Purchasing a vehicle is an important undertaking that needs careful scrutiny. Regardless of whether you buy a car with zero mileage or from your hands, when choosing it, you need to follow a few rules that will help you avoid adverse risks.
Check out the history of the vehicle
So what should you check when buying a used car? The first step is to monitor and collect the maximum amount of information about the car that you plan to purchase. You can learn about the shortcomings or the most vulnerable places of transport on special sites. Information about the cost of repairs or spare parts of the brands of interest will be absolutely useful. With this information, you can further self-diagnose the vehicle, make a purchase.
In order not to miss important details, it is advisable to make a list of all the questions that interest you. General monitoring will allow you to determine the average cost of the selected model.
What to check when buying a car and what to consider:
- Carefully study the package of documents for the vehicle. A good alternative would be a preliminary acquaintance with the documents. If the seller did not provide the necessary data, you can study all the information about the vehicle using the registration plate, title, VIN code, body number. There are special platforms for verification, as well as the official website of the traffic police.
- Avoid stolen cars, arrested or pawned. If the client provided a duplicate of the title, there is a risk that the car was purchased on credit, and the original of this document is in the bank.
Assessment of the general condition of the car
Even if you are an experienced driver, have many years of driving experience, when buying a car, it is advisable to enlist the support of a friend who will definitely tell you what to check when buying a car.
With a careful examination of the body, the presence of defects can be noted even with the naked eye:
The main defects include:
- color mismatch.
Inspection of the machine at an angle will allow you to find out if the body was covered with putty or primer. Hard-to-reach places can be viewed with a flashlight or a mirror. We should not forget that high-quality cosmetic repairs practically do not affect the functionality of the machine. However, there are exceptions when external work was carried out after accidents or rust.
For this, special measuring instruments in the form of a thickness gauge are used. With the help of such an instrumental inspection, you can fully check the thickness of the paintwork, detect the place of straightening or welding. Carefully examine the joints on the body and the quality of the bolts that connect the parts. The presence of gaps and uneven curvature indicates impacts and poor-quality body repair. The hood, trunk, doors, gas tank cap should open and close without effort.
Running gear diagnostics
This type of inspection allows you to identify wear parts and suggest what repair manipulations will be carried out in the future. An experienced specialist, performing diagnostics, can compare it with the mileage of the car, suggest how the vehicle was operated.
What to check when buying a used car during diagnostics? The following points matter here:
- parts without the presence of mechanical defects, the correspondence of the gaps between the components and the absence of backlash;
- the tightness of the shock absorbers is confirmed by the absence of oil smudges;
- lack of play between the components of the steering wheel control;
- tightness of joints;
- the degree of wear of the brake discs and pads;
- serviceability of wheel bearings;
- tightness of brake hoses.
Those who know what to check when buying a car can independently perform such an inspection. This will allow you to determine the real value of the car without errors.
To check the chassis, the buyer must test the car ride on his own or look at the car service. In order to find out how worn the suspension is, you need to choose rough roads. If the suspension is in excellent condition, then there will be no knocks, squeaks and other extraneous sounds during movement.
All parts that are located under the hood should be dry, but if the engine compartment is cleaned to a shine, then this indicates that the owner of the car tried to hide the problem of oil leakage. In this case, it is important to check the integrity of the hoses and note the absence of breaks, cracks. If the engine shows unstable operation, makes extraneous noise, gray or black smoke appears from the exhaust pipe, you should think about the need to purchase such a car.
If you decide to buy a vehicle with a faulty engine, it is better to carry out diagnostics in the presence of a professional. He will tell you what parts are to be replaced, their pricing policy. An experienced driver can easily identify engine problems, and in another case, computer diagnostics can be an alternative.
To assess the condition of the engine you need:
- check the engine oil level;
- look at the timing belt;
- analyze the integrity of the seals and gearbox;
- determine the presence of extraneous sounds;
- Check coolant and brake fluid.
Assessment of the external condition of the cabin
After checking the space under the hood, as well as inspecting the external parameters of the car, you can check the interior. In this case, you need to look for the presence of mechanical damage: abrasions, scratches, cracks on plastic coatings. High-quality salon care guarantees a good condition for many years. Nevertheless, worn pedals, steering wheel, worn seats can speak of long-term use.
Other diagnostic options
If you are not completely sure what else to check when buying a car, then you should understand that the inspection is not limited to assessing external parameters and diagnosing the engine compartment. The vehicle has many auxiliary parts on which the safe and comfortable use of the car depends. Even the slightest nuances need to be checked in case of buying a used vehicle. Carefully study the correct operation of lighting devices with the help of special equipment that sets the correct angle of light flow.
In addition to this study, battery diagnostics are carried out. The density of the electrolyte and their level indicate the life of the battery, which, under normal operating conditions, guarantees stable operation for up to six to seven years.
Chassis problems can be indicated by uneven tire wear. Then the vehicle needs to adjust the wheel alignment, replace the levers.
If the previous conditions completely satisfied you, then a more serious stage is a computer check of the car. If the car has a battery ignition and a carburetor power system, then the engine of this model can be checked based on the compression in the cylinders. The presence of a spark and quality control of the mixture are important.
More modern vehicle models should only be checked in special car services using the on-board computer.
This diagnostic shows:
- spark power;
- the ignition advance angle of the liquid in the cylinders;
- power compression;
- state of the sensors;
- injection force.
However, the most correct and effective method of checking a car before buying is to visit a service station. Only there they will tell you all the nuances of the car brand, show figures and graphs.