Checking the car before buying: Keep it safe!
Car check - a prerequisite for buying a car. The first is to "turn off" all emotions and believe only your hands and eyes. The second - to turn off the hearing, because car dealers, especially professional second-hand dealers, do not stint on stunning tirades and praising their object of sale. Just plug your ears and do not listen.
When buying a used machine, checking the technical condition of the car is an indispensable stage , which should by no means be neglected. It is very difficult for a non-specialist to check the condition of the car, but nevertheless, no matter how the salesman or the showroom manager assures you that the car is in good condition, you need to make sure of it yourself.
Evaluation of the technical condition of the car - a complex, complex process, and to facilitate and structure it, there are several tips:
- Tip # 1 - carefully inspect the body - Most of the defects in the car can be detected with a simple visual inspection, so always start the car from its body. Remember that every damage to the surface of the machine, that is, a scratch or chip, is a potential source of corrosion. Be sure to inspect the pre-washed car from all sides in daylight. If you notice the diversity in the color of the body, this indicates that the car has been painted, which means that an accident may have occurred in the past, and the technical condition of the car may not be ideal. Minor body defects often hide under stickers.
- Tip # 2 - check the connection points of parts - To check the technical condition of the cars on the body, you have to look under both the hood and the trunk, paying special attention to the places of joints and the quality of the seals. It is necessary to check how the doors open and close - this should happen effortlessly and smoothly.
- Tip # 3 - appreciate the engine noise - To do this, start the car and listen to how it works. Smooth rumbling of the engine says that the car is in good condition, while all the noise, tapping, whistles and interruptions in the engine's operation indicate the presence of malfunctions. How serious the problem is for a newcomer to determine is unrealistic, however, for the sake of justice, let's say that eliminating a small defect under the hood of a car can be a simpler and quicker solution than searching for another car in perfect condition. To the buyer for a note. Even a stretched generator belt is already a sufficient reason to lower the price a little, so pay attention to each visible detail and do not hesitate to bargain.
- Tip # 4 - check the air conditioner - If the car has an air conditioner, ask it to work. Fixing a non-working air conditioner is very expensive, so even if you are not going to use it in principle, ask the seller at least 10 thousand rubles a discount. If you are trying to be assured that the air conditioner just needs refueling, do not give up your requirements: you can not personally make sure when buying that the system works in principle.
- Tip # 5 - Avoid dips - If the car is in good condition, its engine should start the first time, even in the cold. In addition to diagnosing the ICE by ear, pay attention to the fixing nuts and bolts under the hood. If they were unscrewed, and this is evident, it means that the car is unlikely to be in excellent condition, as the seller tries to assure you: it was not from the natural curiosity that the owner was climbing into the engine! Oil leaks and stains, which "decorate" the units and assemblies, testify to the leakiness of the nodes. During the operation of the machine, the lack of leakage is fraught with leakage of the lubricant and related problems.
- Tip # 6 - check the color of the smoke from the exhaust pipe - The car is in excellent condition (at least in terms of engine performance), the color of the smoke will be light gray. Black smoke from the pipe indicates excessive fuel supply or increased oil consumption. In either case, it will be necessary to adjust the engine, for example, replacing worn nozzles, oil-removable caps or piston rings, and this is an expensive pleasure.
- Tip # 7 - check the automatic transmission. - If the feeler of the machine is available, determine the condition of the machine, more precisely, its most important and expensive part in repair, it is easy. To do this, drip the liquid from the stylus onto a piece of paper or a white linen cloth. A pure liquid without the smell of fumes and impurities, slightly smelling of synthetic oil, is the indicator of hydraulic functioning. This means that the car is in excellent condition, and the previous owner was really following it: it did not overload the transmission and timely carried out maintenance. What should alert the buyer of a used car with automatic transmission:
- Opaque oil, smelling of fire (indicating the merciless operation of the machine and the need for urgent replacement of filters and oil)
- A new oil that has a pronounced smell and color, and is quickly absorbed into the fabric (perhaps a replacement was made before the sale itself in order to conceal serious problems of automatic transmission)
- Dark liquid with inclusion of metal particles (the condition of the car is critical and does not allow further operation without carrying out capital, expensive repairs)
- Turbid liquid (indicates the hit in the coolant filter, which does not allow further operation of the machine without overhauling the automatic transmission and replacing the radiator)
- Tip # 8 - check the progress of the car - For this, ride on a flat road with a smooth increase in speed. Auto in excellent condition does not drive on the road and can be controlled at any speed. At the same time, the engine noise remains flat and the wheels do not produce excessive knocking.
