How to Check Cars for Accident Damage?
Look for consistent gaps on all the shut lines around doors, hood, tail. Good indicator of chassis warping.
Lift hood and look for small crumples or ripples on all chassis components, check the radiator lines up, look for pinched metal wheel arches.
Make sure car has no sheets of paper under engine to catch slow leaks of fluids or oil patches.
Look for new painted areas inside engine bay.
Grab hold of each wheel and shake all directions, there should be no clicking or loose movement.
Check car sits level after you have rocked car gently, bare in mind too much rolling after you stopped could indicate shock/suspension wear.
Try to push car while hand brake on, shouldn't move at all.
Look for messy repairs around lights and corners or vague lumps, this is common area for bumps and crumples.
Dented undersides and badly scraped oil pans.
When driving in straight line, feel for pulling to either side and lack of precise steering.
From cold start (if engine is warm it means it's been pre-warmed) and look for rough start and dark smoke from exhaust, car should stay running smoothly and not stumble.
Stand in front of car and sight it from a distance, looking at it from different angles and ask yourself "does the whole car look twisted ?"
Check for excessive wear on pedal rubbers, shifter knob and steering wheel, look also to see if steering wheel centers correctly.
Because some of these points may not mean an accident, it's just to train you to look at a car with some level of confidence and play detective, don't be afraid to ask if it has any crash damage too.
Point out any faults or suspicions and hear what they say....
Above all....trust your instincts..until proven otherwise.
Oct 14, 2016 |
Cars & Trucks