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How to Tell If a Used Car Has Been in an Accident

If you’ve ever shopped for a used car or even just been in one that didn’t seem right, you’ll know there’s no shortage of warning signs. But what happens if you buy a used car only to find out later that it was in an accident?

That’s the reality many people face when they don’t check their vehicles’ histories before buying them. In this article, we’ll discuss how to tell if a used car has been involved in an accident.

Research the Vehicle’s History

In the age of internet access, research is easier than ever before. A lot of things could have happened to a pre-owned vehicle before it arrived at the for-sale market. It could have been stolen or damaged in an accident.

Whether buying from a private seller or a used car dealership, don’t forget to ask for the vehicle’s service history records. If the seller hesitates to provide the necessary documents, consider it a red flag.

Also, make sure you have the complete set of records. If service records for a specific period are missing, it could indicate that the car had been in an accident in the past.

The good news is that if you reach out to a trusted dealer like Family Auto Sales, they won’t hesitate to provide service history records for any vehicle. Nor will they withhold crucial information about a car. The best part is that they offer buy here, pay here loans in Taylors, SC, and other locations.

Look at the Paint

Where there’s an impact, there is usually paint damage. Check for overspray to ensure your used car hasn’t been in an accident. For example, on the front bumper and hood, you may see small dots or lines of fresh paint that weren’t there before. That means the previous owner repainted the vehicle after an accident.

To better understand how well the car was maintained, look for obvious signs of repair: mismatched colors, uneven or poorly applied bodywork, and chipped or cracked sections where panels meet each other. If you find scratches and dings all over your potential used car’s exterior, it could mean that it has been around at least one fender bender.

Look Underneath the Hood

If you’re checking out a used car, check under the hood and inspect it thoroughly. You may be able to tell if a vehicle has been in an accident just by looking at it. Look for signs of damage and rust underneath the engine compartment.

Also, watch out for leaks and wear on belts, hoses, and other components that could indicate an accident history. Pay special attention to areas like mounting brackets that keep your engine firmly in place. They are more likely to suffer when they experience sudden force during an accident.

Watch Out for Strange Noises and Smells

Whether buying used cars in Taylors, SC, or any other location, take the vehicle out for a test drive and find out whether it makes any strange noises. If you hear a rattling or clunking sound, it could indicate that something needs to be repaired.

Other signs of damage include:

● Strange smells inside the cabin and engine bay
● Creaking or groaning sounds when starting the vehicle

If you hear odd sounds while driving, try turning on the air conditioner and listening to see if they go away. It can help determine whether it’s just normal wear-and-tear on the vehicle or if something is seriously wrong with it.


Buying a used car is always a risk, but proper research can help you avoid the worst of it. Look at all the signs we’ve listed here and do your homework before negotiating a deal with any seller. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or even walk away from an offer if it doesn’t seem safe or reasonable.

If you’re looking to buy used cars in Taylors, SC, Family Auto Sales is an excellent choice. They offer a variety of well-maintained cars and even let you get any vehicle inspected by a mechanic. Also, they never shy away from providing complete service history records of any vehicle you select.


This is personal blog for Family Auto of Taylors. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner is not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner is not liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. Reader’s discretion is advised.

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