The majority of us buy our cars second hand, whether it is through an individual or at a car auction. The only problem with buying your car this way is that it can be a bit hit and miss whether you get an honest purchase or not, you don’t really know whether there is something wrong with the car or not. Below are some tips to help you check over the car before you make that all important purchase.
This is a handy little tool that not many people know about that detects paintwork. A paint meter will reveal if any work has been done, you can then determine whether this is due to an accident or just a touch up. Getting a new paint job is one of the most common cover up methods from car garages. You get cars that are over 3 years old with no scratches and this is because it has been covered with a paint touch up.
Oil Cap Check
Open up the oil cap and have a look closely, if there is any thick black sludge type on the back of the cap then this means the oil hasn’t been changed regular enough or not for a long while. This is a big red flag and you should not buy the car.
If there is more of a caramel colour sludge around the cap this means the anti-freeze has been leaking. This is like cancer to a car’s engine so another car to avoid if it has this. Most car garages know about this and to clean the cap but an individual seller probably would not know.
A cold start is a great way to see if there are any issues with a car, sometimes they will not even start at all until after a few attempts!
If you want to look at a car then arrange so that you can start the car cold. For this to be affective the car needs to have been resting for at least 12 hours, but for best results a full 24 hours.
When starting a car cold you can hear or see some of the major problems. For instance, the car might not start on the first few attempts, it may make some strange noises or banging that go away once the car is warm. You may also see a lot of blue or white smoke from a start-up, if it is blue then it means the engine is burning oil and if it is white it means anti-freeze as leaked into the engine. Both very bad signs!
Compression is an important thing to check and can be done very easily. When viewing a car give the engine a rev whilst in neutral and monitor the RPM. If the car has decent compression it will go up and down quickly but if it is slow to go up or down then the engine is losing compression. A car worth avoiding.
If you really want the best assessment of a car you want to buy then it is recommended that you get your mechanic to come have a look. He will be able to tell you straight away if there are any issues with the vehicle. More car advice from Automotive Central can be found on the website.
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