A used car without defects is a rarity. We have compiled the basic rules that should be followed when buying a car with it. Buying a used car is one of the largest expense items. Not many have the opportunity to purchase a car with zero mileage, and it is almost impossible to find a vehicle without flaws in the secondary market. As a rule, such offers have a rich history of operation and various hidden defects. In addition, there is a risk of buying a car with a dubious past. For example, it may be registered in hijacking or pledged by a creditor bank.
Today, used equipment can be purchased either directly from the former owner or at car dealerships. In favor of choosing such vehicles, the financial factor usually plays. However, the lack of basic knowledge and illiterate actions when choosing a car in the secondary market can turn into serious troubles and unplanned expenses. We talk about the rules that must be followed in order to conduct a transaction with maximum benefit.
First of all, it is important to collect as much information as possible about the model that the buyer plans to purchase. About its typical shortcomings and weaknesses will help to find specialized forums, automotive publications and sites. It will be useful to ask in advance the cost of repair work and spare parts. Armed with this information, the buyer will be able to prepare for an independent diagnosis of the equipment and will be more confident in bidding.
In order not to miss anything, it is recommended to make a list of all the flaws. In addition, you should visit the popular online sites for posting ads and collect data on the sale of similar models. Such monitoring will help determine the average market price for the selected car. In addition, on the Internet you can find free services for calculating the cost. It is equally important to determine in advance the minimum and maximum amount that you are willing to pay for the vehicle.
Learn car history
Before buying, you must carefully read the documents on the car. You can ask the seller to send the necessary data in advance and find out some of the information without leaving home. You can check the car online by car license plate and ID. For this, you can check it out on onemotoring website. With this information, you will be able to see how many owners have driven the car, at the same time verifying the true ownership of the car.
Carefully inspect the body
Some defects can be found with the naked eye: small dents, chips, scratches, rust, and discrepancies in shades. When viewed from an acute angle, it is easier to notice putty or soil. And a mirror and a flashlight will help to look into hard-to-reach places. At the same time, competently performed cosmetic repairs do not affect the functionality of the car. However, it is possible that the body was repainted after it was damaged in an accident or simply rusted.
A thickness gauge is called to identify hidden defects of the paintwork. You should also pay attention to the joints between body parts and the condition of the connecting bolts. Gaps of different thicknesses and curvatures could appear as a result of impacts or poor-quality body repair. If the connecting bolts are not removed, they will be free of scratches and chips. In addition, all doors, hood, gas tank flap and trunk should open and close without significant effort.
Under the hood of the car it should be dry, but the engine compartment cleaned to a shine is a poor indicator. Most likely, the owner tried to hide the oil leak. When inspecting, the hoses must also be checked for cracks and tears. Unstable engine operation, extraneous sounds, blue or black smoke from the exhaust pipe – these are at least reasons for a serious price concession.
Regardless of the type of transmission, gear shifting should not be accompanied by jerking, knocking or crunching. When checking the engine and automatic transmission, relying only on your own forces is not worth it. It’s better to involve professionals in the diagnosis. They will carefully inspect the car and talk about which mechanisms it is time to replace, as well as advice on prices.
Diagnose the running gear
It is almost impossible to keep the suspension in good condition on Russian roads. In addition, the state of levers, struts, shock absorbers and other elements helps to determine whether the actual mileage corresponds to the odometer. The buyer should make a test trip, especially if there is no way to check the chassis in a car service. It’s best to choose a bad stretch of road and listen to how the suspension works out bumps.
When moving, squeaks, knocks and other extraneous sounds should not appear. Their presence indicates problems and malfunctions. You can ride on your own or sit in the passenger seat and ask the owner to perform the necessary maneuvers. For example, a sharp turn, acceleration and sharp braking. If the owner refuses the buyer this opportunity – most likely he has something to hide. It is more advisable to refuse such a purchase.
Assess the condition of the cabin
After checking the engine compartment, you can go to the cabin. Look for mechanical damage: abrasion upholstery, scratches and cracks on plastic surfaces. With quality care, the interior remains in good condition for many years. The worn pedals and steering wheel indicate a long-term operation, and too shabby seats give out a car that was used as a taxi.
You should also make sure that the power windows, interior light, air conditioning, seat heating and other options work. Non-working windows and adjustments, a crack in the windshield or a failed seat may be grounds for cost reduction. In this case, the seller is not entitled to justify the high price by the presence of an expensive music system or other additional equipment. If he does not agree – offer to remove the radio and ask for a discount for its absence.