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an excellent and informative answer by fly20 on 2.8.00

Car shopping: Was this car wrecked and fixed?

I check for this all the time as a car buyer and appraiser. It's best to check a car you're considering buying, when the owner isn't there to watch you. Go to the lot on the weekend, or stop at a gas station and go through this routine while on the test drive.

Check for signs of repainting:

Check to see that the color isn't darker or different from one body panel to the next. Body shops have a hard time matching paint perfectly.

Check the black rubbers and moldings around the windows. These should not have paint on them, since they were installed at the factory after the car was painted. This is a huge telltale place to find paint. Body shops usually put masking tape over them, and paint away. It takes unusual obsession to keep all paint from being totally off the rubbers.

Check for "waves". Stand at a corner of the car, and look down the sides of the car. Move left and right, enough to notice the light reflection off the paint on the doors and fenders. A door or fender that's been repaired will have "waves", a rippling. It's from primers and fillers being in there. A piece of sheetmetal that's never been touched, is stamped metal and paint only. It looks straight, no ripple. A Corvette has "waves" because it's fiberglass, not metal. Body filler and dent repair materials ripple in a similar way to fiberglass, many are actually fiberglass-based compounds. It's a great skill to compare a untouched car to one that you know has been messed with, and learn the difference that can only be seen from that angle of having your face at the corner of the car looking down the side. Hoods and trunks can be wavy also, but tend to be replaces. But even a new coat of paint shows a bit of ripple.

Think you found a repainted spot? Look for dirt in the paint. It's really small, and may look like it's meant to be there. No. Factories have extremely clean paint-and-bake facilities, one speck of dirt isn't that common on a flat surface. A repainted fender often has a few little specks of something that's baked dried into the paint-- tiny as they are. When you're this close, look for SANDING marks also.

Pinstripes not matching-- if one section of pinstripes is different, it was redone. It may be a tape stripe when the rest is hand painted. It may be new tape when the rest is older and more sun faded. Maybe a whole side is without a pinstripe and the other has one.

How does the car handle? It should feel and handle good. No heavy pulling to the left or right. Tire wear can pull a little bit, but it's not heavy unless one tire is really bad.

Does the interior smell like paint, or chemicals? If the car was freshly repaired, the smell hangs on a little while.

Overspray. You shouldn't see any light spray of paint on any glass or chrome.

Noise while driving. If the interior panels seem to rattle a lot, it's a good sign they were taken out and reinstalled. The clips used for that are cheap, often break, and the panels rarely fit as tightly as new. The car should also go over bumps normally, a lot of knocking or rattling underneath is a sign of either worn out parts, or parts that were replaced and don't fit the same as they did before the car was hit.

Frame. Bring an old jacket for this, you have to lay under the car. You need to know where the frame should be, and verify its straight and un-doctored with. The very front and rear of the car are the rails, sometimes they don't bother straightening a bent rail if they can get away with it. It will show how the ca r was hit.

Edges on the paint finish. This is where the masking tape was. Look where the paint meets the end of the panel and meets a molding. You may see where the new paint covers the old paint. Sometimes you can feel these inside the door jams, it costs a lot to repaint the entire door jam. You'll usually catch a n edge with a fingernail. If it's totally smooth, you're ok.

Take time to compare cars. Find a place known to sell fixed up wrecks, or look at someone's recently fixed car. Learn to find waves, edges, ripples, dirt in the paint, and overspray.

Some cars with paint work on them are only because of a scratch or small dent that was repaired. If you can isolate it to just a lower door, or something that hasnt bent up the frame or suspension, it's not a big deal.

If you could give your kids one piece of advice about marriage that they would follow, what would you say?

jaschem1 on 1.21.00
Wait until you are financially secure with a good career established.

GreyEyes on 1.21.00
Wait till you are financially secure or a period of at least ten years (whichever comes first) to have children.

hismel on 1.21.00
If you have the teeniest, tiniest inkling of a doubt, however miniscule, it is your conscience trying ever so hard to tell you not to do it. And, don't let fear of hurting him/her or anyone else stop you from being true to your conscience. That being said, I will remind my children to think back to what it was like when I was unhappily married and to compare that to what it is/has been like when it WAS the right person (now).

artemis on 1.22.00
Don't confuse love with sex.

After the "thrill is gone" there better be something else to your relationship.

mamie on 1.23.00
Neither of my children have asked my advice so far. But if they were to ask, I would tell them to follow their hearts but keep their eyes open. Choose a life partner carefully; choose one who is your good friend first, then a lover. Soulmates can pop up anywhere -- sometimes where you least expect it.

