desire of getting something better for small money moves people
to decision of buying a used car. For fewer troubles you ought
to change you car periodically. Let's me give you some advices.
Usually you move through 4 stages:
selection (model, year & sum of money that you are ready to
spend); meeting with the seller; checking the documents; test-drive.
are 2 most popular way of searching the car – local newspapers
& magazines and Internet. Looking through announcements,
try to allocate only the objective information which cannot
be embellished: year of release, color, a complete set, the
price and contact phone of the seller.
better way of phone call to the seller
speaking by phone with seller you have not to forget about specifying
the following moments:
- How many previous owners?
- Are there any accidents with
- Are there any (if yes –
what type and where) viewable interior and exterior damages?
- Additional equipment or characteristics
of the car (that haven't shown in announcement)
- Variants of purchasing?
- Possibility of haggle?
If you've received the exhaust
information and it arranges you, it's better to fix the time
and place of meeting for checking the car, its documents and
to prepare for checking the car
more careful survey please don't forget about: a small mirror
(to glance in remote places); small electric torch (for examining
places demanding illumination). Invite somebody to go with you.
Together it's easier to find defects and psychologically better
to reduce the price.
to check the documents
have to check the date and year of release of the car. If you
have specialized software or Internet-access you can check a
lot (origin, body, transmission, engine, serial number of this
car (last 6 digits)) with the help of VIN code of it. VIN usually
consists of 17 elements (letters and digits). The 10th digit
– is a year when car was produced. The serial number of
a car's body can be verified in different places (usually –
under the cowl and under the seat of front passenger. The documents
have to contain the dates and remarks about all service checks
of the car. If everything in documents have satisfied you, it
is possible to start "investigation" of the car.
to check the exterior
useless to check not clean car, because even a thin layer of
dust can "protect" the defect of body. Sit down behind
the car and glance along its sides – it can help to find
defects of geometry and painting. Make the same exam for the
cowl and a roof. Everything suspicious has to be checked. Check
the back pillars in all their length. Give special attention
to the evenness of distance between the parts of car's body.
Check gaps in all doors (when closed), in boot and around a
cowl. Be sure, that there are no winkles and edges on EVERY
part of the body.
Everything (doors, cowl, boot
lid) have to close and open easily, without any additional movements
Compare the color of a body in
different places of the car. The difference – the reason
to think more about "the past" of this car. The pieces
of paint haven't to be found on a plastic or rubber parts outside
or inside the car.
Check everything for absence (presence
is much worse) of a rust which will be able to be a big and
expensive trouble for you.
to inspect the engine
this stage from the inspection of the engine module as a whole.
There should be no big traces of oil, gas and other technical
liquids. Check it again after the test-drive. Check the oil
– it has to be clear and transparent without any inclusions.
Oil in different part of engine can be different in colours,
but homogeneous and without any outside inclusions. The burnt
smell near the automatic transmission show that "period
of validity" of it is close to end. Check the level of
oil everywhere. Check the battery. It should be clear, without
traces of oxidation on plugs. Check up a tank with brake liquid.
The low level of this liquid testifies about the possible leakage
of system. The fan of cooling system has to rotate free without
gap. Check viewable electrical cables – they have to be
flexible and are well fixed.
Put something big, white and cheap
(list of paper A3 or bigger, list of newspaper) under the car
and start engine. It has to work stable on 1000rpm without big
changes in speed of rotation. The engine should work without
extraneous noise. Push foot-throttle – you have NOT to
hear any "metal" sounds. At the working engine wait,
when cooling system of engine start (and stop some minutes later).
Check the temperature of water and oil during this period.
After checking the engine at work,
take out the list from under the car. Be sure, that there are
no drops of oil on it. If you see them – the engine is
far from ideal. Don't mixed oil drops with the liquid condensate
from the conditioning system.
During this static engine test
BE SURE that transmission is in neutral position.
to check chassis
all wheels for the top and strongly pull them to & from
yourself. Significant gap shows the bearing is worm-out. Check
the car suspension. From all corners push the car downwards.
It has to return back without inertia.
Check tires. Uneven deterioration
of their protectors can be caused by the broken geometry of
the cars body or incorrect angle between the wheels.
to examine interior
necessary to examine all rubber sealing elements. Check control
panel. Scratches, jingles or attritions are good reason to move
price down. Check the work of window raisers – move windows
from fully open to fully closed positions some times. Check
the functionality of all seats and all their adjustments. Check
the presence and correct work of all seat belts. Check the work
of all door locks and their special variants (central lock or
children lock for back door (if presented)).
Start the engine. Check up serviceability
of signals of turn, near and far light, a sound signal, a heater
of a back glass.
Check the work of air-conditions.
Try to change the direction of air streams inside the car and
their temperature. Check, how it is working with open windows.
to see and what to notice during test-drive
Full information about he car
you can't receive without test-drive. Before it "transport"
to the drier's seat and tune everything around (seat, seat belts,
mirrors, air-condition) for your maximum comfort. Nothing has
to disturb you. Check the work of handbrake - stop the car on
the road with serious slope, switch it on, move outside the
car and push it. If the car stays "s a rock" –
everything is OK.
Check, how soft without jerk the
car begin to move in both directions (forward and backward).
If you hear gnash when automatic transmission changes gear –
run away from such car. Check how comfortable fast and soft
you can change gear (from N to F or anything else).
Check the work of breaks. When
you are moving NOT FAST on the SAFETY part of the road (with
minimum cars around) sharply press a pedal. The car have to
stop fast and softly.
Try to find "wild road"
with far-from-ideal surface. It's a good test for car suspension.
Check the "corners opportunities"
of the car. You have to control the car trajectory during all
the turn, even if you are moving rather fast (near 55mph).
Estimate the level of comfort,
noise from the road and other sounds during the moving with
usual speed along the different types of road (if possible).
if everything looks great for you – don't be very thrifty
and try to spend additional time a money for professional check-up
in car service. Your personal security and health costs more,