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Used Car - Check List

Updated on April 4, 2015

Shopping for a Used Car

things you should know before going to check a used car...

Used car dealerships are not there for you :(

When buying a used car,first check the car history records:a flooded car is a worthless buy, serious accident...worthless to buy, altered know, worthless buy...and so on.

check the oil

Park the car on a level spot, turn the engine off and set the hand brake. Locate the engine oil dipstick, pull it out, wipe it off with clean cloth and insert it back. Pull it out again and have a close look .if the oil is completely black,level is low,or you find dark stains covering the oil dipstick...suspect excessive oil consumption or lack of maintenance.

look for leaks

small leaks on an old high mileage car its fine but if you see a big leak stay away from it.

look underneath the vehicle using a flashlight

Look for possible oil leaks. If the engine looks very clean and shiny it doesn't mean it has no leaks. Probably it has been shampooed.see any leaks? this may indicate a problem.

if you find evidence of badly made repairs,avoid buying such a car.

check the smoke

blue smoke at start-up may indicate engine problems - avoid such a car. Black smoke means the engine consumes too much gas - possible problem with fuel injection.
Normally, there should be no smoke at all (Diesel engine may have slight black smoke at a cold start - it's normal). A small amount of white water steam and water condensate dripping from the exhaust is normal.

listen for noises

there shouldn't be strong noises coming from the engine under any condition, no matter if the engine is cold or hot.

look at the instrument panel

there should be no warning lights such as "low oil pressure", "low oil level", "overheating", "check engine" or "service engine soon" etc. on the instrument panel when the engine is running.

test drive

Try to test drive a car for as long as you can. Try to accelerate, decelerate, take it on the highway if it's possible. The more you drive, the more chances you discover possible problems.

Just don't go crazy on it and brake it.Remember its an old car.

mechanical inspection

As a last step prior buying a used car, have the vehicle inspected by an experienced mechanic of your choice. and that could be me :) YES I am an ASE Certified mechanic...

I HOPE THIS HELPS and just remember...

used car warranty usually does not apply!


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