- Tip # 9 - Checking the brakes and suspension - To do this, it is advisable to test the car by driving through hummocks, but since a rare seller will let you do this, it is better to go with him to the diagnostics in the car service and ask the masters two or three specific, substantive questions. Such a double check of those auto states will give the best results. If the seller of the car under various pretexts tries to avoid the visit to the car service, this is a direct confirmation that the car is by no means ideal technically.
- Tip # 10 - always bargain - Bear in mind that any defect that allows the car to be considered as being in a state different from that declared by the seller is an excuse for reducing the selling price of the machine.
How to check the car before buying?
- The car must have a PTS original.
- The car should not be in an accident of any severity.
- The car should have a "native" paint.
- The car should not have any upgrades to the suspension, braking, steering, fuel systems and electricians.
If the above issues do not find confirmation, or the owner doubts - boldly and without regret we refuse this option. Risk is not worth it - the choice of cars is now huge. Do not waste your time.
All "native"? We proceed to the examination. When you inspect, it is useful to arm yourself with an assistant in the person of a knowledgeable friend or relative, as well as a notebook where you will note the shortcomings found. This disciplines the seller, reducing the degree of lies, will allow you not to forget about the found faults and, as a consequence, at the end of the inspection, to bring down the price as much as possible, arguably bargaining. In advance, we note that this material was made for the purchase of only accident-free cars. Inspection of the car should only be carried out on a clear sunny day, or with a small cloud cover. Never look inside the car or garage box!
Exterior examination of the car before purchase
Documents, numbers, mileage
- We carefully study each letter and compare them with the data on the car. Something is not clearly read, rubbed, blurry? Say goodbye and leave, further examination does not make sense.
"The documents are in order, the car is only a couple of years old, but is it a good run?" Put a mark in the notebook - there is a risk that this car worked in a taxi. So, it can be completely "killed" even in one year of operation.
- We check the operation of the alarm system and the central lock. Clarity of on / off, blocking, threshold, distance.
- Open and close the hood, inspect the lock and the drive for clarity of operation and reliability, inspect the bonnet stop. Inspect the hood from the inside for damage, oil stains, rust. If the heater is installed, please remove it. Inspect for the chipped edges of the hood. From the cabin we check the operation of the hood lever.
Engine and units
- Inspect all engine assemblies for streaks and cross-sections. It's bad if the engine is completely washed, well, if not. On unwashed engines all the streaks are noticeable at once. If the engine is washed, it will have to start, run on the revolutions, then a piece of paper to conduct on all technological connectors and connection points. Oil or other technical liquid is being produced - an occasion for bargaining and closer inspection.
- Check the levels of all liquids, look at their composition and consistency. The presence of foreign inclusions or opacity is an occasion for alarm.
- We carefully inspect all pipelines, wires, connection points, taps for abrasions, cracks, signs of aging. It is necessary to alert the availability of new components, fresh clips, lids. In detail, find out the reason for their replacement.
- Let the engine, listen to his work. When working, there should be no extraneous sounds - whistles, "ticks", clicks, beats, gnashing, knocking.
- Carefully inspect the cooling radiator and air conditioner (if available). We check the integrity of honeycombs, jammed petals, foreign objects. No deformation of the radiator is permissible. If jammed honeycomb - find out the reasons. Perhaps the car has been exploited for a long time on dirt roads or had an untidy owner.
- Inspect the fastening of the racks (cups and mudguards). They should not have any signs of unscrewing.
- We look at the car near and from a distance of 3-5 meters from all angles. Carefully evaluate the color - are there any zones where the paint differs from the main one in terms of opacity, shade? The presence of such zones indicates its painting, which in turn is very likely to indicate repair due to an accident or corrosion. If an emergency place is identified, even if the seller has previously assured you that the car was not painted and was not in an accident, say good-bye and leave without regret. Once in one, the seller will not stop. So, the chance to get objective information about the car tends to zero. Even if the seller really did not know about the accident and will prove this, the fact itself does not reduce its negative consequences. Moreover, it speaks of the seller as an inexperienced car owner. It is all the more undesirable to buy a car from such a person.
- We fix all dents and damage to the body of the car without exception. Each of the chips requires repair, as this is a potential source of corrosion, which will inevitably expand.
