Pre-purchase Inspection Of Used Car

author image Thursday 19 March 2015, 14:35 PM Auto Guides

When you buy a used or pre-owned car, you should to be more careful as things aren’t always as good as they seem. That is the reason why experts recommended buyers to perform a comprehensive used car inspection. Many mechanics check used cars on different basis, but their feedback is worthy. Here’s the vehicle checklist that most mechanics follow or look at. Besides all these checkpoints, one has to make sure that the vehicle has a clear history with legal proves.

Pre-purchase inspection of used car
Pre-purchase inspection of used car

This autoguide will help you understand things one needs to check before buying a used car.  

Used car checklist

Body dents and rust: Almost every car gets minor to major dents, sketches or imperfections during throughout their lives. Mechanics, usually, don’t check for dents or imperfections properly. Imperfect exterior paint and panels can hint at cheap repair or an accident. Check the entire panel, frame and underbody of the vehicle for rust issues. As a glossy new paint coat might be covering a rust lurking beneath. 

Suspension and tires: It’s important to check suspension and tires by pushing down on each corner of the car. This will provide you information about its shocks state. If the car bounces once, and comes back to its normal position, then it’s considered to be fine. For suspension inspection, you can take a test drive. Make sure that tires are well-shaped and don’t have uneven wear, puncture or alignment problem.

Brakes and transmission: Brakes and transmission are important and quick things to check. The brake test will help you know the strength and robustness of the brakes. Most used cars in India are complained for poor braking, therefore, it is recommended to test brakes on both smooth and rough roads. A squealing or grinding noise is the sign of a problem. Gear shifting should be smooth. Automatic gearboxes should be prompt in gear selection, while manuals shouldn’t be toil or grind under gear. 

Radiator and hoses: The radiator is the first and most important thing to check under the hood. The rusty or low coolant indicates poor care of the car from its past owner. Make sure that the radiator fins are solid and sturdy. Water hoses need to be inspected closely, too.

Engine – knocking, compression and oil: When you fire up the engine, check for its idle response. If you hear some rattling or knocking sounds, while the motor warms up, there could be some problem. Knocking could be a sign of bad care from its previous owner. A compression test is the easiest way to check for engine issues. Similarly, it’s important to check for oil levels or any leakage. If oil is dark and smells burnt, then there could be some serious engine issues.

Lights: Make sure that lights aren’t broken or faded. Check headlight assemblies to ensure that they haven’t been replaced because of an accident or crash. If they are dim or flickering, change them. The turn signals, brake lights, high beams, interior lights, too, need to be checked.

Instrument Gauges: Illuminating warning light on instrument cluster signifies a problem. Make sure that odometer, speedometer and tachometer are working properly.

HVAC: Car’s air-conditioning and heater need to be working on all speeds and the compressor shouldn’t be noisy.

Exhaust: The excessive blue exhaust smoke means that the car is burning lots of fuel. If it’s black, then there might a problem with fuel system, while the white smoke indicates burning antifreeze that signifies a head gasket failure.

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