Buying a used car can be a straight run to disappointment. There are several steps to take when inspecting a car that are crucial so you don’t end up paying more for broth than for meatballs. Sellers or dealers seek to be paid the highest possible price, which is why it is common to run into their attempts to cover or avoid any problem that the vehicle has.
If a car has been driven irresponsibly or has been in accidents, it may not be as obvious to the eye, so we offer these steps to help you notice these flaws.
Look for modifications
If a car has been modified to perform better than the original, there is a high possibility that it has been abused. Make sure whoever sells it has receipts for all modifications made to it. It is also necessary to pay attention to discolorations in the windows from the verification stamps.
Check the engine compartment
Maltreatment to the engine is often noticed. Inspect the engine compartment for lubricating oil leaks or ruptures in the rubber hoses. Also pay attention to any other pieces that don’t look original.
Another important aspect to check is the lubricating oil level, as well as the color of the motor oil. If its appearance is dark, thick, or of poor quality, then you get a good idea that the car has not been well cared for and has not received proper maintenance.
Cars that have been well cared for start up fast and valves or taps squeal. Therefore always check the engine. Either way, you have to be careful if cars are hot – starting them cold helps diagnose engine problems with ease.
Examine the bodywork
Check the exterior of the vehicle from different angles. It is noticeable if the car has been washed frequently, if it has been waxed and if the paint maintenance was adequate.
If you notice any dents, curvatures in the panels, or areas where the paint has a rough or scraped finish, the car has been fixed and was probably after an accident. Any panel that is not aligned properly is a sign of a poor repair.
Check the tire arches
Tires that show a lot of wear or that do not match each other reveal problems. Many sellers know this and replace the tires. So check the wheel bay to make sure there is no rubber residue trapped in the top and rear of the arch. This way you will know if the previous driver has been skidding the car.
Examine the interior
A car that has been well cared for will have a clean interior – clean upholstery will show through. Take a look at the condition of the seats to see if there are no stains, discolorations or traces of some kind of fluid spill. The pedals can also show if the car has seen rough use, so don’t ignore them. Vehicle should have a fresh scent without cigarette burns or wear abnormalities.
Always take the car out for a dynamic test that lasts long enough for the lubricating oil and antifreeze to do their job.
If the systems are not working properly or if the engine temperature rises, it is a red flag.
Don’t turn on the radio or sound system so you can hear the engine or any other unnatural sound. Listen carefully if the car squeaks and isn’t using all of its gears. In manual cars if the gear changes are difficult to execute, it will be one more alert.
Pay attention to the board and make sure no witnesses are caught. Also test the suspension so that no smoke comes out of the exhaust. If the steering wheel turns too much or becomes stuck, it indicates another possible problem.
If, after having attended all the previous tips, you still feel unsure about acquiring the vehicle, take into account other aspects such as: the attitude of the seller and the attention they give you.
It also checks that all the papers of the car (registration card, verifications, and current tenure payments) are in order to avoid debts.
Request the history of the services to which the car has been subjected, so you will have each and every one of your doubts resolved and you will avoid a bad purchase that you might regret.