And just a personal note, if I may: My own father once gave me this bit of advice: 'you can marry more money in five minutes than you can earn in a lifetime.' I'm so glad I didn't listen to him!

LLDY on 1.23.00
Learn to tolerate the little things, and the big things will be easier to handle. There are many things in a marriage that you sometimes have to overlook, a lot of times just to keep the peace. You have to live with each other, and no one is perfect, so don't expect it. Take the time to learn about each other's foibles, talk about them if you need to and give in once in a while.

cyndy10 on 1.23.00
Don't sweat the small stuff, compromise and give in whenever you can: CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES CAREFULLY, and once you have choosen, don't give in.

genious on 1.24.00
NEVER let you kids get married, They cost a FORTUNE. $1500 for a wedding cake, are you mad? I bought my first home for less than that, AND I even had enough for a car. How much for flowers, what have you bought, the entire garden center...?

jaschem1 on 1.24.00
Discuss everything over between the two of you and come to one conclusion. Don't let one person always make the decisions. Find someone who shares your core values and beliefs.

Pahel50 on 1.24.00
If in doubt, don't.
Fight fairly -- only the issue at hand.
Never go to bed mad (we've had some really long nights over that one)

LANA9 on 1.25.00
I would tell my sons never to let the sun set on an arguement. Also to only have one credit card and to use it wisely. Many spats in a marriage and so many about credit cards.

taragl on 1.25.00
Marry your best friend. Physical attraction is only one part of marriage and you need to have something to base the relationship on besides sex.

jmkm on 1.26.00
Work out everything to a point that you can at least kiss each other good night. Even if you have to talk more about it in the morning. Nothing you argue about can be worth hurting the one you love.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would you call it?  ...Asked 1.19.00

coney on 1.19.00
i have, i call it "my diary" :)

in real life, i think i would call it "A woman's place" because i feel that the changing place of women in our society has really shaped my life, and that all the issues of a woman's life in my times just happen to have been a part of my own personal story.

hippie on 1.19.00
HA! Probably "Back From Hell in Twelve Hard Steps"

tired on 1.19.00
"An Exercise in Crisis Management"

cyndy10 on 1.19.00
"Conscious Choices"

sexy23 on 1.19.00
Sunsets. Sunrises.

artemis on 1.19.00
... but the Chicken Gave Me Agita*

*Italian for indigestion

mamie on 1.19.00
"A Theory of Chaos, Explained........"

GreyEyes on 1.19.00
I've had one picked out for quite some time - "I'm Not A Crazy Woman - I Just Play One In Real Life"

brigit on 1.19.00
"when does the medication take effect?"

LadyZora on 1.19.00
Zen Cat Falls Into a Hole

Lawboy on 1.19.00
A Cure for Insomnia

genious on 1.19.00
Buggered if I care

Dewey on 1.19.00
I would call it "Never Quite Getting There". I am always, and will remain, an unfinished work.

heyteach on 1.19.00
Hmm, maybe, "She's Not One of Us."

waterlin on 1.20.00
madness has its methods

WhyKnot on 1.20.00
Not Exactly Eden, But What I Wanted.

LANA9 on 1.23.00
"Lost Love" would be the title of my autobiography based on my husband I lost when I was 29.

vicnice on 1.23.00
"Proper Nonsense"

savia on 1.23.00
"Easily Amused" because thats what people say to me most often. "you are so easily amused!" everything amuses me, it would be a fitting title.

taragl on 1.23.00
"No Regrets" because I try very hard not to have any.

Ingrid on 1.25.00
Rainy Day Reminisces

jmkm on 1.26.00
Silencing the Voices Within

obi-wan on 1.26.00
I would probably call it "Insert another quarter for 1 credit"

khr on 1.27.00
Life Is A Gas, and I'm Just Passing Thru.

fly20 on 2.1.00
"Growing legs" Learning to walk as a fish being raised to be a frog.

solana on 2.9.00
Being Alone

sham24 on 2.15.00
I"d call in ?Living With the Shadow". I live each day facing the pain, depression, and isolation of having several chronic illnesses. My autobiography would detail what life is like when you have the "Shadow" of illness ever with you.....every step, every second, of every day.

savbar on 2.17.00
Steak Knives and Tire Swings

Squidd on 2.18.00
There's A Weasal In My Kidney's (and other spastic ramblings)

Poolboy on 2.18.00
I would call it "Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines"

spudman on 2.18.00
I would call my autobiography ME.
If I were to write an auto biography, then I would call it Ford, or Chevy or Daddy's Spark Plug.

