9 signs to check a used car for accident damage

Updated Nov 13, 2017 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

If you are interested in buying a pre-owned vehicle, read our article to know 9 parts to check a used car for accident damage.

Buying a used car is actually not an easy task, it is a tricky proposition. Car sellers, especially used car salesman are always well-known for their ruses to sell their car as soon as possible. Therefore, car buyers often stumble into their trap. One of the most difficult things for car buyers to determine is checking a used car for accident damage. If you are not alert enough, you will probably have to buy a vehicle that has been crashed before and was redone to cheat your eyes.

But don’t worry, read our article to know 10 obvious signs of an ever-crashed car and you will be a wise buyer for secondhand cars.

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1. Signs of overspay in random places

Repainting is one of the most common solutions to make an ever-crashed vehicle look like new. Therefore, you should pay attention to details that usually gets scratched when in accident such as lines on the doors, hinges on the trunk and other small parts. Carefully inspect the vehicle's paint and if you spot any areas that look brighter or darker than the others, don't hesitate to ask the seller for a proper explanation. This could possibly a clear sign of repainting.

Irregular car paint wear

Remember to look for signs of overspray in random places on the vehicle

2. Seatbelt looks like being overstretched

When an accidents occurs and the car has to be stopped suddenly, you will tend to fall forward and that is when the seatbelt does its job of keeping you in place. This process causes a stretch or even a rip to the seatbelt. So if you recognize the car’s seatbelt is loose-fitting or overstretched, consider carefully before making the final deal.

3. Car door feels flimsy

Both new and used car’s door should be closed with a click or resounding thud. If it doesn’t, think twice before getting it to be yours.

How to check used cars for accidents, repainting auto body damage 

4. The chassis isn’t flat

When checking a used car for accident damage, don't forget to pay attention to the chassic. The chassis of a car should be flat. If it isn’t, then you need to think about its accident history.

5. Mismatched parts

You should require the seller to provide information about the car’s history and its replacement. Except for explained parts, others should be original. Particularly, you should check the windshields, headlights, fog lights, steering wheels and taillights to recognize whether they are original or not.  

A damaged rear of a car

You should require the seller to provide information about the car’s history and its replacement

6. Welding looks out of place

When a car meets with an accident, it can be bent in some way. If you spot any welds that look unusual when checking under the car, the lower frame’s component can be bent in a certain way to restore the line.

7. Uneven panels or gaps

A car is designed to follow certain shapes and slopes, and the distances between them should be consistent and uniform. If you notice misaligned boards or different width gaps, that could be a sign for an effort of fixing after a car crash.

8. Thick layers of putty on panels

People often use putty to hide the dirt on the car surface. If you find out some suspicious parts in the car, use a magnet to check. If they don’t stick to the magnet, that is a sign of a damaged bit.

Using a magnet to check on car panel

If you find out some suspicious parts in the car, use a magnet to check panels that have thick putty

9. Airbag panels look newer than the rest of the cabin

When a vehicle is involved in a crash, the airbag will be instantly activated. As a result, the panels that cover the airpag inside the dashboard might be broken out. If you notice that the airbag panels look newer than the rest parts of the interior, they might have been replaceddue to accident damage.

Hopefully, our article will be helpful for you in checking a used car for accident damage.

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