How do I know if a used car had major damage in the past or if it was in
Cars that were part of a major accident in the past are the ones that a potential used car
buyer must avoid. These cars probably have sustained major damage in the past –
damage that has an irreversible and adverse effect not only on the vehicle's performance
but also on its longevity. Thus, it is important for a prospective used car buyer to know
how to identify cars that had damage in the past – even if the sellers did everything they
can to conceal it.
Here is a list of car parts and areas that must be inspected. These areas of the car are the
ones which are most vulnerable to damage in the event of the collision. Further, these
are also the areas that are immensely difficult to restore to their pristine, just-got-out-of-
First, check the UVIP.
Every used car seller is required by law to have a Used Vehicle Information Package
(UVIP) in hand so that potential buyers can check them anytime. This must be the first
thing that must be inspected before even bothering to check the car. The UVIP contains
extensive information about the car's history, along with accidents that it has
encountered in the past.
If there was an entry in the UVIP that confirms that the car was actually a part of an
accident, stay away from that car. It probably has sustained enough damage to cause
major headaches in the future. However, do not forget to check the car's Vehicle
Identification Number (VIN) and compare it against the VIN listed on the UVIP. You
might be looking at a different car's VIN to begin with.
But then, no matter how convincing the UVIP looks like, do not forget to perform an
inspection yourself. The UVIP must serve only as the first line of defense. Just like any
other document, it has weaknesses that can be very easily exploited by car selling
experts who know that twists and turns of government regulation.
Second, check the body.
Upon inspection, your reflection on the body should be perfectly smooth and consistent.
It must not be warped or convoluted, as this is evidence of bodywork that has been done
to mask the evidence of damage from a collision. Major damage on the body is very
difficult to mask perfectly, and very few car shops are capable of doing a near-perfect
Furthermore, check if there are uncharacteristic welds in between the front and rear
doors in either side. The presence of such is an indication that the car you are looking at
are one of those salvaged vehicles that were chopped and reconnected. By no means
should you even waste an iota interest on these vehicles.
Doors should be capable of closing easily and should be perfectly aligned with the rest
of the body. Cars that were part of a massive collision in the past usually sustain damage
on most of its moving parts – including the hinges on its doors. Look for welds and other
signs of repair work on the hinges.
Lastly, lift the hood, look underneath, and check the trunk.
Raise the hood and look for repairs done on the engine or on the car's frame. If shoddy
welding work can be found on the area near the car's front grills or anywhere underneath
the hood, stay away from that car. These cars probably had a head-on collision in the
past, thus warranting repair work in that area.
Afterwards, look at the trunk compartment. Look at the side walls for similar symptoms
of repair work. Furthermore, lift the floor cover and check for damage underneath. This
is the area that is most often neglected by repair technicians, either because they usually
forget it, or that the repairs would simply be too costly.
For more information on Ontario used cars and wide selection of car accessories
please visit our Ontario car dealership.