Unfortunately, for those who are shopping for a used car in Calgary, rust is just a fact of life. Canada is well known for the intensity and length of its winters. Given the amount of moisture from snow in the winter, along with the amount of road salt used, it should come as no surprise that cars in Canada tend to rust a lot faster than cars in other places.

This can become a real problem when looking to buy used cars in Calgary. How can you be certain that the vehicle you are interested in is in good shape and doesn’t have any hidden rust? What if it has been repainted to conceal rust damage

In an ideal situation, you should be able to look at the underside of your new potential vehicle on a lift, but this isn’t always a possibility when shopping for a used car, so be prepared to slide under your new potential ride with a flashlight.

Begin by examining every part of the car that you can see. It is common for components such as the exhaust system and muffler to be rusty, but that is not necessarily a good reason to not buy the car.

The main area you want to look at for rust damage is the vehicle’s frame, in addition to the components that may not be visible from the exterior of the car. Take note of any rusty patches, and if there are any entirely rusted spots, you probably shouldn’t purchase the car.

Examine the Doors, Joints, and Other Hinges

Rust is common on spots of the vehicle with hinges; therefore, you should check for rust on:

The car doors
The lower body panels
The vehicle’s hood
Around the windows
The car trunk

If these areas are rust-free, then there is a good chance that the remainder of the vehicle is also in good shape, and you can go ahead with your purchase without any stress. You should still perform a complete inspection, however, to be safe.

Check for Signs of Repair and Repainting

If a car has been repaired or repainted due to rust, this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, in certain circumstances, the vehicle’s seller may have made a poor attempt to conceal rust damage from a potential buyer and get a higher price for the car. If you believe that a car has been repainted to hide rust, ensure that you examine it on a bright day for the best view. Look for “bubbling” in the paint, which is common when a seller has painted over existing rust.

It would help if you also examined the trim of the car. If you notice any variation in paint texture, or dull sections, these could be a sign of rust damage.