Buying a car always fills us with excitement. 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, we must take precautions so that our experience does not turn into tragedy.
That is why we went to 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 interviewees.
- A general tip is to avoid cars on large lots and, above all, stay 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 salespeople will hardly list vehicle problems. In fact, they will try to make up and if you find something that worries you they will tell you that with an adjustment it is fixed. Recognize a coyote is very simple. Generally, they look for you, as soon as you arrive at the car market you will have them on top of you asking if you sell or buy. If you show disinterest in the car in question, they will offer you several more for sale. For this reason, we recommend going to individuals or pre-owned car agencies that offer a written guarantee or lots that are endorsed by organizations such as ANCA.
- Always analyze the budget we have without forgetting 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 rigorous adjustments may soon appear. Many times we pretend to spend all the money saved on the most sporty or luxurious used car, without thinking that certain cars brands have high parts and services and that sometimes these costs increase even more when it comes to discontinued models. While they can be very pretty, a simple tuning can turn them into a headache.
- Buying a car is not a one-day job. Even if you think you have found the vehicle of your dreams, do not rush, you do not want to rush to the bank immediately to make the corresponding deposit. Even if the owner presents the documentation in order, make a new appointment. Think about the home with a cool head, but above all, take the time to verify that the car does not present legal problems. Remember that they can show you a sheet of a car without a theft report, but normally these reports are updated 24 hours after a report is made. Likewise, it is important to check the status of possible traffic fines, verifications, and payment of possession online. You can check all this in the Repuve.
- The first factor we always look at is the condition of the body; It is normal, they say that love is born from sight, and if the exterior attracted us, it will be the first point to inspect the rest of the vehicle. An indication that the vehicle has suffered mishaps is the poorly worked paint. Check against the light 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 poor preparation or poor quality of the product, that the vehicle was repaired in that sector).
- There is a false belief that bypassing a magnet through the sheet, we will detect areas where the paste has been used since the magnet will stick to the metal and not to the filling product. This is totally false since even with paste the metal will stick, it would have to be a major blow and normally those are very obvious, they are hardly repaired well if a good job of tinsmithing and painting was not done.
- Check that the car is not out of square. Check the gaps 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 dislodged (even slightly) 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 attachment points of the shock absorbers and the suspension.
- In vehicles older than 10 years, corrosion is a factor to consider. In these cars, the rubbers on the door frames, trunk, and glass begin to crack, allowing water to pass through and housing it inside the body. Check the bottom of the running boards and doorposts, under the carpet in the trunk, and that the areas around the engine drain do not have rust spots. Normally if the drain is clogged, the liquid will leak into the cabin, from the area closest to the pedals. Changes in the tone of the carpet in this area, or the hardening of the carpet, can reveal this problem.
- The mechanical revision must never be absent; but even without being experts, we can detect problems in the following way. When you start a car in the morning, it will emit water vapor from the exhaust normally; however, fumes from the exhaust when the car is already warm is not a good sign. The white smoke when the car is hot and running, we suggest that change is necessary seals and gaskets or to the replacement of the engine rings. The black smoke is an indication that the vehicle is badly burning gasoline for lack of tuning or sensors and, while the nozzles clogged blue smoke, worst of all, indicates that the engine must be lowered to rectify.
- Look under the vehicle, if it leaks any type of fluid, water, antifreeze, or oil, it requires a major review, there may be broken hoses, gaskets, or leaking tanks that will undoubtedly require immediate mechanical attention.
- 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 to turn on the fan, this so that the gearbox also heats up and to be able to verify that it does not hit, thunder, or kick when passing speed to another.