Here's a simple 7-step guide on how to find out possible accident damage:
1. Get a vehicle history report
Complete car history is available if you contact a vehicle history company. The file should contain a comprehensive list of past owners, as well as insurance information and any accident or claim reports filed in connection with the vehicle. This will give you a good idea of what kind of damage you should expect when inspecting the car yourself.
2. Cracks in the fenders and bumpers
Make sure to check both ends of the vehicle for cracks or patches. Fenders and bumpers break easily in crashes because they are made of lightweight or plastic composite materials. If you notice that repairs have been made, this can be a good indicator of previous damage.
3. Windscreen damage
Check all windows, front, side and rear, for noticeable damage- this could be a scratch, a crack or a strip. Each can indicate that the vehicle was involved in a collision.
4. Body lines
When you see people cringing to look at a car, they know what they're doing. By setting the eye level with the body of the vehicle and looking down the mainline from the side of the body, you can see if the colour of the vehicle reflects normally. Irregular lines or distorted reflections indicate that the panels have been replaced or hammered out due to body damage.
5. Doors and panel gaps
If the vehicle was involved in an accident, then you should notice uneven gaps due to displacement or unmatching panels or doors. Check the gaps between the doors and the joining panels of the body- the gaps should be straight and even from top to bottom.
6. Feel the body for stains
Accidental damage might leave a vehicle with bumps or uneven spots when a filler is used to repair damaged areas. The spots can easily be felt by pushing the palm down on the body panels, the fenders, and bumpers.
7. Clamp Marks
If there are noticeable clamp marks around the frame of a used vehicle, then that is a clear sign that the vehicle has been on a frame for major repairs.
This step-by-step guide will help you determine the true value of the vehicle and It also allows you to identify any existing or future problems that may arise.
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