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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Every Car Has A Tough Life

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Do we look under the car we want to buy?

Really, who can be bothered looking under a car to see what the bottom side looks like! It should be ok, shouldn’t it? I know for sure that when I was buying cars for myself over the years I certainly couldn’t be bothered crawling under the car and checking what’s up under there.

Today we are not talking about your total car but simply looking under it and facing the reality check of what really goes on under there.

Time to replace the old car with a new one
Time to replace the old car with a new one

Maybe we should start

Cars are the one item we own that gets the most abuse. They are driven over harsh surfaces at speed every day incurring challenges like rocks, stones, litter, rain, dirt, curbs, teenagers, steep car parks, animals, and more teenagers. Your car gets a hard life don’t you think? So it’s time to sell it as the bottom of this car has seen more in a short life than we have and it’s been done at speed.

No, it’s not time to sell it! Your car is designed to take a mountain of abuse. Rental cars for example are tough as they receive more abuse than anything and look at them tough as nails. Now you know what happens to a rental car when it gets old, don’t you? The rental car companies call their favorite car dealers who are invited to come along and tender for these lovely near new and only slightly abused ex rentals.

If we have a lucky dealer he takes the cars back to the dealership and spruces them up, throws a sales ticket in the window and you come along and buy it! Simple isn’t it! You looked all the way around the car and gave it a small drive etc, but did you look underneath? More than likely not. Why bother right! I sure as heck wouldn’t.

Do auction agents look?

As an auction agent we are often tasked with going to auction and performing checks on cars that the average buyer would not do themselves as its our job to do and thats why we are paid. We are nearly always asked to look under the car “for what, a hot coffee or something” there is so little to see so why bother, right?

The underneath of any car can tell many stories from old oil leaks, replaced axels from hitting things (like other cars) clamp marks (from hitting hard solid objects) dents, scratches, rust, fresh leaks, broken parts, rubbers bushes, and, and, and, you get the picture. So yes any decent auction agent will poke their head under a car for a sneak preview of the client’s car.

Undercarriage Pictures from USS
Undercarriage Pictures from USS

New Undercarriage Images From USS

I for one am tired of crawling under stationary cars in the rain and snow to look at cars these days and luckily for me, USS Japan has a new system. They take a fully roaming eye picture of the underpart of each vehicle for us now. This is such a blessing for us as agents and for you as a buyer. We both get to see years of history in a single picture. The picture above is from a 1993 Toyota Landcruiser with 175,000 Klm auction grade 3.5 C. The auction report said that this car had rust underneath it. On any normal day, my client would request that I check this. Look for yourself, can you see rust?

One thing that is exceptionally evident in this image is that the entire bottom has been painted and that the vehicle has had a somewhat tough life. It’s a 4×4 so everything is exposed to nature and what nature car throws at it. It should look worn. Well, guess what so does your car!

The moral of the story is that we need to look after the under area of our car sometimes. Get it looked at for broken items that we can see or hear rattling that may be dangerous if left unchecked. Or buy a new car from us here in Japan.

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