How to Tell if a Used Car was in an Accident

Posted on: November 18th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

how to tell if used car was in an accident We wish that no one ever got into a car accident. But, as humans, we are prone to accidents as no one is ever perfect, especially on the road. Accidents happen. As your auto body repair Denver team of experts, we strive to make your car look like new. We also know that many people sell their cars. If you are buying one we have ways you can tell a used car was in an accident.

We should note, that even if you see these things in a used car, it doesn’t mean that it is a bad car. It could run well and it could be repaired to the highest standards imaginable! But, there are just a few little telling signs that you can use, especially if the person selling you the car is trying to pass it off as accident-free.

How to Tell Whether a Car Has Had Body Work

Color Test

One way to tell a used car was in an accident is by looking closely at the paint. While we have stringent factory color matching at Accurate Auto Body, other places do not. If you walk around a used car and notice that some panel colors don’t match or paint texture seems a little off, it could indicate that the car may have had some body damage and was repainted.

Reflection Test

Sometimes you can see if a car had body work by looking at the reflection. If you get a smooth reflection, it is good. But, if an area gives off a warped reflection, it is possible that area had some body work and they did not do a good job of reforming that panel.

Bolt Test

Under the hood, depending on the car, you will see bolts that attach the fender to the frame. But, if they are removed, those bolts will show wear and possible be stripped of their paint. The same is true of the bolts that hold the hood to the car. If those bolt heads show wear, it is likely that the hood was entirely removed and it could be a sign the car was in a wreck.

Panel and Door Alignment

Another way to tell if a used car was in an accident is by paying close attention to the alignment of doors, panels and the hood. All the gaps should be evenly spaced throughout the vehicle.

Look for Overspray

At the factory, a car is painted before anything is added to it. As a result, there is no paint on any plastic trim or wiring when it is brand new. If you see some hosing or wiring (especially on the inside of doors), it could be a sign the car was repainted at some point.

How to Use this Information

Again, many of these are only signs that the used car may have been in an accident. They are just some things to look for, especially of the seller seems to not be giving you the full story. Of course, you can always get a Carfax report and that should tell you if the car has been in an accident. But, even with these signs, it may not be an indicator they are trying to pass off a lemon. It could be that the car is perfectly OK and safe to drive if the repairs were done by a reputable repair shop (but you should not pay their full asking price). Speaking of which, if you have need of repair, call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

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