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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATE*
Thanks, all your comments are really helpful for me who never buys a salvage title, it's better to avoid a salvage title vehicle even though it's not that expensive but I want to avoid headache later on and for sure more fixing and driving, the only way to know the damage history (the owner don't say it) is to get the car report, so I search for the cheaper Carfax Alternative report, yes I found the auction details and photos of this vehicle, have a look at the photos and please give me your suggestion

Here is the car report: https://app.detailedvehiclehistory.com/report/vin/3N1CB51D2YL322758 (for more photos)

Hi, Thanks for having me here,
I have been a great Nissan Sentra enthusiast and recently I found an affordable one Nissan Sentra used car in California
I am someone who “looks before they leap” so I am researching this vehicle to ensure it is in good shape before buying.
They are asking for the price of $2,800 and it has 117000 miles with a Salvage Title.
If you guys have any suggestions on what to look at.
thanks
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You can find non salvage title ones for the same or cheaper, but to come across a manual in Cali... not sure how I really would feel mainly due to the salvage title as that is the biggest headache of titling to another state.

Let us know why it's a salvage title first.
 

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I paid 1800 for a top of the line model, ser specv in Cali with a good title. For that price you can get a Sentra SER SpecV with a good title. You just have to haggle, but that is the name of the game. Everyone starts high and meets halfway lower. I wouldn't pay a dollar over 1200 for this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can find non salvage title ones for the same or cheaper, but to come across a manual in Cali... not sure how I really would feel mainly due to the salvage title as that is the biggest headache of titling to another state.

Let us know why it's a salvage title first.
The owner said, "the front end was damage" but he mentioned it's minor damage. I will get carfax report to see how minor is it.
 

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FRONT END:
I suspected possible front end damage, because of the hood being slightly off on alignment. I'm from the east, I've worked on cars as a hobby since the late 1960s. I know nothing about salvage title nor if that really means anything at all. That said I would have a mechanic check how much damage may have occurred under the front end. Examining the engine cradle, as well as the suspension shocks-struts & springs the upper and lower control arms, rack and pinion steering and all other components in that area and also to exclude any damage to the unibody type frame. Which could make getting an alignment perfect...problematic. May have likely bent the original front radiator support, hood and the fenders, the plastic fender wheel well shrouds or skirts that keep water from splashing up into the engine compartment. That's NOT a deal breaker for me, just so that the front "clip" as we called and any other damaged components were replaced properly, with the correct parts.
DRIVE TRAIN:
OK looks like it's a five speed manual ?? if so that 5th gear is great for gas mileage, giving you good city cruising speed with a low rpm on the engine, as well as great MPG. If not still OK.. That 1.8 L, has a chain drive between the crankshaft and the valve camshaft. That's a quality feature, normally found only on V8 engines. It's far superior than the rubber serpentine belt. Which most 4 cylinders today have..The serpentine rubber belt is a cheaper approach. I'm old school, I don't know what the ratio is re Chain & Sprocket Drive Timing vs the cheap Rubber Serpentine belts among the other small imports. BUT I will take the chain and sprocket drive every time. Steel wears longer and far superior than rubber/cord. (like what tires are made of)..
ENGINE: I usually had a compression test run on the engine to see if there are any compression leaks via a head gasket. That head gasket keeps the oil segregated from the coolant re from each other and also from seeping into the combustion chambers where each of the four cylinders are busy igniting the air fuel mixture. Any such leak between the gasket will show either small traces of oil in the radiator coolant or some coolant mixing in the oil pan. Further a sniff test of the exhaust..You usually can get a "wiff" of the exhaust, IF it is burning the ethyl-glycol coolant you can often detect a slight sweet aroma. The exhaust should just smell "clean" these cars especially those sold in CA are very efficient.
If you suspect you smell what is described, a gas analyzer probe placed at the tailpipe will detect that ethyl glycol coolant is being burned.. As it is being sucked accost a small breach in the head gasket from the nearby "engine cooling" water jacket and into the combustion chamber to be burnt. IF so skip it. A new head gasket would cost at least 2K.
THE INTERIOR:
The car looks to have been very very well maintained. That's usually a good indicator that the overall vehicle was properly cared for. You can clean a car up nicely, but you can't undo worn and ripped seat covers..unless you replace it all. Just looking at the images of the interior. The stock seat upholstery is very expensive and hard to find. I just priced it for my 2002. My seats are in similar condition. The secret is, I used quality after market cushions to take all of the repeated stress rather than impart that upon seat cushions as well as the seams in the seats, to the point where they eventually give way.
SO the 2000 appears to have been well kept. Not many people are going to go to all of the trouble and work installing new old stock seat "skins" plus and entire front end clip on an 2000. Only to fail a quick & easy diagnostic check of the engine and other vital components, which should easily reveal repair issues..It's always best to be sure.
OVERVIEW:
The decision to replace the front clip would be sound reasoning, provided any damage was essentially cosmetic with the only structural issue being the hood, fenders and cross member (re above) you might look for any color differences where it is bolted onto the front of the fenders. It shouldn't be that hard to align that hood to get it to lie flat..My 02 Sentra had minor front end damage which was likewise repaired.

