Many people watch out for local car deals that they find in the newspaper classified ads section. And go out to buy these lemons and not knowing what they are actually getting themselves into down the road. It is very important to know some technical knowledge about cars before buying any used car or even a new car. This article will give you some of the most targeted things to look for before you decide to spend your hard earned cash on a lemon.
Take a good view at the vehicle exterior pto shaft and look for tail tell signs for damage paint and deep embedded scratches. If the paint is new, ask when the car was painted last. Take notice and Beware of fixer uppers, this is a tactical that some dealers uses to fix up a used car adding cheap new details and a fix-up to hide paint job. This practice often distract used car buyers from larger problems such as underlying rust that will occur in the future.
View the back of the vehicle and check the bumper including the front as you make you way around to that area. Look at the wheel wells for signs of rust, dents or body filler. Then search the rest of the vehicle for rust, Most importantly always remember to scan the underside of the vehicle for any hidden problems. Also look for dimples in the paint, dents, scuffs in the paint job.
Inspect both sides of the car including under beneath the vehicle for any signs of more major body repair. Look for inconsistencies: Like for example check to see, Do the edges of the hood and door panels line up correctly with the fenders and other side panels. And check to see do the frame look aligned precisely. Such inconsistencies may be clues to previous wrecks that can cost you Big in repairs bills down the road.
Inspect all the tires of the vehicle. Look for signs of irregular wear and tear like feathering, cupping, one edge wearing, center or both edges worn down.
Also make sure that the wheels are not pointed in a inward position indicating a alignment problem. Check to see if the vehicle is at the manufacture recommended tire pressure levels to insure safety driving.
Open the door, check the interior for tears in upholstery, sun damage and general appearance. Make sure that all important things that you will need while driving a vehicle works properly like example…headlights, bright lights, turning signals, back stop lights, reverse lights, park lights, emergency lights. Also check basic car amenities like radio, air conditioner, heater, windshield wipers, odometer, gas meter, interior lights, for function ability.
This may be the first most importantly thing you should do before you buy a used car. Lift the hood. Look at the engine overall cleanliness. Look for signs of wear and tear on components especially the timing belt and the drive belt and other belts may vary by vehicles. Make sure that the battery cables and connectors are not worn down or the battery it self is in good running condition. Inspect the engine for any signs of leaking oil around the valve cover and head gasket that may be coming from the engine. Check all attached holes for signs of busting, wear and tear and damage. Inspect under neath the vehicle to see is there any rusted out holes in the exhaust pipe manifold and muffler.
Check the oil, (make sure the engine is cool) The oil level should be in between the two level marks. If you find it below the bottom level mark then this could mean a oil leak or the engine is in a critical need for oil. Also look to see have it been change recently by looking for a smooth texture yellow-brown of color. You will definitely know that the vehicle needs an maintenance oil change if the oil comes out looking burnt dark black. Next place your hands on the dipstick by rubbing it against your thumb.
If you feel small particles in the oil, By chance the engine may be worn or damage causing you costly repair problems.
Check the transmission fluid with the engine idling, transmission in “Park” (some cars may have different procedures, refer to owner’s manual) remove the automatic transmission dipstick and wipe it off with a clean cloth. Then insert it back in and pull it out again. Check the fluid level, low level may indicate a transmission leak. Look at the fluid very closely. It helps to drip the fluid on a white paper towel to be able to see fluid condition. The fluid on the paper towel should be clean and transparent, without any metal filings or black flakes. New fluid usually comes out red. Over the time and use it become more brownish like, but it shouldn’t be black. Try to smell the fluid. It should not have a burnt smell. If you discover that the transmission fluid is too dirty or black, or smells burnt, you may need to avoid buying such a car.
Set the emergency brake, depress the clutch pedal and shift through the gears to see if they easy fall in place while shifting. Also if the vehicle has a manual transmission listen out for any grinding sounds that may be coming from the transmission. Here are more signs to look out for while testing the vehicle for slippage.
A delay of more than a second in shifting from the neutral to drive or reverse gear, could mean that there is a problem with the transmission. If on changing from a neutral or park position to the drive or reverse gear, the car does not immediately catch the gear and move forward or backward, then it could mean a problem in the transmission.
If the car has suddenly started sounding noisy, then it could also be because of a problem in the gearbox.
Most automatic transmission systems, nowadays, have a check engine light or an OD light, which flashes if there is a problem with the engine. You will need to have the vehicle inspected or diagnose if you can’t understand the instruments problem code.
Start up the engine. It should practically start up immediately. Listen closely for accurate start up ability and listen out for any sound of engine knocking or any other irregularities sounds that you do not normally hear when starting up a car. Be sure to ask questions about any sounds you are not familiar with to the car salesman.
Next take the car for a test drive. Check the brakes at normal driving traffic conditions. They shouldn’t squeal and should bring the car to a stop in a short sufficiently distance. Make sure you do not have to press the brake pedal all the way down to come at a complete stop. This is a good sign that the vehicle may have worn down brakes pads or even a serious brake problem.
is to ask to see a record of the vehicle maintenance and car report. Look to see that the car had regular oil changes and checkups (maintenance schedules will vary by model etc.). Also, inquire about additional work that may have been done on the vehicle and ask to see receipts. You can also go to carfax.com which is a leading source to find any used car history report available using their services. This is by far a great service to check out if you really want to be ahead of your class. Because most likely in some cases dealers want have access to the vehicle history records.