Very often when buying a used car the buyer has doubts about its technical condition. This is understandable, because many car owners, instead of going online and selling a used car, try to patch it up and sell it at a higher price, often keeping silent about the repairs they have made. How to evaluate if the car was not in serious alterations is best known to specialists from car dealerships, working on the trade in system. They are also aware of scrap heavy equipment.
This system allows you to put your old car in payment for the new one. In order to sell a used car without any problems, you need to initially accurately determine its technical condition. Here is what professionals advise to buyers of used cars.
What the body’s surface will tell about
During primary inspection, the easiest way to determine if the car was in an accident. First of all, the paintwork and the size of gaps between its various elements will tell about it.
If they spared on painting, most likely, they have painted not the whole body or even its separate elements, but only damaged places. Such repair is rather simple to determine. It is enough to look at the surface at an acute angle in good light. Variations in color will become noticeable.
After painting, the surface is necessarily polished, otherwise the roughness will be noticeable. It is necessary to inspect the places where there are sharp curves. For example, it may be the places where the doors in the door niches. There, in the corners, quality grinding is quite difficult to produce and you can identify untreated areas.
Pay Attention to Detail
If body parts, such as fenders or doors were painted as a whole, it will be more difficult to determine. But there is one nuance – for this you need to remove them. On the fact whether the element was removed, it will be possible to find out from the condition of the fasteners.
Bolts may not be tightened enough, and on their flats there will be marks from the wrench. Also may be broken clips, which fasten the door trim. You should also pay attention to the door handles. Unlike the door itself, they are rarely restored.
It is better for an inexperienced person to compare all seen defects with how it should be in a new car. If the model is quite old and already discontinued, then it is advisable to examine several similar cars. It is unlikely that most of them have the same defects. You need to memorize or take pictures of what everything looks like in the factory.
Check the thickness of the paint
If the body has been painted well, but before it was restored, you need to check the thickness of its paint coating. Significant differences in thickness indicate a thick layer of putty on the areas that have been repaired. It is difficult to do without special thickness gauge, but with a steel car body, which most of them are, a usual fridge magnet will help. Where it sticks worse, the putty layer is obviously thicker.
However, you should know that damages of bodywork, if they are repaired qualitatively, should not lead to refusal of purchase. It can be just an excuse to knock down the price a little. The greater danger is in the disturbed geometry of the suspension. This will lead to drivability problems and increased tire wear. This is what you should pay attention to during the initial inspection. If the rubber is not new, uneven tread wear will be noticeable.
If you have any suspicions, you should make an adjustment of camber and convergence in a good repair shop to check it. If the necessary angles could be set without any problems, most likely everything is fine with the geometry. If there are any defects, they will surely show themselves.
Such methods do not guarantee 100 % result, but they allow revealing the signs of repair, which were trying to hide before sale. A car with obvious defects should be rejected. A car with no visible problems should still be shown to professionals at a quality service station.