Beware of common hidden damage to cars

Whether you are buying a new or used car, there's always the potential risk of prior damage. You will want your mechanic to thoroughly check the vehicle before a purchase. However, there are some common hidden damages you can check for right away.

  • Paint variationpoint towards an accidentYou should check a used car for new paint. Shiny/dull paint variations could hint at a prior repair job. Rough paint indicates paint overspray, which can be a sign of prior damage.
  • Flooding damage is found from within. Oftentimes, damages caused by flooding are not always visible. It takes some extra effort to spot. Look for signs of moisture by lifting back the carpet and truck mat. Additionally, inspect the edges of the door for watermarks. Internal rust, hidden dirt, mud and staining could be telltale signs of water damage.
  • Check for inconsistences. You will also want to check the body of the car.These damages are sometimes more visible. All the parts should line up with each other. Gaps between the hood, doors, trunk or headlights can hint at prior damage and repairs.
  • Frame damage is the result of a bad collision. A car's frame - known as the unibody - supports the vehicle in many ways. Therefore, a bent or cracked frame can result in disastrous damage. Be sure to have a mechanic check for this common issue.

You can spot some damages right in the parking lot. Other hidden damages need to be uncovered by a mechanic. Unfortunately, not all car dealers are honest. Their main goal is to sell, despite potential damages and dangers. It's important to use your best judgement and also seek help when trouble arises.

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