It is important to consider the condition of engine, car body, and transmission when buying a used car. The cleanliness of the car and ease of driving will not reveal the hidden problems in the engine. This will not tell whether it is properly maintained by its previous owners or not. In case you do not know, engine repairs are really expensive. This is why you need to thoroughly evaluate the condition of a used car’s engine before purchasing it.
To evaluate the mechanical condition of a used car, it is recommended a qualified mechanic should evaluate it. In order to help you become well-informed about it, below are some tips you can follow to spot the need for maintenance and engine problems in a used car.
Service Records of Used Cars
Service records of used cars are not always available but they really help in producing proof for regular maintenance of the vehicle. If you will not have an access with the service record, you may look for the mileage records and oil changes. This will surely help you in verifying if there are regular oil changes.
Look Under The Hood
Upon checking for the dealer’s models of used cars, it is best for you to have a quick look under the hood before a test drive. You should have a flashlight to check all the parts under the car’s hood thoroughly. You need to make sure that transmission is in park, the engine is off, and parking brake is on. Then check if there is antifreeze or smell of burn oil, leaks, lack of regular maintenance, quality repairs, and racing modifications.
Oil level must not be too low. Additionally, it must be regularly replaced to avoid unnecessary dirt that may cause future engine problems.
Look for Performance Mods
Check if the used car has performance mods. Poorly done engine mods may lead into different problems especially if the parts were originally not available. Nevertheless, if the modifications are properly done, modifications will greatly improve the performance of the vehicle.
Cold Start May Reveal Hidden Problems
To reveal hidden problems of a used car, it is best to start it cold. Doing this will surface the real condition of the battery. If the battery is old, it will require boost in order for the car to start. Another factor to take note is the engine noise. If the engine creates loud noise or rattles, it can be excessively worn out or it has mechanical problems. A black smoke in as it starts can mean that the engine has a problem.
Keeping Light On
If the light remained ‘on’ after checking the engine, it means that the computer of the engine has detected certain problems. It may be a minor issue but the repair can be costly.
If there is a blue-grayish smoke from an exhaust that produces a burning oil smell, this indicates a certain problem in the engine. Cars with this kind of engine must be avoided.
When having a test drive, take note of the engine noises, lack of power, vibrations and other driveability issues to check the condition of the car’s engine. It must also run smoothly without shaking upon starting. If there is a feeling of stumbling, bucking upon acceleration, then there must be a problem. Idle speed must be stable also. Long test drive is possibly recommended because problems will not be identified within a short drive only.
It is also best to test the car in all kinds of modes such as deceleration, acceleration, highway cruising, and stop-and-go traffic. This will test the capacity of your engine.
If you want to buy a used car, do not forget to check its engine to ensure quality and longevity of use.
For more information, read about the Guide For Certified Used Car