How to Know What Repairs Have Been Done on a Used Car

by SpeedLux
Vroom used cars

There’s nothing wrong with getting a used car, regardless if you are a teen, out of uni, or just don’t want to spend loads and loads of money on a brand new car – getting a second hand one is a great option. But once you make this decision, you’ll have to consider multiple additional things, it’s not that easy, you get a used car and start driving it right away, oh no no – you’ll need to make a few checkups first! Regardless of how old, or used your desired car is, you’ll still need to check out if it’s fully functional and suitable for safe driving in the long run. Here are some tips on how to spot if your car has been repaired before and what to do if it was.

Why Should You Care?

First things first, you’ll need to understand why this is important in the first place! Experts at state that knowing the background of the used car will ensure your safety, even before you decide to buy the car. This is a must, some cars may look fine, or even have no visible damages – but don’t let this trick you. Those kinds of damages can be fixed, but some cannot – especially when it comes to the insides of the vehicle itself. Before buying the car, you’ll need to check it out firmly, and make sure the car won’t break down in the middle of the road when you need it most – that would be a real nightmare.

Overall Look and Feel

Once you finally find the exact car model you are interested in, that fits perfectly in your price range, the hunting doesn’t stop there. Once you get to see the vehicle in person, you’ll need to take a good look – and smell, to ensure that it’s just the right car for you. If everything seems to look normal, you’ll need to use your other sense, and if you smell something suspicious in the car, this might be a red flag. You probably don’t want to shrug this one off and think it’s nothing, this can lead to serious problems later on – especially if you have no idea what it actually is. Masking a nasty smell and calling it a day is not an option, instead ask the person who you’re buying from where the smell is coming from or even try to diagnose it yourself by learning the distinctive smells and what they mean in a vehicle.


Probably one of the easiest ways to see if the car was in any sort of accident is by checking the paint all over the car. Firstly, you want to check for indents, scratches, and holes all over the car and then focus if there has been any re-coloring. If you notice a slight shade difference, chances are that part of the car was damaged and repaired later on. Also, sometimes the damages may be so horrible, the prior owner had to change one of the doors or even the trunk – keep an eye out if you see that one door is slightly different than the other, this might be an indicator.


This is one of those easily overlooked things when buying a car, most people don’t seem to look at what’s beneath. But in all actuality, a lot of accidents happen due to bad tires. Fixing a damaged tire sure costs less money than buying a new one for the prior owner, but are you willing to gamble if the repairs were done correctly? Make sure you check out how bad the holes are, or how well they were patched up.


If the windows look spotless, no visible damages, cracks, or scratches – try rolling them up and down and see how well they glide, if they seem normal chances are they were never replaced, but if you notice that they don’t glide up and down so easily, chances are there was an accident and the glass shattered causing the prior owner to change the window completely. Also, check the rest of the windows, like the windshield, and see if it fits the frame accordingly, if not – this is a simple indicator that it was replaced, and with a windshield that isn’t even meant to go on that particular type of car.

Inside of the Car

Probably one of the main things that you need to check out – as this is usually the cause of many problems and car accidents. When checking the insides of the hood, it’s better done once the car is not running, and once the engine is cold, so you can do a little digging around. It’s important to distinguish a little dirt around the edges with corrosion and rust – now that’s a red flag right there. Also, if you see any visible oil or fluid spills under the car, it means that something is probably broken and will lead to future problems, so be wary of that.


Most drivers simply forget that the battery exists, especially those who are buying a car for the first time, sure the exterior of the car is important but so are the insides! When it comes to some of the main components, the battery has a pretty high spot on the list – that’s why you should probably check it out on your future vehicle just in case. Chances are if the battery is full, and it’s between 12.4 and 12.7 volts – it has been changed before, this can also be an indicator that the car wasn’t used as much.

At the end of the day, you might want to talk to a professional about it. If the person you are buying a car from is not willing to take the car for a checkup beforehand, maybe it’s best to bring the professional to him. If you are a first-time buyer, or simply don’t have the experienced eyes and nose for these things, bring someone who is! Your dad, friend, or colleague will do, it’s best to have another set of eyes to help you, as this is not a small investment to make at the end of the day – so be wise about it.

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SpeedLux is a high-authority automotive blog providing the latest automotive news and reviews. SpeedLux covers everything related to cars, bikes, and motorcycles, from news and reviews, to troubleshooting guides, tips and tricks, and more. SpeedLux was born in 2009 and we have over 20,000 articles published on our blog. We thank all our readers, as well as our partners, without whom we could not have reached this level.


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