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September 19, 2017blog

Signs of Damage to Look for When Buying Used Cars

Almost everyone will have experience with purchasing a used car at some point in their lifetime. The majority of cars that are being bought are actually used. This is due to lower prices, and the dependability of certain models. Some cars will run for decades, and simply get traded in because the owner wanted to find something different. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a used car as long as you’ve done your homework, and get it from a reputable dealership. Purchasing a used car from the side of the road can lead to serious problems. There’s often no opportunity for litigation if the car turns out to be an absolute wreck. Unless, you’re a trained mechanic, and is able to spot issues with used vehicles-it’s best to trust a dealership.

Not all dealerships are created equal. You want one that’s been in business for several years, and that operates locally. This allows you to see how they interact with the community, and to see the evolution of the reputation. You can look online for reviews, or talk to people you know that have previously purchase vehicles from them. Most used car dealerships don’t want to sell damaged or unreliable vehicles. This causes problems with their reputation, and eventually leads to lower sales. This means that they’re going to do whatever is possible to ensure the car you drive off the lot is safe and capable as much as possible.

Some people make the mistake of falling in love with a vehicle and driving it off the lot without first doing their homework. Many disreputable dealers will set up shop in a town, stay there for maybe a year or two, and then leave suddenly. This is generally a good indicator that you’re not getting a quality vehicle from these people. If you can find local car dealers with no credit check, and who have been in business for more than 10 years, then you can probably feel good about purchasing a used vehicle from them. Many of these companies understand the difficulty that people have faced recently, and will provide in-store financing. If you’re unsure about a dealership but choose to buy from them anyway, pay attention for these signs of previous damage:

Clamp Marks

Check out the undercarriage of the vehicle. If you see any holes, scrapes, deep dents, or gashes in the sides of the frame, then it’s a good indicator that this car’s been in a serious accident. A frame can be pulled back into shape using a special machine, but this doesn’t help it to become any stronger. Once the frame of the vehicle has been compromised, the vehicle will never be completely safe again. There are extensive repairs that have to be made before this can even be considered a car you should buy.


If the car has recently been repainted, then you want to ask why. It could be that they’re just trying to improve the quality of the vehicle, or they could be trying to cover up damage. There are also times when entire panels of a vehicle has been replaced, and a new paint job is needed to cover this up. If asked, the car dealership should give you this information.

Mold or Corrosion

Flood damage is a very real possibility right now. It’s important to pay attention to the smell in the interior of the car. If it even faintly smells of mildew, then there’s a chance that the vehicle has been under water or at least partially. This is a very difficult smell to remove, and should still be noticeable. You can also look for signs of corrosion in places that wouldn’t normally be exposed to the elements.