I have thought a lot about this over recent years. My father used to have a
body shop along with his garage, and in the era when I worked there roughly 40
years ago he would occasional buy a "totalled" late model car, rebuild it, and
sell it. I always thought that there was no structural or safety problem with
these cars, even if they put on a clipped rear or something like that. They
welded them back together, most of these vehicles had separate frames too.
Okay, nowadays a lot of cars have designs using sophisticated analysis to
dictate that part of the vehicle will crush in a controlled manner during a
crash and part of it will not. If you start sawing through windshield pillars
and splicing back in roofs or whatever, who knows how much affect you will have
on the crash worthiness of the vehicle. Also if a vehicle has been crashed and
part of this structure was crumpled a little, then pulled back out to
reasonable approximation of the original shape, it will not have the same crash
behavior if it is crashed again. I say that as a licensed structural engineer
and my knowledge of how things behave under stress.
Now if you dent a fender, crush a grille, wrinkle a hood, and all of those
pieces are replaced, then structurally I agree that the vehicle should be as
good as new assuming appropriate parts and workmanship were used in the
replacement. I'm not sure that anybody in the business of crash repair these
days can replicate the durability of a factory paint job and that would concern
me if I was buying anything more than a bargain vehicle. I realize that
factory paint jobs from some recent eras were really bad and would rapidly
deteriorate on their own but I think today's factory paint jobs are pretty good.
> And a reputable builder will put a car back to better than new
> condition. It only takes very minor damage for a newer car to be
> considered a total.
> > Carfax is not always thorough. If you pay cash for repairs then
> > Carfax never knows about the damage/repair.
> > A clean Carfax report is a good thing, but it doesn't mean the car
> > hasn't been wrecked.
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