Watch This Body Shop Erase a Totaled Nissan Altima Before Your Eyes
Like nothing ever happened.
When my manual-transmission 1995 Lexus SC300 was totaled a decade ago this month, I was devastated. But my despair may have been all for naught, as this video from Mechanic Jack shows almost anything is possible with enough time and effort. Severe frame damage be damned, the Chinese shop is able to bring a smashed up Nissan Teana back to life in dramatic but questionable fashion.
The Teana—sold here as an Altima—had been involved in a pretty major rear-end collision that destroyed nearly everything behind the passenger compartment. The shop sets to work cutting, yanking and replacing several parts of the car, leading us to wonder if it wouldn’t have been easier just to sell the car for scrap and move on. The axle was replaced, along with all of the rear glass, trunk compartment, and bumper, but before all of that, the crew had to weld in new frame pieces where the old parts were mangled.
Peep the bizarro Radiohead cover playing in the background.
The process is pretty fascinating to watch, but it’s important to remember that there’s no indication of how roadworthy the Nissan actually is after the repair. The car clearly required several rounds of cutting and pulling to reshape its crumpled frame, a repair job that would likely lead to an insurance write-off here in the U.S. Beyond that, the bent frame could lead to alignment issues or unevenly worn tires.
As several commenters on the video point out, there’s no telling how well the repaired unibody will stand up to the stresses of daily driving, let alone another accident. Even with everything replaced behind the passenger compartment, the Teana’s underlying structure has already done its job in life by soaking up a major collision, so it’s hard to imagine that the repaired section would stand up to a similar crash.
The amount of work put in is impressive nonetheless, and we can't imagine how much it'd cost to have these repairs done. It's all so comprehensive and, unless used Nissans are worth a lot more in China than in the U.S., it's hard to believe it'd be worth the bill.
Correction on June 8, 2020 at 6:11 p.m. ET: This article previously included a video of a Nissan Sylphy—known as a Sentra in the U.S.—being repaired. The correct clip of the Teana has since been embedded.
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