spot.
On the bolts fixing the doors, hood, fenders and trunk also indicates that these parts were removed for restoration or replaced completely.
- The creaking of the plastic in the car interior while driving indicates that it is under stress due to poor quality repair of the body and therefore creaks.
- The car is driven sideways on a level stretch of road, the sides of rubber are corroded – it is a sure sign of body geometry disturbance.
Any of these signs should alert the potential buyer of a used car and possibly deter him from buying it or suggest the necessity of professional diagnostics in a car service.
What to do if you have bought a used car
So what to do if the seller was convincing and managed to persuade to buy his car, and only after some time it was found out that the car had been in a serious accident? The best solution is to try to return the car to him, because of the hidden defects – perhaps he will turn out to be a decent person and will take the car back, returning the money.
Otherwise, only through the court you can declare the sale transaction null and void due to the sale of a knowingly low-quality product. This process is long and nerve-racking for both sides, and not always the decision is made in favor of the victim.
Of course, if the geometry of the car is not broken after it has been on the roof in a snowdrift, the new owner will have to drive it. In case of imbalance of its symmetry, when driving it becomes life-threatening, there is nothing else left but to hand it over to a salvage yard for used parts.
Deciding to buy a used car, every car enthusiast should understand that they can buy a “cat in a poke” if they do not approach this issue very seriously.
How to detect a used car and not to buy a problem car
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The second-hand car market is extremely attractive to drivers first of all with a wide variety of vehicles. However, it is difficult to find a suitable vehicle without any flaws, because in the process of operation the cars have unimaginable adventures.
And if you can somehow come to terms with a dented fender or leaky struts, cars that have been repaired after a rollover can pose a serious threat to the life and health of the driver and passengers.
1. A car that has been flipped over – Characteristics
Vehicles-turned cars are not a rare thing on the secondary market, so it is important to find all the characteristic features of such an exhibit at the inspection stage, and not after the purchase. If the car has survived epic fall into a ditch and turned over two, three, or even five times, its body geometry will be distorted in one hundred percents of cases, and no master will be able to restore it to factory condition.
That is why even if you have a perfect looking car, pay attention to the following details:
Besides, a vibration, which can start after 60 or 80 km/h, will tell about internal problems. Choosing a car, be sure to take a test drive in a place where you can accelerate to a decent speed.
2. What are the dangers of shifter cars
Shifters are a very dangerous phenomenon that threatens not only the owner of such a car, but also the entire surrounding car flow. In a good way, such cars should be sold for parts or scrap. Further we will consider several dangerous factors, which should make you learn to see the shifters from a mile away.
Microcracks in the supporting structure of the body contribute to corrosion penetrating deep into the metal, and if not in a year, then in two or three years rust can eat away at the metal base of the car and turn it into a killing machine.
The impairments in the car’s running gear and steering in particular will affect the car’s handling. The car steers well up to 90 km/h? Fine, but as soon as you accelerate a little faster, the improper wheel camber will start throwing the car sideways. And what is remarkable, no adjustment of camber even in the best service will be able to correct the situation.
By the way, it is one more sign. If the master can’t adjust the wheel camber, most likely, you’ve bought a shifter.
The cars which were upside down will never be repaired in official dealer centers – hence, you will be waited for rough home-made and more often garage repair of dubious quality. When such car will fall apart on spare parts, you can only guess.
The danger is waiting both from a hood, and from windshield and rear window. No one knows exactly how these parts will be attached during assembly, and whether they will be original or fake.
But the consequences after the hood tearing off at full speed can be the most pitiable, as well as when the windows flew out of their seats. An accident, an accident, an expensive repair of not only your car, but also other people’s cars, administrative responsibility – this is what the owner of the shifter can face.
Moreover, counterfeit glasses, installed instead of the original ones, even with a minor impact shatter into small pieces and injure the driver and passengers. Be sure to check the factory marks on the glasses!
3. How not to buy a car that’s upside down
In order to understand that there is something wrong with the car, it is important to examine it carefully, preferably in the presence of a person who knows a lot about cars. The main thing in this case is not to hurry and to examine the car in sequence, starting from the body and finishing with the internal structure of the car.
Nothing should interfere with the car inspection, so make an appointment with the owner for daylight hours. Ask the seller not to rush you and quietly go about the important business. If he regularly interferes with the inspection process, interferes and hurries, citing personal matters – most likely, there is some flaw in the car.
Pay attention to the little things. Chips on headlights, dents on bumpers, traces of unscrewing screws on door hinges, obvious flecks of shimmering paint – all this indicates that the car has been in an accident.
One of the indirect signs of shifters is leaking windshields and rear windows on cars. Most likely, you will not notice the defect in dry weather, but if you lift the window pillar trim, you may well find traces of watery drips, which ideally should not be there.
But there are machines that are not afraid of shifting – these are powerful military trucks, which are not afraid of any obstacles.