Despite the relative affordability of cars today, most people still find it more economical to buy used cars than new cars. This is mainly because of the cheaper initial costs of obtaining used cars. Although you can easily save a lot of money by buying a used car, it should be noted that cheap can sometimes be very expensive. Without being vigilant when shopping for used cars, you can easily be duped into buying a vehicle that will put your life in danger and, also drain your pockets.
There are numerous reasons why most people opt to sell their cars. In several occasions, those who have been involved in accidents with their cars usually resort to selling the vehicles after repair. Although the cars may look to be in proper condition, they could also be disasters just waiting to happen. And, that is why it is always advisable that when buying a used car, you should be keen on any signs of accidents to avoid getting a raw deal.
Signs that a Used Car Has Been in an Accident
In order to fetch the best prices in the market, mechanics will always try to hide defaults and imperfections in used cars as much as possible. Besides, there are also certain hidden parts of the car that you cannot easily access from outside or even when seated in the vehicle. As a result of all these, it is not usually easy to detect signs of accidents on used cars. The following are some of the common signs that can help you know if a used car has been involved in an accident previously;
Misalignment of car components
Although cars have different designs including, curves and other unique customization features, you will always find out that the main components like, door panels, fenders, bumpers and bonnet are well aligned to the rest of the vehicle. Even the material of the roof, boot and panel gaps are always in line with other parts. In the event that you see a car with suspicious distortions, signs of damage or replacement, those could be signs that it has been previously involved in an accident.
Car paintwork that does not match
It is true there are some cars with unique paintwork like, graffiti and other forms of art. However, even in such cars, the paintwork should be uniform in terms of thickness and texture. This is one of the areas you should be very keen on when inspecting a used car. Carefully check the door jams, fenders and other hidden parts of the car for any signs of fresh paint that do not match with those on most components. For cars with various colors, try to find out the reason for their application and, in case you are unable to find a convincing answer, the best move should be to walk away.
Cracks, dents and scratches
Small cracks, dents and scratches on the car body and interior are usually very easy to ignore during inspection but, they could be signs of greater damage that should always be treated with a lot of caution. Cracks, dents and scratches often result into breeding grounds for rust, which could have already affected the car. In case the cracks are evident on the windscreen or windows, there are chances the car may have been in an accident. Sometimes, sellers try to cover dents and scratches with paint, so try to be thorough in the inspection.
Buying and driving a car with dents on the windshield, windows or body could not only earn you a traffic ticket but, also put you at risk of huge repair costs and accidents sooner or later. Remember, these are issues that should be addressed at the cost of the seller and, failure to seek clarification could impact a higher price on your part.
The structure or frame of the car is the main skeleton onto which, most of the components are attached. As a result of this, any hitch on the frame is a potential threat to not just the safety of the car and road users but, its lifespan too. Auto body specialists will always try to bring back the frame to its shape and form, however, the impacts are not quite easy to fully hide. Be on the lookout for any uneven sections or corners of the frame on the suspension, beneath the car as well as rear and front parts. In case of any bends or signs of damage, the car may have been in an accident.
Missing fasteners and parts
A car has numerous fasteners spread across the body and interior. Most of them are screws and clips made of strong plastic materials. The fasteners are not usually very easy to drop off or lose grip even when using the car on rough terrain. Besides, there are also some parts that are made from metals and other materials. Although the car can still work without these fasteners and parts, the fact that they are missing could be a cover up for something big. The likely reason could be, the car was in an accident and auto specialists were not very keen to replace or put them back when performing repairs.
Even if the seller has a convincing story to defend the missing fasteners and parts, buying a car in such a condition is a great risk that you should never take. In case you may still be interested in the car, it is recommended that the missing parts are fixed prior to acquisition.
Car lights that do not match
Today, most cars are designed with plastic head and back lights. Even if the car has been used for a very long time, you will always find that the lights are uniformly ageing. In the event that you spot one or more of the lights in front or at the back of the car looking more hazed or newer than the rest, it might have been replaced due to an accident.
When inspecting a used vehicle, professional car grooming services can be quite useful in exposing signs of accidents and other causes of damage to make your work much easier.