Tips to check old cars that have been hit and flooded

Technical experts said that you should check the air conditioner, electrical system, door closing sound, roar to know the car’s condition.

When buying used cars, users often set criteria such as no accident, no flooding, original engine, transmission, and new interior. But if only with the naked eye to inexperienced people, it is difficult to perceive these factors. In particular, now with advanced machinery and increasing skill level of workers, many accident cars can be restored to 90% of their original condition.

However, users can still check out some items on their own as suggested by experts. Mr. Nguyen Van Ha, who has many years of experience in appraising used cars, revealed a few tips to identify car quality, including:

WOMENoverall appearance

The car has been used for 5-10 years, but the exterior is still very new, which is an unnatural point, because no matter how carefully the car owner takes care, it is difficult to avoid the deterioration over time of paint and materials. If the door closing sound is not the same at the doors or the sound is not neat, it means that the car may have collided at that position. If in doubt about a point, the customer can tap, touch or compare with another location to know if the position is original or not.

Customers check the preliminary condition of the car before bringing it to the garage.  Photo: Doan Dung

Customers check the preliminary condition of the car before bringing it to the garage. Photo: Doan Dung

Color of paint

The original paint will be the same color, the new / old is the same at every point on the car. On the contrary, if the paint is not the same color (dark places, light places, new places where old) or rough paint surface (pretty thick coat of paint and primer), it can be repainted.

Glue thread

Glue is just the type of glue that the manufacturer glues to the edge of the door, bonnet, trunk lid to prevent rust as well as create aesthetics. If the glue has poor elasticity, has abnormal cracks or cracks, is hard to press, and has no elasticity, it has been reworked after being hit. However, many repair shops now use glue close to the original to 70-90%, so it will be difficult to detect.


Looking at the engine screws, bonnet screws or screws fixing the front bones of the car are signs to check the originality or have a collision or not. If it is found that many screws in important positions such as tripod, digital foot, machine face are opened and twisted abnormally, it is necessary to immediately pay attention to the problem that the machine may be disintegrated for repair.


Check the chassis through through bones, undercarriage, if there are dents and distortions, many welding positions, joints need to be questioned about severe collisions. For many experienced car mechanics, checking for glue, screws, and nuts can all go wrong if the car is handled well. However, the position of the chassis will be more difficult to restore to the original, so checking the undercarriage will help check the collision condition better.

In addition to the above details, car users can turn on the engine, turn on the air conditioner and smell. If there is a sour smell, this is a sign that the car has been flooded, even though it has been treated many times, it cannot be completely cured. Guests can check the operation of the electrical system by raising and lowering the glass. Or rhyme the steering wheel to feel the weight and lightness of the steering wheel, the feedback from the wheel to the steering wheel to see if there is any problem?

In addition to the initial identification signs, car owners can also check more vehicle quality through the company’s maintenance history, if any. Or in the interior, if there are a few new details while most of the other materials are old, it is more likely that those details have been replaced.

Recognizing the quality of the car through tips or first impressions will help buyers spend less time looking at the car. However, if there is no experience in this, the buyer should take the car to the garage or dealer to check the quality.

Doan Dung

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