Checking the car before you buy: Save, so as not to forget!
Checking the car - a prerequisite when buying a car. The first is to “turn off” all emotions and trust only your hands and eyes. The second is to turn off the rumor, after all, car dealers, especially professional dealers, do not stint on tremendous rants and praise of their object of sale. Just plug your ears and don't listen.
When buying a used car, checking the technical condition of the car is an obligatory step that should not be neglected in any way. It is very difficult for a layman to check the condition of the car, but, nevertheless, no matter how much the seller or the dealership 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 number 1 - carefully inspect the body - Most of the defects of the car can be identified with a simple visual inspection, so always start the study of the car with its body. Remember that every damage to the surface of the machine, that is, a scratch or a chip, is a potential source of corrosion. Be sure to inspect the pre-washed machine from all sides in daylight. If you notice the different colors in the body color, this indicates that the car has been painted, which means that an accident is possible in the past, and the technical condition of the car may not be perfect. Minor defects of the body are often hidden under the stickers.
- Tip # 2 - check the joints of the parts - To check the technical condition of the cars on the body, you have to look under the hood and in the trunk, paying special attention to the junction points of the parts and the quality of the seals. You should definitely check how the doors open and close - this should happen effortlessly and smoothly.
- Tip number 3 - rate the engine noise - To do this, start the car and listen to how it works. Even rumbling of the engine indicates that the car is in good condition, while all sorts of noises, tapping, whistles and interruptions in the operation of the engine indicate a fault. How serious the problem is for a beginner to determine is unrealistic, however, in fairness, let's say that eliminating a minor defect under the hood of a car can be a simpler and faster solution than finding another car in perfect condition. Buyer note. Even a stretched alternator belt is already a sufficient reason to lower the price a bit, so pay attention to every detail visible to the eye and do not hesitate to bargain.
- Tip number 4 - check the air conditioner - If the machine has air conditioning, require it to work. Repairing a non-working air conditioner is very expensive, so even if you don’t intend to use it, feel free to ask the seller for a discount of at least 10 thousand rubles. If you are trying to assure you that the air conditioner just needs refueling, do not give up your requirements: you cannot be personally convinced when buying that the system works in principle.
- Tip number 5 - avoid streaks - If the car is in good condition, its engine should start the first time, even in the cold. In addition to diagnosing the engine performance by ear, pay attention to the fastening nuts and bolts under the hood. If they were turned off, and it shows, it means that the car is hardly in perfect condition, as the seller is trying to assure you: the owner did not climb out of natural curiosity into the engine! Oil leaks and smudges, which “decorate” nodes and assemblies, indicate the leakage of the nodes. During the operation of the machine, the lack of tightness is fraught with leakage of lubricant and related problems.
- Tip number 6 - check the color of smoke from the exhaust pipe - The car is in excellent condition (at least in terms of engine operation), the color of the smoke will be light gray. Black smoke from a chimney indicates excessive fuel supply or increased oil consumption. And in fact, and in another case, the need to adjust the engine, for example, replacing worn nozzles, valve seals or piston rings, and this is an expensive pleasure.
- Tip number 7 - check the automatic transmission - If the machine probe is available, it is easy to determine the condition of the machine, more precisely, its most important and expensive part to repair. To do this, drip liquid from the dipstick onto a sheet of paper or white linen cloth. Pure, odorless burning liquid and impurities, slightly smelling of synthetic oil, is an indicator of good hydraulic performance. This means that the car is in excellent condition, and the previous owner really watched her: did not overload the transmission and promptly carried out maintenance. What should alert the buyer of a used car with automatic transmission:
- Opaque oil, smelling with a fumes (indicates a merciless operation of the machine and the need for urgent replacement of filters and oil)
- A new oil with a pronounced smell and color, as well as quickly absorbed into the fabric (perhaps, the replacement was made before the sale itself in order to conceal serious problems of the automatic transmission)
- Dark liquid with the inclusion of metal particles (the condition of the car is critical and does not allow further operation without major, costly repairs)
- Turbid fluid (indicating coolant entering the filter, which prevents further machine operation without overhauling the automatic transmission and replacing the radiator)
- Tip number 8 - check the progress of the car - To do this, ride on a flat road with a smooth increase in speed. The car in excellent condition does not drive on the road and is manageable at any speed. At the same time the engine noise remains smooth and the wheels do not emit extra knocks.
- Tip # 9 - check the brakes and suspension - For this, it is advisable to test the car, driving over bumps, but since the rare seller will allow you to do this, it’s better to pick up the car service for diagnostics and ask the masters two or three specific, specific 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 wriggle away from a visit to the car-care center, this is a direct confirmation that the car is not technically perfect.
- Tip # 10 - always bargain - Note that any defect that makes it possible to consider the car as being in a state different from that stated by the seller is a reason for reducing the sale price of the car.
How to check the car before buying?
- The car must have the original TCP.
- The car should not be in an accident of any severity.