- We carefully look behind and in front. Doors must be tightly closed and ideally "sit" in the geometry of the body. If the doors protrude beyond the hull, or, on the contrary, they are "drowned" inwards - an excuse to be alert and find out the reasons. Typically - this is a sign of a replacement door and careless adjustment after removal. If this is caused by an accident - again - we say goodbye to the seller warmly. We examine the gaps between the hood, doors, trunk and hull. They should be the same with minor deviations. If there are visible deviations in the eye - a sure sign of a violation of the geometry of the body. Further it is not necessary to look, even if the buyer at once will throw off half-price.
- Similarly, inspect the lid (door) of the trunk for integrity, color matching, geometry and the correct "landing".
- We open all doors, carefully examine the thresholds, rubber bands, welded seams and evenness of color. The seams should be the same in all doorways. If it is noticed that a seam of a different shape or size is an occasion to examine this place carefully. Perhaps this area of the car was recovering from the accident. Examine the painting. As a rule, if the car repainted, then the boundary of the painting runs along the arches. And since it is physically impossible to pick up a similar paint, the transition from a new paint to an old one is almost always noticeable. Sometimes they try to hide it under the seal. If possible - bend it (remove) it in an arbitrary place. At the same time you can see and foci of corrosion. Inspect the door hinges and wiring harnesses - they must be in the same condition in all doors, including the degree of soiling. Something different from the rest - find out the reason. Unequivocally should watch presence of the pucks in the hinges of doors - this is a known way of masking their sagging.
- We examine each door. Everything should be in place, all the buttons clearly function. Door panels should be firmly held in the body without gaps. If there are gaps, then the panel was removed for some reason, and the clip clips were broken. Find out the reasons. We check the operation of the power windows, both from each door and from the center console. We check the functioning of mirror adjustments.
- We check the work of the lock on each door, both in manual mode and in alarm mode (if available). We examine the counterpart of the castle. Are there any traces of bias? There is? So, the lock either changed, or the door was adjusted. The reasons also need to be clarified, since the factory settings do not require debugging.
- Check the identity and ease of opening and closing the doors. They should open easily, without jerking and jamming. Closing is also easy without strong effort, extraneous sounds. Something interferes - we inspect for wear and deformation. If the fastening of the "branch" is simply weakened, this is one thing, if the seat is deformed, it is different.
- Inspect the roof. All the same - one color, the absence of dents and violations of geometry. We inspect the edges of the weirs (if any) for damage to the paint.
- Check the accuracy of the fuel tank door, its fixation, opening and closing the tank cover.
- We inspect the headlights, front lights (if any), fog lights. The surface should not have any damage, scuffs, chips. Headlights should sit securely, do not vibrate when tapping. The working area of the headlamp must be clean, transparent and mirror-like (if the design assumes a reflector). Dull, matte, dirty headlights - for replacement. This should be noted in the notebook as an immediate potential cost, since lighting equipment directly affects safety.
- Similarly, we inspect the rear lighting equipment.
- We inspect and check the efficiency of salon lighting and alarms. Everything should work without comment. The instrument light must have a working intensity adjustment.
- Inspect the front bumper. Is he right, is he sitting, is there not a lot of gaps or distortions? We examine it from below for abrasions, chipped, fastening. There should be no coloring, cracks, seams, traces of putty and welding (depending on the design). Fogs and other equipment (for example, parktronics sensors, etc.) should sit securely in the staff sockets.
- Analogously inspect the rear bumper.
- Inspect and check the integrity of mud flaps and wheel arch liners (if available).
- We check the reliability of fastening the lining of thresholds, footrests, door moldings (if any).
- Inspect the discs for damage. If there are chips, dents, radial deformations - this may indicate that the car "successfully flew" into a deep pit, which could entail significant damage or deformation of the suspension or hull.
- Check the tire pressure, it should be strictly the same (or, if it, for example, pick-up - pair-identical). Some cunning traders with different tire pressures eliminate the car's sidetracking due to a violation of the body geometry due to an accident.
- We inspect the rubber for wear on the marks. Does it leave the season yet or does it need to be replaced?
- Check the integrity, the absence of chips and cracks in the glass.
- We check the operation of the glass heater (if available).
- Check the operation of the windscreen washer (if available).
- We check the work of the janitors. We inspect the rubber bands for wear. This is important, since it directly affects traffic safety.
- Check the work of washers and wipers of headlights (if available).
- Inspect the seals of windows. Are there any traces of fresh sealant or planting adhesive? If there is, then the glass changed, or was removed to repair the nearby areas of the hull. We find out the reason.
