Q: Thank you Tim. Appreciate SO much. We agree but needed a professionals confirmation.

asked by on December 03, 2017

Tim answered the first part of this question about buying a new car where the damage was not disclosed. He recommended that we take any used car for a pre-inspection before buying - and we will do that! Thank you. But my question was also - should we still pursue this car (which is exactly what we are looking for our daughter and we only have a couple weeks to look and it is the holidays) or is a repaired suspension bar (which obviously hit a pole hole of went in a ditch or something) something that will not be repaired "good as new". The Honda mechanic said he didn't do the repair but that it had been done well and correctly. We imagine that ALL used cars have unknown risk (when not certified) and we just happened to find this... and might not on another car. Thank you for your advice based on experience. (Again, this is a 2014 Honda CR-V EX -L, 37,000 miles.) Kind regards, Corine

My car has 37000 miles.

Hi Corine: I will help you further with your follow-up concerns (these questions are assigned randomly; that is the only reason Tim is not getting back to you directly). Basically, if you are shopping for a vehicle the "general" rule is vehicles that have been involved in crashes, and then "repaired", are not wise purchases, unless perhaps you receive a meaningful discount in price to compensate you for the risk in such a purchase. As far as your very specific question on this particular repair (involving substantial repair to the suspension), the problem is a visual examination of the repair is quite literally useless. Once a vehicle has been in a crash, the unibody MUST be measured with a tram in order to determine if the unibody and frame of the vehicle were damaged in the crash. If that measurement has not been carefully performed, all the mechanic is doing is guessing as to the actual, present condition of the vehicle. Nobody (including that Honda mechanic) can tell you anything intelligent, useful, or reliable about the condition of a crash damaged vehicle without measuring the frame and that’s why these dimensions are all laid out in detail in the Factory Service Manual. In addition, you have the circumstance that if the vehicle was used so carelessly that it required those repairs, what other concealed damage exists? Your options are: 1) Buy the car with the understanding that there could be concealed damage, that is fully assume the risk; 2) Buy the car discounted to cover the risk where a discount of roughly $1,000 is probably in the ballpark; 3) Have the dealer assume the cost and burden of having the frame properly measured at a body shop to determine whether or not the unibody was damaged; 4) Look at other cars. Please be aware that there is substantial overcapacity insofar as car production. There are many more cars available than there are buyers although conditions vary from locale to locale. So, a bottom line may be, if you are not totally risk averse, offer $500 to $1,000 less and if they are not interested you lose absolutely nothing simply because these cars are frankly a dime a dozen and you will find another one. One final piece of advice: the car you are looking at is relatively new. In fact, the price savings buying such a "newer" car might not be that great compared to a well negotiated deal on a brand new CR-V. You have to make sure the savings of buying used are large and meaningful, otherwise given these particulars (the fact that you are looking at a collision damaged vehicle), you may be better of paying somewhat more and just getting a brand new car if you can get a good deal. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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