Finding the right used car is not about luck, but about applying good research and inspection skills. Knowing how to identify potential problems and determining the reliability of a used car can save you from future car maintenance headaches.
Buying a used car pays off and provides the best value for money. However, the value you get from a vehicle depends on many factors, such as its condition, market value, and service history.
The engine is the most important part that every buyer should check before purchasing a used car. It plays an important role in the overall performance of the vehicle. Therefore, it makes sense to check the engine before buying a used car.
It is a way for those who understand cars and can determine the condition of the engine themselves. If you undertake to check the car’s engine yourself, then start by opening the hood. Inspect the engine itself for smudges, foreign fluids, and deformation of the body from impact. After this, the presence or absence of some common problems will become apparent, such as damage from external influences or oil leaks.
If the engine under the hood of a used car is dusty and dirty, then you are in luck – on a clean and washed engine, you will not see oil and other liquids smudges. You should inspect the engine for smudges during daylight hours and with a flashlight, in other words, with maximum illumination of the engine compartment. If the engine is recently washed, then all that remains is to ask a question about oil leaks, relying on the seller’s honesty, otherwise, such a defect can be identified over time after buying the car, and this will become an unpleasant surprise.
Check service records
Service, maintenance records, or history are not always available, but it is helpful if the dealer or vehicle seller provides evidence that the vehicle has been regularly repaired. If you have access to service records, please refer to oil change and mileage records. It is useful to be able to check the regularity of oil changes. According to the Auto for Trade, the oil change interval is 3,750 to 10,000 miles. If you run the car for a longer period of time between oil changes, the internal engine may wear out. It is also helpful to know whether the timing belt has been replaced or what other maintenance work has been performed.
Start and warm up the engine. The exhaust color should be close to transparent. If blue smoke comes out of the pipe, this may indicate a burnt-out gasket or leakage of the channels of the cooling system. Black smoke will indicate problems in the piston group and carbon deposits in the cylinders, and blue smoke is a signal that the engine loves to eat oil. A little bit of black-colored fumes coming out of a diesel car is common. However, if you are going to buy a used petrol car and any type of smoke is coming out from its engine, then there is definitely some sort of issue.