Buying a secondhand car makes sense if you are on a tight budget but that doesn’t mean you should be lax when looking for one. For one thing, you don’t know whether the car you have in mind was in an accident before or not. You can ask the seller to give you a report on the history of the car but that may take too long and will also cost you. Plus, even if the report is pristine, that doesn’t guarantee that the car is free of dents and other hidden issues that may compromise your ride.
A reliable service for auto repair in Grapevine, TX can spot issues that are invisible to untrained eyes. Here are some common signs that a secondhand car has been in a car accident prior to purchase:
1. Misaligned Panels
A car that has not been in an accident has smooth panels. If the boot, bonnet and the doors are not perfectly inline after they are closed, chances are the vehicle was in a head-on collision with another car. Besides this, both bumpers (in the front and in the back) should fit in a straight line. If these are slanting at an angle, chances are that a shunt was used.
2. Damaged Tires and Chassis
One of the first things that a technician from an auto repair in Grapevine, TX will do to check for damage involves examining the tires. That’s because they know that an uneven tread or even a misaligned wheel may point to chassis damage. A bent chassis can place uneven pressure on tires making one side wear out more than the other.
The auto repair in Grapevine, TX will also check the underbody and the wheel wells and give it a thorough examination. That’s because they know the signs that point to recent structural repair. This includes a fresh application of a rubber undercoat that is used to cover up damage.
3. Water Damage
A reliable auto repair in Grapevine, TX will also check all of the electronic equipment in the car to check for damage. While you may think the components look fine, your untrained eye might miss small issues.
This includes a power window that takes time to work, flickering dash lights and other faulty electronic work that can point to flood damage. If the car has a lot of air fresheners, the previous owner may be trying to mask the mildew smell that comes after water seeps into the upholstery.
4. Paint Problems
Under the bright lights of a used car lot, the paintwork on a secondhand car may look pristine or chip-free, but the reality may differ. A thorough auto repair in Grapevine, TX knows that a close inspection of the paintwork can reveal signs of damage that the previous owner or used car salesman wants to hide.
So the first thing you need to do is check out the car in a well-lit environment under lights that don’t blind you to the truth – literally. Inconsistencies in the paint job should be a red flag. Whether it’s just a slightly different shade, a difference in shine or mismatched colors across panels, it all points to a car that was in an accident and had to undergo repair from an auto repair in Grapevine, TX.
5. Replaced Parts
Car parts can cost an arm and a leg. Just ask any auto repair in Grapevine, TX. After a car has been in an accident, the owner usually replaces parts that have the most obvious signs of damage to save costs. Those are signs that you should look out for before buying a used car.
For instance, a brand new part on a car that has seen better days is an obvious sign that it was in a serious accident. This includes a damaged airbag which often ruptures after it inflates out during a crash. This also includes new head and tail lights which may have been put in after a fender bender.
In addition, some replaced parts can also be used to jack up the price of the car and reduce the total cost of repairs from your auto repair in Grapevine, TX. Remember, the seller has to take care of those expenses, not you.
6. Doesn’t Drive Straight
Of course, you cannot buy a secondhand car without testing it on the road first. Besides letting you know about how well it drives, a single drive can reveal potential problems that you cannot see from a visual examination.
Ifthe car pulls to the side as you drive, it may have alignment issues. This is a common problem in vehicles that are involved in head-on collisions. It can also point to a bent chassis that can be difficult to repair. If you are offered a car that has this problem, declining the offer may be a good idea. If the seller has the alignment fixed by an auto repair in Grapevine, TX and the car drives straight, then you can consider buying it.
7. Welding Marks
Most car owners take the budget-friendly way out when they are involved in a car crash. If their vehicle is rear-ended and crumples like an accordion, they will either salvage it or have someone swap out the damaged parts with new ones.
This naturally involves a lot of welding which is apparent if you look under the boot carpeting. Most cars that have not been in an accident have well-welded parts. Look for sections that seem as if they had been cut away and sections that were stitched together. For example, the boot floor should be one single, unbroken piece unconnected to the spare tire wall.
If you are looking for an honest and reliable auto repair in Grapevine, TX who can spot all of the abovementioned issues in a used car, call Import Car Center today. They are parts specialists and can provide ones that can fit your model. Just dial 817-481-5665 to get in touch with them.