Tips for Inspecting Vehicles for Accident Damage

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man examining his car hood

People say that looks can be deceiving, and it is true! Imagine being excited to have bought your first car only to find out later on that its beautiful facade houses a multitude of concealed damages. And sooner or later, you will see how the unscrupulous seller meticulously covered it up! While some rely on history reports, which include national registry, insurance, and police records, for any sign of possible theft or accidents, not all are reported. However, there are some methods for how to inspect a vehicle for accident damage

Even for an amateur, you can detect some accident damage by following the tips below:

Physical Vehicle Inspection
Check the car’s bumper and fender for cracks or patched areas. Even with an untrained eye, you should try looking into or inspecting the parts of the car where damage can occur. Because of their lightweight composition or material, these two parts of a car usually break easily in a vehicular collision. And so, any repair or breakage signs are indicators of car accident damage.

Check the Body Lines for Replacement Parts
When inspecting a car, aside from checking its bumper and fender, the car’s body lines can also hold some secrets about accident damage. You only need to crouch down and thoroughly examine the lines to make sure they are straight. Any hint of unevenness or distorted reflection can indicate that the car’s panels have been replaced. New parts on the car will always show signs of replacement.

Examine “Suspicious” Gaps
Another way of knowing if a car’s part has been replaced is by examining if the gaps fit together. These gaps should be straight and have the element of perfect width.  This is due to the poor build quality or misalignment of the doors and panels. Aside from the gaps in the panels and doors, you can also check the trunk .

Keep in mind that even the tiniest imperfection can reveal underlying damage. A tiny misalignment y can already tell the whole story of a car part replacement. This is sometimes due to mismatched parts or poor materials being used. 

Hunt for Signs of a Bad Paint-job
If you have noticed even the slightest differences in the paint color, off-color or distorted paint and overspray of the car you are trying to buy, then it is time for a closer look. It is worth inspecting because this small inconsistency can be an indication of having had a part of the car replaced or damaged. You should not ignore this failed attempt to match the paint with the rest of the car. 

Trust Your Senses
Another effective method how to inspect a vehicle for accident damage is to trust your instincts. Your senses can tell you if there is something you may have overlooked throughout your inspection. If there are strange sounds or smells when you take a driving test in the car, then your gut is telling you that there are other issues you can’t see.

However, for the best inspection, do not forget to ask for the help of professionals. We have experts here at Justice Automotive and Collision Centers that can perform inspections. We also have different services, such as classic car restoration and collision repair in Naperville, IL.  Contact us at 630-546-0089.

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