SandyH on 2.19.00
I have written my autobiography. It's called, A GIRL LIKE ME`, and it can be purchased at and Barnes and in paperback. Avon is the publisher.
I wrote it quite a few years ago but I think it holds up beautifully.

gwen on 2.20.00
i'd call it "the story of my life"

hismel on 2.21.00
"There's No Escaping the Truth: Will the Real 'Me' Please Stand Up"

Comuser on 2.22.00
My autobiography would be called: Marriage Asylum. Look for it in a couple of years in bookstores near you....

nickfry on 2.23.00
'Thank God that's over."

babyluv4 on 2.28.00
Naked Acid

I'm pressuming you're not stealing theses titles :Þ
Naked... because if I were to write an autobiography it would be all me... and just me with no false pretences and Acid... because the truth can hurt and I would have to write candidly, and believe me I have been through a lot jsut like everyone else on this planet!  :)

LLDY on 2.28.00
"Maybe I Should Get My Own Life!" Instead of worrying about everyone else I should worry about myself for a change!

febe on 3.1.00

bikrwast on 3.8.00
Tattered Pages...New Cover

Phish on 3.16.00
Who Spilled The Bong Water

dmills on 3.19.00
I would steal a line from a song...

Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I've had my share.

sansnom on 3.20.00
Actually, I AM writing my autobiography, the title being "Quarter Moon". I chose this title from an old country song "Easy From Now On" which goes:

"Quarter moon in a ten cent twon,
Time for me to lay my heartaches down."

I write short stories in my spare time which are mostly published in newspapers. I decided to do a sort of compilation of them and add more to make a full book. I grew up in the 50's and 60's in the South in a rather dysfunctional (endearingly so, however) family and had received a lot of e-mail and calls from people asking if I had a book coming out based on my childhood.

However, your past is a lot like Pandora's Box or a really heavy suitcase you keep trying to leave in the Bus Station Locker Rooms of life, so it'sreally hard to not just try to hide too much rather than be hurt by it.

syr on 3.21.00
I am in the process of writing mine. It will be titled Red Snow. The book of course will tell you the meaning.

kc5jvj on 3.21.00
"God Had Mercy!"

Orchid on 3.24.00
The Great Enigma

jaschem1 on 3.26.00
I would call it "My Long Walk to Freedom"

laylin on 4.5.00
Freak Attacks! I am a self-proclaimed freak, and I feel that this title fits me nicely.

kyle9182 on 4.6.00
Probably something benign like "A Man And His Accordion" or "Buy Me! (Why Not?)." But I know for sure at the end of the book, I would have an "About the Author" page.

Kyle the Magnificent™

lounds on 4.7.00
definately "Life, The Hard Way" Because I think that I have learned most of my lessoons the hard way

chic1 on 4.11.00
1 N and 2 L's

People misspell my name all the time and so I decided to name it that (haven't written it yet...not old enough to make it worthwile.)

wizesnax on 4.11.00
Well, since 'Jesus of Nazareth' is already taken...I think I would have to call it 'All the dirty little secrets your mama didn't want you to learn from the girl next door!" Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mrs. Plopper!!!

colldoll on 4.11.00
I might have been scrambled up, but I'm still a good egg

miked9 on 4.12.00
Even the Losers

and then I'd pray that Tom Petty's record company didn't sue.

witty1 on 4.14.00

Jeni on 4.18.00
"From rags to riches with a twist of dementia"

Rdg on 4.18.00
hmmmm how about "the Horney Truck Drivers guide through life"

Odyssey on 4.20.00
Behind the Catcher's Mask

 WSAHM on 4.25.00
"I did it the only way: the hard way!"

Dhali on 4.28.00

- because it is...

Lyra on 4.30.00
Memoirs of a Girl Who Looked in the Most Difficult Direction

LUVROSES on 5.2.00
From Hippie to Yuppie to Yahoo

hinesw2 on 5.4.00
"All Flash, No Substance"

whatevillurks on 6.20.00
I'd call it brian and take good care of it.
oh wait a minute, a book?
oh, i would call it "Why DID that badger explode..."

Long story

vlcortez on 6.25.00
Away to the world.....a drift through life

Jeni on 6.25.00
After some thought, I would have to call it "the Pheonix" A bird that was brought down by the flames only to rise out of the flames even more victorious than before. My childhood was very troubled and at times I felt as though I was being eaten alive by the circumstances I found myself in. However I have grown through the pain and I think I am a better person because of it.

Belzabob on 4.17.00
portrait of a psyco who ought to be shot if she hasn't been already

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