Rescued cars: what dangers they can hide

Buying salvaged cars may seem like a good deal, but… If you’ve already searched for used vehicles on the Standvirtual website, you must have noticed that sometimes you find your dream car at a meager price. He can’t resist looking at the photos of the vehicle and immediately realizes that it is, after all, a crashed example, which explains that miraculous acquisition value in such a recent model and with so few kilometers.

Salvaged cars can sometimes seem like a great deal, but it’s always good to reflect. You may be tempted to think that you can repair the vehicle at your or a friend’s workshop and still make a hefty profit. Well, that’s always possible. But it is worth asking yourself why the owner of the car did not prefer to repair it and why whoever is selling it did not do the same.

The answer can be very simple: they didn’t do it because the cost of the repair is too high, although sometimes it seems like it’s just a matter of replacing a bumper, headlight, or fender. The best thing is to have an exact notion, a rigorous budget prepared by a professional, about the repair costs. After all, how many times do we hear about people who think they gave a little “touch” and were stunned when they learned the high cost of repairs?

But it is also not mandatory to buy a salvage to rebuilt title it. The buyer may only be interested in obtaining parts, either to sell or to use on a vehicle they own. When this happens, it is undoubtedly a lesser evil. When someone buys a salvaged car to repair and put it back on the road, there will always be the temptation to profit from the deal and carry out the repair as cheaply as possible, with all the dangers that this option represents. 

Rescued cars: the danger of repair

For some reason, used car buyers avoid units that have already suffered accidents as much as possible. After all, everyone knows someone who had an accident with a car and, even having repaired it in an accredited workshop, felt that the vehicle was never the same again. And, just in case, he ended up selling it.

When salvage is not properly repaired, it represents a potential contributor to the high accident rate that Portugal suffers. This moral issue is decisive and should always be present in the minds of anyone who buys a salvage to repair and return to the roads.

The ideal is always to carry out a repair in accordance with the manufacturer’s prescriptions and use original material. On the other hand, a repair that affects the structure of the vehicle must comply with measurements on a test bench or use laser or ultrasound to confirm that all dimensions are in accordance with those of the manufacturer. Basically, to avoid, for example, that there are differences between axles or to prevent what we sometimes see on the roads, when we see a car that, seen from the rear, appears to be “twisted.”

As can be expected, a poorly performed repair may have implications for the active safety of a car, which could lead, for example, to a skidding followed by a collision only due to an emergency maneuver carried out by the driver.

The bad idea of ​​”grafts.”

But the problems don’t stop there. Pay attention to the internal “frame” that the driver’s door touches when it is closed. On some modern cars, this part is just one. However, there may be a temptation, in a side collision, to section and replace only the area where the collision took place, as is so often the case with the stringer.

Tests carried out by builders indicate that this type of “grafting,” rather than placing the entire part, can be the difference between opening or not opening the driver’s door after a frontal collision or between there being a greater or lesser intrusion into the living space. Passenger compartment in the event of a side impact. That is, differences that can even be presented as minimal by those who notice, but that can mark the border between life and death.

Now imagine a warped part. The so-called “plate beater,” in the slang of the workshops, will heat the piece and hammer it to be able to straighten it, giving it a format close to the original. Due to the intervention of this professional, this area will gain more rigidity, which, apparently, is a good thing. But it is not because this piece will see its energy absorption capacity reduced in the event of a collision. And the harm doesn’t stop there: the heat leads to the loss of the anti-corrosion treatment originally applied, and it is more likely that the section that was straightened will rust within a short time.

We already know that the price of salvage is often tempting for those who know how to repair it and still make a profit. But please think about your safety and that of other motorists before opting for such a deal.

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