Buying a car always fills us with emotion. Finally, our savings will be reflected in a new investment that will be very useful in our daily lives. However, when it comes to a vehicle with several hundred kilometers traveled, it is necessary to take precautions so that our experience does not turn into tragedy.
That is why we went with some experts in the field who helped us collect these ten basic tips to consider before purchasing a used car.
It is important to note that this information is not collected on the internet. Each point is the result of the opinion of the experts.
1) A general advice is to avoid cars from large lots and, above all, get away from coyotes. The reason is simple. The business in those places, the big markets, and for the coyotes, is to sell a car, in whatever state it is, in any way. Thus, these sellers will hardly list the problems of the vehicle. In fact they will try to make up and if you find something that disturbs you they will tell you that with an adjustment it is fixed. Recognize a coyote it is very simple. Usually they look for you, as soon as you arrive at the car dealership you will have them asking if you are selling or buying. If you show disinterest in the car in question you will be offered several more for sale. Therefore, we recommend going with individuals or in pre-owned car agencies that offer written guarantees or lots that are endorsed by organizations.
2) Always analyze the budget we have without forgetting the possible future problems. It is very worthwhile to sit down and think about the price range and type of car we are looking for, without forgetting that problems or adjustments of rigor may soon appear. Many times we intend to spend all the money saved in the most sporty, or luxury, used car, without thinking that certain brands have spare parts and high services, and that sometimes these costs increase even more when it comes to discontinued models. Although, they can be very beautiful, a simple tuning can turn them into a headache.
3) Buying a car is not a single day’s task. Even if you think you have found the vehicle of your dreams, do not rush, do not want to run to the bank immediately to make the corresponding deposit. Even if the owner presents the documentation in order, make a new appointment. Think at home with a cool head, but above all, take the time to verify that the car has no legal problems. Remember that they can show you a sheet of a car without a report of theft, but normally these reports are updated 24 hours after a report. Also, it is important to check the status of possible traffic fines, verifications and online tenure payment.
4) The first factor we always look at is the condition of the body; it’s normal, they say love is born out of sight, and if the outside attracted us it will be the first point to inspect the rest of the vehicle. An indication that the vehicle has suffered mishaps is poorly worked paint. Check backlight that there are no changes in tonality in different areas of the vehicle, spaces with cracked paint, with drops or rough finish (this reveals, in addition to bad preparation or poor quality of the product, that the vehicle was repaired in that sector) .
5) There is a false belief that, by passing a magnet through the sheet, we will detect areas where paste has been used, since the magnet will stick to the metal and not to the filling product. This is totally false, because even with paste the metal will stick, it would have to be a major blow and normally those are very evident, they are difficult to be well repaired if a good work of sheet and paint was not carried out.
6) Check that the car is not out of square. Check the spaces between each side of the fascia and the fender. When these are different, it is unequivocal proof that the car has a repaired blow, which possibly unbalanced (even if only a little) the soul and was straightened out. Also do not forget to check under the fenders and verify that there are no wrinkles in the frames, the points of attachment of the shock absorbers and the suspension.
7) In vehicles older than 10 years corrosion is a factor to consider. In these cars, the rubbers of the frames of the doors, trunk and glass begin to crack, allowing the passage of water and lodging inside the body. Check the bottom of the stirrups and posts of the doors, under the carpet in the trunk, and that the areas near the drain of the engine do not show oxidation points. Normally if the drain is covered, the liquid will seep into the cabin, from the area closest to the pedals. The changes of tonality in the carpet in this area, or the hardening of the same, can reveal this problem.
8) The mechanical revision should never be missing; but even without being experts we can detect problems in the following way. When you start a car in the morning, it will issue water vapor through the exhaust in a normal way; however, the gases from the exhaust when the car is already hot are not a good sign. The white smoke when the car is hot, and running, tell us that it is necessary to change seals and packaging or until the replacement of the rings of the engine. The black smoke is indicative that the vehicle is badly burning gasoline due to lack of tuning, or sensors and injectors plugged, while the blue smoke, the worst of all, indicates that the engine must be lowered to rectify it.
9) Look under the vehicle, if it drips any type of fluid, water, antifreeze or oil, requires a major overhaul, there may be broken hoses, leaking containers or tanks that will undoubtedly require immediate mechanical attention.
10) In standard transmission cars it is essential that when accelerating it does not settle, otherwise it may require tuning or even change of sensors (only the mechanic in the workshop can give the exact diagnosis). In automatic cars it is advisable to start the vehicle, wait for it to warm up a bit and turn on the fan, this so that the gearbox is also hot and can verify that it does not hit, buzz or kick when passing a vehicle speed to another.