- The car must have a “native” body color.
- The car should not have any upgrades to the suspension, brake, steering, fuel systems and electrics.
If the above questions 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 the "native"? We proceed to inspection. When viewed, 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 deficiencies found and, as a result, at the end of the inspection bring down the price as much as possible, bargaining convincingly. We note in advance that this material was compiled for the purchase of accident-free cars only. Inspection of the car should be carried out only on a clear sunny day, or with a little cloudy. Never inspect the car inside the cabin or garage!
External inspection of the car before buying
Documents, numbers, mileage
- Carefully examine each letter and compare them with the data on the car. Is something clearly unreadable, rubbed, blurry? We say goodbye and leave, further inspection does not make sense.
- Documents are in order, the car is only a couple of years old, but is the mileage solid? 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.
- Check the operation of the alarm and central locking. Clarity on / off, blocking, threshold, distance.
- Open and close the hood, inspect the lock and drive for clarity of work and reliability, inspect the bonnet stop. Inspect the inside of the hood for damage, oil stains, rust. In case the heater is installed, please remove it. Inspect for chipping edge of the hood. From the cabin we check the work of the hood lever.
Engine and units
- We inspect all the engine units for drips and sections. Bad, if the engine is completely washed, well, if not. On the unwashed engines, all the drips are immediately noticeable. If the engine is cleaned, it will have to start, drive on the turns, then a sheet of paper to carry on all process connectors and connections. Oily oil or other technical fluid - a reason for bargaining and a closer inspection.
- Check the levels of all liquids, we look at their composition and consistency. The presence of foreign inclusions or opacity is a cause for alarm.
- Carefully inspect all pipelines, wires, joints, bends for scuffs, cracks, signs of aging. Should alert the presence of new components, fresh clamps, covers. Find out the reason for replacing them in detail.
- We start the engine, we listen to its work. During the work there should not be extraneous sounds - whistling, "tsykanya", clicks, beats, rasping, knocking.
- Carefully inspect the radiator cooling and air conditioning (if available). We check the integrity of the honeycomb, the jam of petals, foreign objects. No deformation of the radiator is allowed. If honeycombs are jammed, we find out the reasons. Perhaps the car was operated for a long time on unpaved roads or had a sloppy owner.
- Inspect the mount racks (cups and mudguards). They should not have traces of unscrewing.
- We look at the car close and from a distance of 3-5 meters from all angles. Carefully evaluate the color - are there any areas where the paint is different from the main one in haze, shade? The presence of such zones indicates its painting, which in turn most likely speaks of repairs due to an accident or corrosion. If an emergency place is detected, despite the fact that the seller assured you earlier that the car was not painted and was not in the accident, say goodbye and leave without regret. Having lied 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 proves it, the fact does not reduce its negative consequences. Moreover, it speaks of the seller as an inexperienced car owner. Buying a car from such a person is all the more undesirable.
- Fix all without exception dents and damage to the paintwork of the body. Each of the chips requires repair, as it is a potential corrosion source, which will inevitably grow.
- We carefully look from behind and in front. Doors must be tightly closed and perfectly “sit” in the geometry of the body. If the doors protrude beyond the hull, or, on the contrary, are “recessed” inwards, there is a reason to be alert and find out the reasons. As a rule - it is a sign of replacing the door and careless adjustment after removal. If this is caused by an accident - again - warmly we say goodbye to the seller. Examine the gaps between the hood, doors, trunk and body. They must be the same with minor deviations. If there are noticeable deviations to the eye - a sure sign of a violation of the geometry of the body. Then you should not look, even if the buyer immediately throws half price.
- Similarly, we inspect the trunk lid (door) for integrity, color matching, geometry and proper "fit."
- We open all the doors, carefully inspect the thresholds, rubber-seals, welds 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 a reason to examine this place more attentively. Perhaps this area of the car was restored after an accident. Inspect the painting. As a rule, if the car was repainted, then the border of the painting passes through 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 there is a possibility - bend it (remove) it in an arbitrary place. At the same time, you can see the centers of corrosion. Inspect the door hinges and wiring harnesses - they should be in the same condition in all doors, including the degree of contamination. Something different from the rest - find out the reason. Definitely should be alerted by the presence of planted washers in the hinges of the doors - this is a known way to disguise their sagging.
- Inspect every door. Everything should be in place, all buttons function well. Door panels should be firmly held in the case without gaps. If there are gaps, it means that the panel was removed for some purpose, and the mounting clips were broken. Find out the reasons. We check the work of windows, as with each door, and with the center console. We check the functioning of the mirror adjustments.
- Check the operation of the lock on each door, both in manual mode and in alarm mode (if available). Examining the mate of the castle. Are there any traces of bias? There is? So, the lock either changed, or the door was regulated. The reasons also need to find out, as the factory settings do not require debugging.
