While searching for a used car to buy, you may have found one listed by a private owner that you want to look at. While inspecting the car, you may have a feeling it was involved in a previous collision. If so, look for the following hidden signs that the vehicle was t-boned in a collision.
Paint Colors Do Not Match
One of the first signs to look for when inspecting a used car for collision damage is the paint. If the vehicle was struck on the side, chances are at least one of the door panels had to be repainted.
Even if the job was performed by a professional painter, you may see a difference in the colors of the original paint and the patch job. If the colors are not perfectly matched before painting, you will see slight differences in the vibrancy, hue, and tone of one color to the next.
Even if the color itself may have been matched, the original paint will be duller and lighter than the new paint. This color change happens because the old paint has been exposed to sunlight and temperatures changes for a longer period of time.
Side Panels Are Misaligned
If you notice a difference in the paint colors, the next thing you should look at is the alignment of the door and side panels. Normally, the panels are even on both the top and bottom. And, when you run your hand along the panels, they should fit together smoothly enough that you barely notice the edges.
However, if you see that the top and bottom edges are uneven, or if you feel a large gap or bump between the panels, one of the panels may have undergone repairs because of a collision. The panel may have been replaced with a new one that was not attached properly.
Or, the old panel may have been straightened out and reattached to the body. In this case, you may be able to see slight indentations in the panel where they could not remove all of the dents.
If you find any of the above signs while inspecting the car, it was most likely involved in a side collision that could have done more than just body damage, and you may want to pass on buying it. Instead of going through a private seller, you may want to find a used car sales dealership like Car Craft Auto Sales, Inc. that can give you a complete history so you have all the information you need before purchasing a car.