Despite its resurgence, the deception is still too little known for some, in the process of selling their car, not to fall for it.
You are about to sell your car to a successful buyer. But suddenly, disaster. Without the slightest warning sign, during a final test, thick smoke emerges from the exhaust. A glance under the hood and a kind of mayonnaise, made from a mixture of oil and water, formed in the expansion tank. Despite these obvious signs of serious failure, the future buyer nevertheless intends to do business, on condition that the price is sharply lowered. Surprised, taken aback, embarrassed, on the verge of accepting, you are in reality the potential victim of a “head gasket” scam.
The scam is nothing very new. However, it still claims too many victims according to recent testimonies. Because the operating mode remains relatively simple. The buyer comes accompanied and makes sure, under an often credible pretext (document verification, search for a tool, among other examples), to remove, even if only for a short time, the owner of his vehicle. .
His accomplice, proposing to keep an eye on the object of the sale, preferably remained open, only has to inject, using a syringe, a little oil in the expansion tank and / or the radiator and coolant (or more briefly water) in the exhaust.
When the engine is started, the effects mentioned above are almost immediate. Usurpers jump at the chance (no pun intended) to blame one of the most expensive parts to replace on a car’s engine: the cylinder head gasket, that which ensures the seal between the cooling and lubrication circuits and the combustion chamber.
Playing on the guilt of decent people, these impostors propose to “rid” them of this thorn in the side, sometimes with insistence, and to conclude the transaction in cash and at a discounted price. Participating in the realism of the scheme, the vehicle most often leaves on a plateau or is supposedly moved to the nearest repairer.
A little knowledge of mechanics, however, may be enough to thwart the trap. It is very unlikely that such damage will occur suddenly, without the slightest engine overheating beforehand. Even less if the vehicle is maintained regularly.
But some precautions are even more effective. Like never taking your eyes off your vehicle without someone you trust staying nearby. And not to accept more than € 1,000 in cash, maximum legal threshold for a payment between individuals in France.
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