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      07-11-2011, 09:26 AM   #1
dmw16
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Assessing Old Accident Damage

I am looking at a used M3 at a dealer (it\'s an e46 but this is a general question). The carfax shows an accident on the right side with the car functional after the collision. Beyond that I don\'t know the nature of the crash/impact.

What are some things to look for to figure out if it was major or just a minor thing?

If it matters the car is a 2005 convertible.

Thanks.
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      07-11-2011, 09:33 AM   #2
Mr. ///M3 RD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmw16 View Post
I am looking at a used M3 at a dealer (it\'s an e46 but this is a general question). The carfax shows an accident on the right side with the car functional after the collision. Beyond that I don\'t know the nature of the crash/impact.

What are some things to look for to figure out if it was major or just a minor thing?

If it matters the car is a 2005 convertible.

Thanks.
Is the dealer a BMW dealership? if yes ... is the car certified? If not I would first have it checked out at a good (I mention good here, since there are some small BMW dealerships out there that are not exactly my cup of tea). BMW dealership. If you do this then you will get answers as to what work you may have to have done and also if the frame is straight or if there is distortion from the accident.
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      07-11-2011, 02:24 PM   #3
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Report should also note if it was minor, moderate or severe. But the best way to know is to carefully inspect the car underneath and under the hood. And if under the hood shows any sign of damage, you'd have to remove the fender to assess it better. In those cases, I'd like to buy from the owner. Or at least being able to talk to him/her. I'd try to locate the owner if dealer doesn't cooperate. If you do and owner doesn't want to talk, I'd walk away from that car.

I was selling my car with a clean carfax/autocheck, but had a cosmetic accident that I still disclosed. Could have said somebody scratched the door and fenders and repainted them, but told the truth. Maybe that's why I didn't sell it; don't know. But I can always sleep at night. Rather not sell it (it's a great car, and don't mind keeping it at all) than deceive somebody. But if you trade the car in, dealer would never tell buyers, so most owners don't say anything to dealer, and just let them do the investigation. In your case, they obviously found out, and probably gave the owner a much larger deduction than they're giving to you .

If you have the time, it's MUCH better to buy from an original owner than any dealer IMO. Plus you're most likely going to get everything, and car is safely parked in a garage (most likely), rather than under the elements, and being abused by dealer/auction/wholesaler personnel. Mine has almost 2 years left of warranty, and most still have over a year, so no worries there. You could always extend warranty if you're so inclined. Good luck man.
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