Used Vehicle History
When purchasing a used vehicle, it's important to look for clues that the automobile may have been in a crash, because vehicles with accidents in their histories are generally worth less than more "original" examples.
With this in mind, visually inspecting the vehicle for any variations in paint gloss, color, and surface reflection is recommended. For a more accurate determination of a vehicle's paint history, an auto technician will use an "electronic paint meter," which gauges paint thickness. Any variations detected in an otherwise flawlessly painted body panel can be an indication of an underlying repair.
Prospective buyers should also inspect the inner fenders and elsewhere for signs of overspray, which is an indication of haphazard paint work.
TIP: Uneven gaps between body panels is a likely indication that a vehicle has undergone a less than stellar repair job.
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