5 Signs that a Car has been in an Accident

In this article, we will talk about how not to buy a car after an accident. The director of the company for selecting used cars told us what signs the experts determined that the car was in an accident.

Sign 1. Dirty car

If the owner provided a dirty car and refuses to wash it for a detailed inspection, there may be chips, cracks, and scratches hiding under the layer of dirt. Try to offer to wash the car at your expense. After all, you are also interested in buying it. But if they tell you: “Look as you are”, then you should turn around and look for another option.

Sign 2. Damage to the power components

Start your bodywork inspection by checking the power members. If the power frame is damaged and the roof has been changed, you must refuse to buy it at once. The car may have been involved in a serious accident. If it gets into an accident again, the body of the car will break at the weld.

Also, assess the condition of the side members under the hood. If they are clean and new, it means they have recently been repaired.

To check the roof struts, you need to remove the seals and inspect the spot welds. If you see an area where there are no welding spots or there is a regular welding seam, then there may have been a major body repair. You should not buy such a car either.

Sign 3. Damage to body attachments

Open the hood. Look at the front fender mounting bolts. They should be painted and the paint should not show any marks from unscrewing them with a wrench. If there are traces, it means the fenders were removed for repairs.

After that, check the bolts on the door hinges. There should not be any damage on them either. If everything is good, then move on to the hood and trunk hinge mounting bolts. If they are torn off, it means the part has been removed. It may have been painted.

Pay attention to the gas tank hatch fastener – was it removed. If yes, then most likely it was given to a colorist for paint matching.

Then check the joints. Look at the connection between the driver’s door and the left fender. The distance between the parts at the bottom and top should be the same. You can run your finger along the joint from top to bottom and determine if the width has changed. If the change is palpable, the part has probably been deformed by the impact.

Inspect all other joints in the same way. Pay particular attention to the hood and trunk lid. The gaps on the left and right of them must be the same. The same goes for the headlights: the gaps on the left and right headlights must be the same.

Sign 4. Color mismatch of body parts

Take a good look at the two adjacent planes. Do they have the same tone and texture of paint? If there is a faint ripple, differences in shade, or “orange peel”, the car has been painted.

Lifehack! Gravel chips can help you find a painted part. Examine the front fenders and bumper, sills, and the bottom of the doors for chips. The degree of wear should be about the same on two adjacent parts. If there are chips on the hood, but the bumper looks new, it means it was painted. If it’s for cars older than 10 years, there’s nothing critical – the part was just freshened up. But when we are talking about a car from the fresh years, then the painted part is a great subject for bargaining with the seller. Chances are the car was in an accident somewhere and had to be repainted, perhaps the wrong way car accident lawyer was contacted.

If the driver has painted the whole car or wrapped it in film, we recommend refusing to buy it. All this is probably done to hide the defects.

Sign 5. Different markings on the windows and headlights

During the inspection, be sure to look at the markings on the windows – the year of production. It must be the same on all the windows and must coincide with the date of production of the car. If the dates do not coincide, it means the glass has been replaced. The reason is the thieves broke in or the owner forgot his keys in the car. Perhaps the glass was broken during an accident. In this case, you need to pay attention to the bolts fixing the door. If they are torn off and the glass was replaced, it means the door was removed for restoration.

Now carefully examine the front headlights. Their degree of wear (clouding and scratches) should be the same. After comparing the markings. It is written on the outer or inner side of the headlights. If the marking is different, it means one of the headlights is not original. It could have been replaced during repair work after the accident. Do the same with the taillights.

Author Profile

Andre Lum
Andre Lum
Group Retail Manager
Helps with the marketing side of the company, Andre mostly spend his spare time trying out cars from different companies.
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