As most of you might be thinking of getting a car now to avoid public transport but also don’t want to spend too much in this uncertain economic situation a used car would be your only option. But definitely its a used car and it will have some used car problems. But how to spot major damage and avoid big repairs that are coming forth? Here are 5 signs which will save you a lot while buying a used car.
1. Check For Exhaust Gas Colour
An exhaust is supposed to give out the remains of the engine combustion. So the colour of it tells us that what is exactly wrong with the engine. Usually, there is white smoke and black smoke that is expected. But on a well-maintained car it will expel a colourless smoke. What does either colour indicate?
White smoke: A white smoke means that there is leakage of some sort of watery fluid inside the combustion chamber. This could usually mean that the radiator fluid is seeping within the engine and it is going to cost you some serious money to fix.
Note that this smoke is not the steam that you see if you live in colder regions. To check this get the car warmed up and then check if the smoke is thick and stays for a while.
Blueish smoke: This car problem is a rare one but its hard to notice. It is because of the oil seep inside the engine. This will mean that there is some piston rings failure and replacing a piston ring will require you to open the engine.
As blue smoke is not that easy to notice one can check the rear bumper or skid plate for oil residual. Oil will smell like it should and you will be able to cross that off. This is of course if the owner lets you take a test drive.
Black smoke: A black smoke is normal but not all the time. It should be there only when the car is being floored. Also, it is more prevalent in diesel cars. Petrol car which has black smoke coming out of it has some problem with it.
Reason for black smoke is not that serious and can be incomplete combustion but that could need replacement of air filter, spark plugs or adjust the carburettor. This might be also on cars with performance mods on them so do keep that under check too.
2. Fluid leaks
This is the biggest of all used car problems. The engine bay has a lot of fluids and to check them all is necessary. If a person is selling his car he surely will get it cleaned. But a cleaned engine bay might be an illusion. Do a normal inspection of the engine bay and see for fluid stains on the belly pan. Also, look under the car to check for drips.
Oil and coolant are the main things that you should look for and for coolant its neon green and easily noticeable but oil is black so do use a torch or light to get the engine bay checked. While at it you have to check all the wires and pipes for bike marks. If there is rat damage then you might also see some bigger problems under the car.
Also, check for the insulation for NVH. This is not easy to clean and there might be some marks on it of fluids which might indicate some damage.
Also read: 6 Signs Brakes Give Before Failure
3. Coffee Engine Oil
This is the worst type of wear you can find on the car. A black oil indicates that the car has not received an oil change in a while but if it is brownish and milky then it might be the coolant that is mixing in the oil. The damage that comes with this is very expensive. If the engine oil has been changed then you will have to run the car for a while.
No Oil changes are also a big no-no but it is still manageable with a complete service of the vehicle to be done before the deal or you can lower the price on the car.
A rusty car is easy to spot but what matters is the rust on the frame. If you see rust on the exhaust and some other parts is not acceptable but can be places of price reduction. What you should avoid is the rust on the main parts such as the frame and the suspension wishbone.
Rusted body panels on a very old car can be replaced but getting core components of a car that is out of production will very difficult and one has to take care of that.
5. Accident Damage
If you find a seller who is very honest with the accident history of the car then do see for the other damages. There might be some visible damages that he might cover up saying that it is the same incident. Also, check for the UV light wear and tear on the dashboard. If the car does not have that then probably the dashboard has been replaced indicating that the car has been in some serious damage. Any problems for the fame of the car will be a big expense later on.
Finally, if you want to get a good deal on the car you can use these Used Car Problems to reduce the points but we recommend to look for a car that is in a good condition rather than getting a poorly maintained car at a throwaway price. This will save you the headache of maintenance and keep you happy.