7 most vulnerable car parts to check for when buying used cars


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Knowing exactly what to check for when buying a used vehicle is important in order to reveal the unwritten accident records of the car you are about to buy. Check here the most vulnerable car parts to avoid damage!

Yes! The car looks clean, but it's a Tokunbo. Don't be fooled, not all that glitters is completely free of damage, if only you knew where to check, you might unravel the not so flowery past of the clean tokunbo vehicle.

The quality of your tokunbo car might have been compromised if history shows that it has been involved in a major crash, despite the fact that it has been repaired and it's all looking gleam and glam.

Naijauto in this article gives you the most vulnerable car body parts that are susceptible to damage and which you can watch out for to give you an insight into its history despite the clean bill of health report given by the seller. So let's dive in!

1. The bumper in front

This is the first, easily noticeable part you can check for past damage while inspecting a car for potential purchase. It is also the most vulnerable car part of them all, as distracted driving and collisions can cause its damage.

To check if the bumper has been repaired or replaced in the past, simply check the colours. A different bumper colour from the rest of the body is a sure sign of a repair or replacement. Also, check if the colour is slightly newer than the rest of the body, or you can simply run your fingers on the bumper, if there is a slightly rough feel to it, then it signifies a repair or replacement of the bumper as the rough feel means the paint was not evenly applied.


The front bumper is easily noticed and obvious to find a little bit of history in there!

2. The Fender

A point to note here! The fender and the bumper are not the same and as such should not be confused as same, as this is a common misconception. They are both for protection, but where the bumper is protecting the front and back of the car, the fender is there to protect the wheel-well.

The colour is also a good indication of a damaged and replaced fender. If the paint looks newer than the rest of the car's body, or if it is not in shape, then it is most likely that the car has been involved in a serious accident which had warranted a re-straightening and a repainting, or even a replacement.

3. The bumpers in the rear

The rear bumper is commonly involved in collisions either by reversing into an obstruction, a slight scrape, or even a ramming from behind. It is always important to check the rear bumpers for damages before parting with your money.

A replaced rear bumper is a sure sign of a heavy rear end ramming since most rear bumper can become really warped after a serious collision from behind. So, same colour check applies in addition to checking for slight cracks. This might show that the car has been involved in a collision, only that the owner forgot to replace the bumper.


Sometimes, a scratch in the rear bumper may tell the car's unrecorded history!

>>> For price of any tokunbo car in Nigeria, check out: 

4. The front panel and the front grille!

There is the need to carefully check the grilles and front panels as these are also strong indications of an accidental past. This is easy to spot even the grilles have been straightened, the funny looks will give it away.

If there are scrapes on the grilles, and areas with funny looking shapes, rather than a symmetrical shape, it is a sign of a serious crash.


A warped or funny-looking car grille is often a sign of a deeper car issue!

5. The bonnet

If the bonnet has been involved in an accident in the past, the obvious thing to do will be to replace it since the latch design is inch-detailed. Only replacing a damaged bonnet can ensure that it closes, not a repair. This is why a damaged but replaced bonnet will be easy to spot as it will be newer than the rest of the body.

A check by running your fingers through the bonnet is also effective as rough patches will indicate that it has been over sprayed to match the body colour.


Running your fingers through the bonnet of a used car might reveal more than just metals!

6. The boot cover

Does the boot cover latches firmly? How easily does the boot open? Is the interior of the boot cover different from the rest of the body? These questions are all critical to confirm if the car has been hit from behind to cause serious damage to the boot in the past.

If the boot cover does not latch on properly, then, it's a sure sign that it has been involved in an accident before. Also if the interior colours of the boot covers are somewhat different than the rest of the body, this might also be a sign.

7. The doors

Collision can result in the damage of both the front and rear doors. A replacement of the car doors is the normal thing if they've been involved in one accident before, as no panel-beating can restore them.

After you've checked the colour as well as the body feel, the next thing is to check the interiors of the door. Confirm if the internal soft plastic of the doors is the same. Confirm also if the door buttons are all the same, check which is the newest door, if you find one, then it's most likely the car has been involved in a serious accident that has caused a replacement of such door.

It's time to wrap up!

These guidelines as given by Naijauto are for you to diligently inspect a used car to ascertain if it has an accidental past and should help make the right choice when buying your car. A report of clean health might not guarantee an accident-free used vehicle as some past damage might have not been reported. So, do your due diligence and make the right decision.

>>> When buying used cars, you need a more detailed checklist to inspect your vehicle: 11 practical tips for checking used cars

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