Buying a second-hand car takes a lot of psychology and some technical knowledge. We give you the keys to make your decision right.
The used vehicle market has very tempting offers. It is true that many believe that buying a second-hand car is paying for someone else’s problems; unfortunately, some “professionals” of dubious morals have done a lot of damage to this sector … But, with these simple tricks, it will be difficult for them to give you a “hooligan”. Thus, once you have decided on a specific model and have located some “candidates”, follow these steps to make your decision correct :
Talk to your landlord (if possible)
You have to try to be a bit of a psychologist; By talking to the seller we can find out if he is a careful person with the car or not, why he sells it, if he is its first owner …
Key questions :
Why are you selling the vehicle?
How many owners has it had?
Have you suffered serious accidents?
Do you have the attendance book with the stamped revisions?
Does the car “sleep” in the garage?
Are there invoices for possible repairs? Will you let you see them?
Points to check
After a bit of conversation, you have to become a member of CSI .
The first thing to do is look at the exterior of the car; check for bumps. Scratches and small parking dents shouldn’t put you off when buying a car – they’ll serve as a weapon to negotiate the price, but they don’t mean anything serious.
Look for asymmetries in the body. If a headlight is lower, if the bumper has more gap between it and the wing on one side than on the other or if the hood fits more on one side… it indicates that there is a badly repaired blow; that should put us on alert.
Check all the lights, pilots, moldings … Be wary of the cars that equip the rear “tuning” lampshades, sometimes they are mounted after an accident, since they are cheaper than the originals.
Open the hood and check the headlight anchors, front struts, and shock mounts. Keep playing the seven differences … if the weld on one of the struts is different than the opposite, it may have been repaired.
Since you are in the engine compartment, check for oil leaks, if the mechanics are too clean or too dirty …
Ask the owner to start the car or you can buy new car from Farago Motors. Observe if the propeller rattles too much during the starting process: it could indicate that a motor mount is broken.
With the engine running, ask the owner to turn the steering to one end and the other. If you hear a kind of grunting noise, it may be due to a low power steering fluid level, indicating a leak in the assistance system. If squeaking sounds are heard, it is usually due to a poor or loose auxiliary belt.
The CV joint dust covers must be in good condition.
8 photos The CV joint dust covers must be in good condition.
With the steering to the side, check the condition of the shields and steering knuckles, the wishbones, etc. Cracked or broken tires tell you the actual mileage of the car.
Examine the brake discs; If they have a shiny, raised edge, they indicate high wear. If the car does not have many kilometers and the discs are badly worn, it usually means that the driver is overusing the brakes or is driving at a high speed.
The trunk is also a place to investigate. If the carpet is very worn or dirty, the car is usually very loaded. Pull up the carpet and look at the spare wheel well. If there is moisture, rust, etc … it may indicate that the boot does not close properly or that water is entering through a rear light, which may be the result of a badly repaired blow.
Check that you keep the jack and the typical tools (wheel wrench, anti-theft nut, jack, screwdriver …) that come with the car.
In the cabin, look under the seats and carpets. If there are crystals, it could be from an attempted theft or an accident: ask the owner.
Check the operation of all electrical systems in the car. Operate the windows, the seats with this regulation system, the air conditioning, the windshield wipers and all the accessories that the unit in question mounts.
High mileage should not scare you, if not the correct maintenance and care carried out.
8 photos High mileage should not scare you, if not the correct maintenance and care carried out.
You should not be scared by the number that the dashboard marks. A well-maintained car can cover many thousands of miles without problems; take a look at our report on planned obsolescence in vehicles to see for yourself.
Look for inconsistencies. If it marks few kilometers, but the steering wheel, gear knob and pedals have a lot of wear, be suspicious.
If the clutch pedal shows more severe wear on the left side, it may be that the driver usually carries his foot resting on that pedal. This will have left a mark on the clutch and is an expensive repair.
Now that the engine is warm, carefully remove the oil filler cap and check for smoke . Put your hand up and if a lot of pressure is generated … bad news. The engine has wear and tear and causes the compression of the cylinder to pass into the crankcase and, through the ventilation, rise to the rocker cover. Find another car.
Video: How to sell your used car
At the wheel of the car
If everything is going well up to here, it’s time to roll with the car. Ask the owner to drive first: so you can see if it is very rough, if it does not use the gear well, if it speeds up the gears too much …
When your turn comes, it will be easier to notice mechanical problems if you are careful behind the wheel. Hit the road and into the highest gear, accelerate smoothly from 1,200 rpm and see if the car picks up speed steadily. If it jerks slightly, there may be a fault in the engine management.
Lower a couple of gears and rev the engine, look for strange noises in the upper range.
In an esplanade, he turns the direction to the limit, puts in first and begins to turn. Repeat the same on the other side. If when you are turning you hear a ” cla, cla, cla “, you almost certainly have a bad CV joint.
The gears should enter smoothly and without “scratching.”
The tires should have regular wear across the entire tread.
8 photos The tires should have regular wear across the entire tread.
Check that gently braking the car does not tend to roll to one side or the other. If you do this and the tire pressure is correct, you may have a problem with the brake distributor or a seized brake caliper.
If you do not find anything strange with these checks, it is most likely that you are in front of your next car. Adjust the price and… go ahead!