SO CALLED "CONVENTIONAL WISDOM"
I do not put much value into the aqua green book, black book, red book etc..I instead consider how many payments will my entire purchase compare vs buying a newer financed vehicle. If my "car payments" amount to three or four then ..it's still a good deal. Provided that I know positively the correct and true picture of the health of the vehicle, and what repairs will need to be done such as new brakes, etc etc.
My 02 Sentra was bought in 07, it now has 235 thousand. It's been the best no problem car I've ever had. I've changed my oil every 10 thousand, I could go as far as 15 thousand. I've added about two ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil to the crankcase. It's a great top cylinder lubricant.
A good mechanic will have good intuition about a vehicle. IMO, not many can fool a professionally qualified mechanic. When I paid a mechanic to check a vehicle, .. he works for me, he wasn't the mechanic that the owner recommended.
The above is just my opinion. I didn't cover everything, so seek the advice of a mechanic that you trust. Good luck..
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
FRONT END:
I suspected possible front end damage, because of the hood being slightly off on alignment. I'm from the east, I've worked on cars as a hobby since the late 1960s. I know nothing about salvage title nor if that really means anything at all. That said I would have a mechanic check how much damage may have occurred under the front end. Examining the engine cradle, as well as the suspension shocks-struts & springs the upper and lower control arms, rack and pinion steering and all other components in that area and also to exclude any damage to the unibody type frame. Which could make getting an alignment perfect...problematic. May have likely bent the original front radiator support, hood and the fenders, the plastic fender wheel well shrouds or skirts that keep water from splashing up into the engine compartment. That's NOT a deal breaker for me, just so that the front "clip" as we called and any other damaged components were replaced properly, with the correct parts.
DRIVE TRAIN:
OK looks like it's a five speed manual ?? if so that 5th gear is great for gas mileage, giving you good city cruising speed with a low rpm on the engine, as well as great MPG. If not still OK.. That 1.8 L, has a chain drive between the crankshaft and the valve camshaft. That's a quality feature, normally found only on V8 engines. It's far superior than the rubber serpentine belt. Which most 4 cylinders today have..The serpentine rubber belt is a cheaper approach. I'm old school, I don't know what the ratio is re Chain & Sprocket Drive Timing vs the cheap Rubber Serpentine belts among the other small imports. BUT I will take the chain and sprocket drive every time. Steel wears longer and far superior than rubber/cord. (like what tires are made of)..
ENGINE: I usually had a compression test run on the engine to see if there are any compression leaks via a head gasket. That head gasket keeps the oil segregated from the coolant re from each other and also from seeping into the combustion chambers where each of the four cylinders are busy igniting the air fuel mixture. Any such leak between the gasket will show either small traces of oil in the radiator coolant or some coolant mixing in the oil pan. Further a sniff test of the exhaust..You usually can get a "wiff" of the exhaust, IF it is burning the ethyl-glycol coolant you can often detect a slight sweet aroma. The exhaust should just smell "clean" these cars especially those sold in CA are very efficient.
If you suspect you smell what is described, a gas analyzer probe placed at the tailpipe will detect that ethyl glycol coolant is being burned.. As it is being sucked accost a small breach in the head gasket from the nearby "engine cooling" water jacket and into the combustion chamber to be burnt. IF so skip it. A new head gasket would cost at least 2K.
THE INTERIOR:
The car looks to have been very very well maintained. That's usually a good indicator that the overall vehicle was properly cared for. You can clean a car up nicely, but you can't undo worn and ripped seat covers..unless you replace it all. Just looking at the images of the interior. The stock seat upholstery is very expensive and hard to find. I just priced it for my 2002. My seats are in similar condition. The secret is, I used quality after market cushions to take all of the repeated stress rather than impart that upon seat cushions as well as the seams in the seats, to the point where they eventually give way.
SO the 2000 appears to have been well kept. Not many people are going to go to all of the trouble and work installing new old stock seat "skins" plus and entire front end clip on an 2000. Only to fail a quick & easy diagnostic check of the engine and other vital components, which should easily reveal repair issues..It's always best to be sure.
OVERVIEW:
The decision to replace the front clip would be sound reasoning, provided any damage was essentially cosmetic with the only structural issue being the hood, fenders and cross member (re above) you might look for any color differences where it is bolted onto the front of the fenders. It shouldn't be that hard to align that hood to get it to lie flat..My 02 Sentra had minor front end damage which was likewise repaired.

