AiM Finds The Hidden Damages For You
This is an example of a poor right rear quarter panel replacement. Notice the burn mark welds and panel separation. Would you want to be in this car in an accident?
Aftermarket parts are another indicator of previous repair on a vehicle. You can tell this part is not original equipment because of the stamped aftermarket part number. Parts supplied by the manufacturer are stamped as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts.
In this photo, the right rear frame rail has been damaged in a rear-impact collision. As a result, the frame rail is now buckled and torn, reducing the structural integrity of the vehicle, and will compromise the vehicle’s ability to protect its occupants in the event of another accident. The damage was caught while performing AiM’s 6-point frame inspection of the undercarriage.
Here’s a sign of collision–related damage, shown by buckling in the A–pillar (The first pair of structural posts supporting the roof and windshield). This damage was caught as the inspector opened a front door, which did not operate properly, signaling to the inspector that there had been a problem – of the traffic collision variety – with this car.
Here, the right rocker panel has been replaced, with excessive undercoating used to hide repair indicators. Damage to the rocker panels is an indicator of a side collision, which in some cases may lead to frame damage.
Here, the welded inner apron shows they have been replaced, indicating severe structural damage, and that this vehicle has not been repaired to factory specifications. A vehicle that has suffered structural damage is not want you want to buy, period.
Missing parts are another indicator of previous repair on a vehicle and can compromise a vehicle’s safety. Obviously, this vehicle has had some repairs done and the inspector will take extra time to review the area to determine the extent of repairs and damage – and see what else might be missing!
Turned bolts, mismatched paint, and weld burn marks indicate previous repair work has been done on this car. Here, the left front upper tie bar and left front fender with their mismatched color and turned bolts, let an inspector know there has been previous repair on this vehicle. These are clues for the inspector to take a deeper look for signs of accident damage.
Some damage is easier to spot than others, such as this poorly repaired upper tie bar. Notice the welds separating, paint cracking, and rust. This part won’t offer much protection in a front-end collision.
This car’s lower tie bar is buckled, an indicator of core support damage. By following the damage that occurred to the front portion of this vehicle, a professional inspector will find the structural damage.