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What to look out for before buying a used car

Are you looking forward to buying a used car, and you’re afraid to not make a choice that you’ll end up regretting? We can help you avoid that. Here are a list of what to look out for before buying a used car.

Buying a used car is most times not a choice. Who will say he/she can afford a brand new car without breaking a sweat, but will choose to go for a used car? I guess we all have the answer; no one. In a country where its average citizen lives below poverty line, cutting your clothes according to your material is what applies, not your size. So is buying a car. That was by the way.

The first thing to consider before buying a used car is for what purpose are you buying it. You wouldn’t go for a utility vehicle with a v8 engine when all you really need is a daily run around car with four cylinder engine 12/16v.

When you have decided on the purpose you need the car for, the next thing is.

inspect the exterior body

Some people will tell you; don’t mind the body, mind the engine. But I’ll tell, mind the body. There’s a popular saying that; you are addressed the way you dress. Inspect the body for rust, most especially under the vehicle, Check the frame, suspension components and around the wheel archesand check if the car is an accident vehicle, it may have been worked on and sprayed in a way that it’ll not be obvious, so you need to take a very careful look at it from up close and a few feets away. Sometimes you’ll not notice the dent up close, except you’re a bit far from the vehicle.

Check under the engine bay for fluid/oil leak.

If you notice a car engine bay is looking dirty, it’ll tell you how the old user has been using it, but for the intent of selling the vehicle, the owner may take the car for an engine bay wash, which means the engine bay will looking like it’s been taken good care of. In that case, you should ask that the car be moved from its sitting position a bit, if you notice any fluid on the floor, it’s a bad sign, no matter how clean the engine bay may look.Check the belly pan for pooling oil. Inspect the exhaust manifold for cracks. This is best done with the engine on so that you can see any smoke escaping, and check that all the hoses, belts and electrical connectors are in good condition.

Check exhaust smoke

When the engine is cold, ask someone to start the car while you watch the smoke that comes out from the exhaust. The colour of the smoke that comes out can determine the condition of the engine.

It is normal to see an engine bring out steam when you start the engine, with water dripping from the exhaust.

If it is bringing out blue smoke, it means that oil is passing through the engine unburnt. This is mostly due to worn piston rings or valve stem seals, which is not ideal but less expensive to rectify, but it makes no sense to work on an engine immediately after purchase, the dreaded condition you should stay away from Is a cracked cylinder head. Older cars with high mileages tend to exhibit this issue but if a newer car does it, it may have been rough handled.

If it’s a black smoke we can asume a fuel mixture that is too rich or worn out spark plugs or blocked air filter. A bit of smoke under hard acceleration is normal, however, persistent black smoke should be investigated further and oily residue on the rear bumper is a sure sign that excessive oil is being burned.

Take the car for a test drive.

When taking the car for a test drive, make sure to turn off the radio system in the car, listen to the sound the makes while driving, both on the road and off the road, if you notice any unusual sound, draw it to the attention of the owner or seller. If it’s an automatic transmission, observe the gear selection while driving and how it is when in traffic.

These are the few things you should consider when buying a used car, but it’s not limited to what we’ve made mention, you can still do more investigation on your own. If you feel unsatisfied with the car, don’t hesitate to tell the owner you’re not satisfied and will want to call the deal off. It’s better to disappoint the owner, than to buy a car you’re not satisfied with an then end up regretting why you did, when you start spending too much on repairs.

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