SO CALLED "CONVENTIONAL WISDOM"
I do not put much value into the aqua green book, black book, red book etc..I instead consider how many payments will my entire purchase compare vs buying a newer financed vehicle. If my "car payments" amount to three or four then ..it's still a good deal. Provided that I know positively the correct and true picture of the health of the vehicle, and what repairs will need to be done such as new brakes, etc etc.
My 02 Sentra was bought in 07, it now has 235 thousand. It's been the best no problem car I've ever had. I've changed my oil every 10 thousand, I could go as far as 15 thousand. I've added about two ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil to the crankcase. It's a great top cylinder lubricant.
A good mechanic will have good intuition about a vehicle. IMO, not many can fool a professionally qualified mechanic. When I paid a mechanic to check a vehicle, .. he works for me, he wasn't the mechanic that the owner recommended.
The above is just my opinion. I didn't cover everything, so seek the advice of a mechanic that you trust. Good luck..
.
Thank you so much sir! I really appreciate your concerned !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks, all your comments are really helpful for me who never buys a salvage title, it's better to avoid a salvage title vehicle even though it's not that expensive but I want to avoid headache later on and for sure more fixing and driving, the only way to know the damage history (the owner don't say it) is to get the car report, so I run a VIN Check and came across this site I want to share you guys : Detailed Vehicle History Report For any Vehicle - 100% Accurate, yes I found the auction details and photos of this vehicle, have a look at the photos and please give me your suggestion

Here is the car report: https://app.detailedvehiclehistory.com/report/vin/3N1CB51D2YL322758 (for more photos)

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Will have to look at it on something other than my phone but the cost was more than the worth of the vehicle so that's understandable. The door took the brunt of the damage from the looks of it so I would be concerned about the hinge and latch and look for any indication of damage between the A and B pillar.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Will have to look at it on something other than my phone but the cost was more than the worth of the vehicle so that's understandable. The door took the brunt of the damage from the looks of it so I would be concerned about the hinge and latch and look for any indication of damage between the A and B pillar.
Thanks, will do, I'm looking for a clean title vehicle now haha the price differences are not much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Will have to look at it on something other than my phone but the cost was more than the worth of the vehicle so that's understandable. The door took the brunt of the damage from the looks of it so I would be concerned about the hinge and latch and look for any indication of damage between the A and B pillar.
Yes, clean title would be better of course, price are almost the same.
 

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Thank you so much sir! I really appreciate your concerned !
Every vehicle's engine has a finite..... FINITE number (means a LIMITED) number of miles that it will produce before major overhaul is needed. I looked up the miles the average vehicle is driven in CA.
Take the mileage shown on the odometer then divide that by the average for CA, that will give you the number of engine years. That's about how old that vehicle is in years put on it. DO THE MATH !!! I don't give a wit, about a salvage title, everyone keeps parroting. Opinions are like noses, everybody has one.. DEAL WITH FACTS.
I WOULD HAVE the car actually checked out, by a certified factory mechanic. I looked at the images, OK, check the fit, that they close and lock securely... common sense.. re both front doors. I would check the driver side door jam for any damage (pushed in). DO the doors and hood fit as intended. Pour water the doors "closed" of course to see if they seal out rain..etc.. HAVE YOU TEST DRIVEN IT ??????? Does the vehicle rattle ??? That's all I have..
 
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