Check list for buying used car

How to Inspect a Used Car for Purchase

Only some of the points below are show-stoppers for your purchase. You can use the problem to your advantage by haggling money off the car, or insist that the seller fixes it before the sale. Used approved schemes mean the cars will have a full service history, undergo a comprehensive mechanical check, and depending on the scheme may even come with an extra warranty and breakdown cover.

Used-Car-Buyer's Checklist

The engine is the heart of the car, and while they put up with a huge amount of wear and tear, the number of components inside and the tight tolerances they operate under means maintenance is essential. One of the easiest things to spot are leaks. When you view a used car, check underneath for signs of an oil leak. The sludge under the engine is caused by road dirt sticking to the oily underside of the engine.

Open the bonnet and check all around the engine for other leaks. Oil leaks are usually brown or, if the engine oil is old, black, but there are other fluids that are prone to seeping out. Coolant also known as antifreeze is usually green, pink or yellow while gearbox and power steering fluid is reddish brown.

Gearbox fluid is quite thick, while power steering fluid is thinner.

If you see any of this leaking, you have a few options. You can ask for money off the price in order to get it fixed yourself, or you can insist the seller fixes it as part of the deal. Or you can walk away and seek out another car. Ensure the dipstick reading is at the correct level and the oil is not discoloured or the wrong consistency.

A blown head gasket is one which has begun to leak. Check the engine is cool and remove the oil cap from the top of the engine. Switch on the engine and walk to the back of the car. Blue smoke means the engine is burning oil. That means somehow oil is getting into the cylinders. It could indicate a blown head gasket or problems with the internal engine seals. Either way, the bills could be significant. Black smoke is usually caused by the engine burning too much fuel.

Manual and automatic gearboxes are available, but there are different types of automatic gearboxes which can behave differently.

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Whatever gearbox the car has, it should engage all gears smoothly and quietly. If you have to push your foot all the way to the floor, the clutch will need attention. It could be as simple as an adjustment, or a pricy replacement. You should be able to change gears easily. Resistance or grinding noises also points to a problem.

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Go to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Cars Dot Com, or a similar auto reviewing site to check out the reliability of different models, and see what consumers think about the models you're interested in getting. It can be tempting to try to save a few bucks by buying a car on Craigslist or in the newspaper, but it's a better idea to go to a trusted dealership with a solid reputation to make sure you're getting a vehicle that's going to last. Take the car for a test drive around Nanaimo or on the Island Highway.

Make your way to check out the quality used cars for sale at Wheaton Hyundai, and learn more about the Wheaton Hyundai team. Remember to contact us with any questions! Decide what kind of car you need. Research different models. Go to a trusted seller. For enquiries and bookings, call NRMA mobile vehicle inspections on The NRMA provides a vast catalogue of new car reviews of current and superseded models, which are invaluable in helping you choose the right used car.

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Used-car crash safety information, including car safety ratings, is available on the Australian New Car Assessment Program website. Buying a used car always carries some risks. If you're concerned you can always reach out to our motoring advice team on 13 11 Here, as well as finding out if the car you're considering has money owing on it, you can establish whether the car has been written-off as a result of a collision or other damage, or if it has been reported as stolen.