When you’re car shopping, you’ll encounter many, many vehicles that have an accident history. It’s common – so common that you might have a hard time finding the right one for you that DOESN’T have an accident in its past. And the number one deterrent for buying a car that’s been in a fender bender is this: hidden damage.
It’s not a secret that some autobody shops don’t do as thorough a job as can be. They do the minimum that’s required and go onto the next car. That can leave parts unrepaired, which can and do cause problems for you down the road.
But don’t worry. If you’ve found a car you like that has an accident in its past, it could still be alright. Check for hidden damage in these five spots to see if it has been fixed right.
Check for Hidden Damage Here:
The Front Bumper
It’s the most common place for vehicle damage on the whole car. It can conceal damage as well, but it gives clues to whether repairs are done right or not. Look for mismatched paint, rough painted edges, or poor fitment to determine if it’s repaired properly. You can also peek behind the bumper – if you see things kinked, bent, or scratched, you might not want it.
Pop the hood and take a look. The paint should feel consistent along the edge, not sharp like a tape line. The paint color should match and there should be labels on the underside. If the hood doesn’t open smoothly or the latch is hard to release, there might be hidden damage lurking.
When you open the doors, the door sill can give you indications if the repairs weren’t completed properly. There should be no overspray, all the trim and labels should be in place, and there should be no scuffs in the paint from the door contacting the frame.
Hidden damage sometimes isn’t so hidden. Paint overspray is from careless repairs where items that shouldn’t be painted aren’t masked off well. If there is body-color paint on plastic trim, the paint surface feels gritty, or there is paint spray under the hood, in the trunk, or other odd places, it isn’t a good repair job.
The Body Trim
From factory, the body trim is fastened tightly to the car. Walk around and gently wiggle parts that are attached to the car. Try the grille, window moldings, and lower valances and bumpers. If something feels loose or rattles, it probably hasn’t been reattached like it should.
Fortunately, all the used vehicles at Jay Wolfe Acura of Springfield are thoroughly inspected before offered for sale. If there is hidden damage on a vehicle, we’ll find it and fix it or we won’t sell it at all! Count on us for your used car purchase, where you’ll always get full disclosure and transparency with all service and sales.