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Hey,

possible E90 buyer here.

I am looking at a 2006 325i CPO.

The car fax and autocheck looks very clean.

But how can identify if all fenders, bumpers have not been painted after an accident?

Also for the car in question, has VIN sticker on right shock housing (near windsheild washer reservoir) inside engine bay.

But there is no VIN sticker on left shock housing, is that normal?

Also on the hood inside, there is no VIN sticker.

Dealer says thats how it is. Is this correct?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Hari
 

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seems normal...

Look for repaint by checking for fisheyes. These are left behind after a car has been touched up.

As for accidents, just make sure the car feels solid.
 

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Pull up the carpet in the trunk and look for creases in the metal. Look under the hood by the fenders if you see the same. Look for any signs of repaint. Make sure the car tracks straight when you test drive it...,and ask a lot of questions about its history. There should be a VIN under the hood..maybe they're hiding something.
 

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Feel the paint edges. If smooth, then factory; if rough, then repainted. Also look at bolts and nuts. Factory should be painted, and if a panel/hood had been removed, the paint will be stripped.
 

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Visual inspection and a paint thickness gauge. :thumbup:
 

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IF the dealer's used car manager is savvy, he will have a paint thickness gauge and use it to check the cars. Ask him to go over the panels in your presence and tell you what the readings are.

As an example, all of the panels on my '06 325i read either 5 or 6 on a paint gauge.
 

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Feel the paint edges. If smooth, then factory; if rough, then repainted. Also look at bolts and nuts. Factory should be painted, and if a panel/hood had been removed, the paint will be stripped.
Also look for missing decals that were applied at the factory. No decals, the panel has been replaced. The only reason I can think of for replacing a panel is due to damage in an accident.
 

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Check all the seperate painted panels at different angles in natural daylight. Unless the shop had a Michelangelo you should be able to spot a paint job.
 

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Open the hood / doors, etc., and look to see the edges that are hidden. On a factory job they are uniform. A very small spot repair and good blend with factory original paint may indeed be difficult to spot though...

Common things like bumper cover repaints with original color are also more difficult to spot, but matter less than a quarter panel repair or hood in terms of crash history likeliness though.
 

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Hey,

possible E90 buyer here.

I am looking at a 2006 325i CPO.

The car fax and autocheck looks very clean.

But how can identify if all fenders, bumpers have not been painted after an accident?

Also for the car in question, has VIN sticker on right shock housing (near windsheild washer reservoir) inside engine bay.

But there is no VIN sticker on left shock housing, is that normal?

Also on the hood inside, there is no VIN sticker.

Dealer says thats how it is. Is this correct?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Hari
If it doesn't 'feel' right...walk away. If it is a great deal, you already have a suspicion of why that is so. There will be other deals soon enough. Do you want this playing on your mind when you drive off the lot?
 

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Also look for missing decals that were applied at the factory. No decals, the panel has been replaced. The only reason I can think of for replacing a panel is due to damage in an accident.
Are you referring to the shield and lion on the trunk? Are you sure about this? I have seen BMW's without them. I would imagine someone can request them to be removed.
 

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What is the history of this car? Should the current owner know of any accidents not listed in car-fax? If so, just add an affidavit section to the bill of sale. Someone with nothing to hide won't blink twice at signing this.
 

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How confident are people of Carfax information?

I had a decent prang in my 330 a couple of years ago (since sold) - 25, 000 and 3 mths to fix - and I did a carfax on it when I was selling it and it came up clean?
As a note though, I did fully disclose the damage, the repairs were excellent and done at a Dealer body shop. The car drove like new after it but confused about the Carfax?
 

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CarFax can only know what they are told. Most if not all insurance companies repot accidents to CarFax. Probably most reputable/high end auto-body shops report it. THere are still tons of small time body shops that will not report it. So take CarFax with a grain of salt.
 

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Visual inspection and a paint thickness gauge. :thumbup:
+1 it it was a good paint shop, the chances of finding anything still creased or bent are slim, overspray is doubtful anywhere as they mask everything off well and forget fisheyes or rough paint - chances are a good shop will have better paint quality than the factory after it is sanded and buffed.

The only way to be sure is to use a paint thickness guage, or pay for an independent inspection where they check the paint thickness, get the car up on a lift etc - often worth the money. A lot of times just negotiate it - tell the seller you are happy to buy it for x price if it passes an independent inspection and meet the seller somewhere to get it inspected, if he hesitates or tries to avoid an inspection, then walk!
 
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