Car interior check before purchase
1) We inspect the thresholds for corrosion. Be sure to make a few blows with a metal object. Thresholds - one of the weakest places of the car, which rot most quickly. Also, we carefully scan and tap the floor under the feet of the driver and front passenger. Traces of corrosion? It is better to refuse such a purchase.
2) Check the condition of the seats. Covers, headrests. The efficiency of all adjustments, the presence of backlash backlash. We check the free movement of the front seats on the slide, the skids themselves for corrosion, the tightness of tightening bolted connections. Check the work of heating the seats (if available). We check the rear seats for firmness of fastening. If structurally provided - we remove the back of the sofa, inspect the opening in the luggage compartment, the reliability and tightness of the partition wall.
3) Inspect the rear shelf for integrity, fastening, no deformation and extra "holes". The latter usually arise as a result of experiments with speakers.
4) Inspect the ceiling. The wiping of the coating over the driver's head often indicates that the car was operated in the northern latitudes (the driver drove in the cap). We check the integrity and operation of the door support pads, interior lighting. We check the fixing and work of the visors.
5) Inspect the front dashboard. Hands try to move. If the panel is poorly fixed (moving, creaking, etc.), it may have already been dismantled. Find out the reason. We try opening and closing the lid of the glove box (glove box), in the presence of a lock - its functionality.
6) We check the operation of all seat belts. We look at the length of the departure, a clear fixation in the locks and dynamic stops in the dash. Belts should not have any damage, due to be clean and neat.
7) Check the work of the ceiling hatch. If it is motorized - shift / close / open with buttons. If not - free movement, opening / closing by hand. Inspect the seal for deformation or aging, the hatch itself is chipped and damaged.
1) Inspect the lid (door) of the luggage compartment similarly to the doors or hood.
2) Recline the cover (floor) of the trunk, carefully inspect the place for the spare for welding, painting, corrosion. Check the condition of the wiring, cable channels, fasteners (if available).
3) Check the lighting of the trunk, if available - regular accessories fastening.
4) Check the opening and closing of the trunk, a clear work of the external lock and salon drive.
1) We check the operation of all devices, indicators, sensors, deflectors. The latter should move freely in all directions, freely fixed. Blinds should move steadily, there should be no jamming, fallen, broken petals. The coating of the panel should be uniform, without scuffs, scratches, traces of reflow from cigarette butts.
2) Check the work of cigarette lighter (if available). It must function clearly, with a clear flight after warming up. Do not forget that the cigarette lighter socket is a universal connector that can be useful for many tasks, for example charging the phone or connecting the compressor.
3) Independently or with the help of an invited friend we check the operation of direction indicators, far and passing beam, alarm.
4) Check the operation of the central lock - the movement of the larva, the clarity of fixation, and the response of the instruments.
5) Check the operation of the anti-theft lock on the steering shaft. The trigger must be clear, with a distinct click.
6) We check the work of the signaling device of the non-fastened belt.
7) We start the engine, check the operation of the devices. There is a lot of functionality here, so each one does not make sense. Be guided by the operating instructions for a particular vehicle.
Air conditioner, heater
The check is carried out with the doors and windows closed.
1) Turn the interior heater on full mode while the engine is running. We are convinced of uniform streams of air in all channels, and also in absence of an unpleasant smell at its work.
2) Turn on the air conditioner in all modes. When the air conditioner is turned on, there should be no foreign sounds in the compressor and an unpleasant smell in the passenger compartment. When the hand approaches any deflector, the cold must be clearly felt.
Gearbox, Manual brake.
1) Check the operation of the gearshift lever. What is on the mechanics, that on the machine, the inclusion should be tangible, with a clearly distinguishable fixation.
2) We put on the "handbrake". "Ratchet" should be clearly audible, the lever is securely fixed, backlashes - are inadmissible. When the button is pressed, the lever should be easily lowered, without grinding and jamming.
1) Cover the steering wheel with your hands. Is it convenient? We check all available adjustments for flight and altitude. Moving the steering column must be securely fixed. Loft - absent (or, depending on the car - be within the limits of specifications).
2) Check the functionality of the steering wheel - signal, multimedia control, climate, etc., depending on the car.
3) When the engine is running, the steering wheel should be free, without jerking and jamming, while the engine may slightly change due to the power-steering pump being turned on.
We press on the hood and the trunk. The car should "sit down", when released - immediately return to its original position. We press twice "in the swing." The car must immediately stop when the top position is reached. If there is a "swing" (the car swings for a while up and down) - the shock absorbers are completely faulty. The note in the notebook is "under immediate replacement", since this directly affects safety.