What to Look for When Checking a Used Car for Rust

Search by VIN

When shopping for a used car, it is important to check for rust on the vehicle. Often times, a fresh paint job can cover up superficial signs of rust damage. CARFAX shows you what to look out for when checking a used car for rust in this video tutorial.

Checking for rust on a used car is important for several reasons. First, when critical components and parts of a vehicle are rusted, they can break. Depending on which part of the vehicle is rusted, this can be dangerous and put the driver and others on the road at risk. Additionally, extensive rust damage can be very expensive once uncovered. It is also possible to render the vehicle un-drivable.

When purchasing a used car, take extra care while checking for rust if you live in a humid climate, or in a place where salt is used to melt snow and ice. Rust damage is much more common in these locations. Keep in mind, even if you don’t live in an area similar to these, it’s entirely possible that the vehicle may have at one time been driven in one.

The first place to check for rust is the bottom of the car. This is where rust problems usually begin. It is also harder to cover up damage to these parts. Don’t forget to also check inside the door frames, in the wheel wells, under the window seals and on the exhaust pipe. Each of these locations are notorious for rust problems. Additionally, if you notice any spots where the paint is bubbling, this is an early sign of rust damage. It could also indicate that a rust spot was hastily painted over.

If you find a vehicle which has everything you are looking for, but has some small rust damage, it does not automatically mean you should walk away. Small rust problems can often be fixed when done early enough. Consult a professional before you buy a used car with rust.

When shopping for a used car, it is highly recommended to check the CARFAX Vehicle History Report. The CARFAX Report helps used car buyers uncover a lot about a vehicle’s past, including important information such as number of owners, whether the mileage is accurate, if the car has been imported and/or exported, more in depth technical information and much more.

Checking the CARFAX can help you make better purchase decisions!