- Check the sameness and ease of opening and closing doors. They should open easily, without jerks and jamming. Closing is also easy without a strong effort, extraneous sounds. Something interferes - we inspect for wear and deformation. If simply loosening the "otvetki" - is one thing, if the seat is deformed - is another.
- Inspect the roof. Everything is the same - one color, no dents and no geometry. Inspect the edges of weirs (if any) for damage to the paint.
- We check the clarity of the fuel tank flap, its fixation, opening and closing of the tank cover.
- Examine the headlights, sidelights (if available), fog. The surface should not be damaged, scuffed, chipped. Headlights should sit firmly, do not vibrate when tapped. The working area of the headlamp should be clean, transparent and mirrored (if the design involves a reflector). Muddy, matte, dirty lights - a replacement. This should be noted in the notebook as an immediate potential cost, as lighting technology directly affects safety.
- Similarly, we inspect the rear lighting.
- We examine and check the performance of interior lighting and alarm devices. Everything should work without comment. Instrument light must have a working intensity adjustment.
- Inspect the front bumper. Is he sitting right, are there big gaps or skews? Inspect it from the bottom for scuffs, chips, fasteners. There should not be its coloring, cracks, seams, traces of putty and welding (depending on the design). Fog and other equipment (for example, sensors, parking sensors, etc.) should sit securely in the standard sockets.
- Similarly, inspect the rear bumper.
- Inspect and check the integrity of the mud flaps and wheel arches fenders (if available).
- Check the reliability of fastening door sills, footrests, door moldings (if available).
- Inspect the wheels for damage. If there are chips, dents, radial deformations - this may indicate that the car “successfully flew” into a deep hole, which could entail significant damage or deformation of the suspension or body.
- Check tire pressure, it must be strictly the same (or, if it is, for example, a pickup truck is pair-identical). Some cunning traders with different tire pressures eliminate driving the car to the side due to a violation of body geometry due to an accident.
- Inspect the rubber for wear on the labels. Is it still out of season or needs replacement?
- Check the integrity, the absence of chips and cracks in the glasses.
- Check the operation of the glass heater (if any).
- Check the operation of the glass washer (if available).
- Check the work of janitors. Inspect gum for wear. This is important, as it directly affects traffic safety.
- Check the work of washers and wipers headlights (if available).
- Inspect window seals. Are there any traces of fresh sealant or planting glue? If there is, then the glass has changed, or was removed to repair nearby areas of the building. We find out the reason.
Checking the car's interior before buying
1) Inspect the thresholds for corrosion. Be sure to do a few blows with a metal object. Thresholds - one of the weakest points of the car, which rots the fastest. Also carefully review and knock the floor under the feet of the driver and front passenger. Traces of corrosion? From such a purchase is better to refuse.
2) Check the condition of the seats. Covers, head restraints. The performance of all adjustments, the presence of backlash backlash. We check the free movement of the front seats on the sled, the sled itself for corrosion, the strength of the bolt tightening. Check the work of heated seats (if available). The rear seats are checked for fastening strength. If constructively provided - remove the back of the sofa, inspect the opening in the luggage compartment, the reliability and tightness of the mounting partitions.
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. A worn surface over the driver’s head often indicates that the car was operated in northern latitudes (the driver traveled in a hat). We check the integrity and operation of overhead support handles, interior lighting. Checking the mounting and operation of visors.
5) Inspect the front dashboard. Hands try to budge. If the panel is loose (moves, creaks, etc.), it may have already been dismantled. Find out the reason. We try opening and closing the glove box lid (glove box), in the presence of a lock - its functionality.
6) Check the work of all seat belts. We look at the length of departure, a clear fixation in the locks and dynamic stops when jerking. Belts should not have any damage, should be clean and tidy.
7) Check the operation of the sunroof. If it is motorized - move / close / open with buttons. If not, free movement, opening / closing by hand. Inspect the seal for deformation or aging, the hatch itself - for chips and damage.
1) Inspect the lid (door) of the luggage compartment in the same way as the doors or the hood.
2) Tilt the cover (floor) of the trunk, carefully inspect the place under the spare tire for welding, painting, corrosion. Check the status of wiring, cable channels, fixtures (if available).
3) Check the trunk lighting, if available - regular mounting accessories.
4) We check the opening and closing of the trunk, a clear operation of the outer lock and cabin drive.
1) We check the operation of all devices, pointers, sensors, deflectors. The latter should be free to move in all directions, free to be fixed. Blinds should move steadily, there should be no jamming, fallen, broken petals. The covering of the panel should be uniform, without scuffs, scratches, traces of reflow from cigarette butts.
2) Check the work of the cigarette lighter (if available). It must function clearly, with a clear departure after warming up. Do not forget that the cigarette lighter socket is a universal connector that can be useful for many tasks, such as charging a phone or connecting a compressor.
3) On our own or with the help of a invited friend, we check the operation of the turn indicators, main and dipped beam, alarm signaling.
4) Check the operation of the central lock - movement of the larva, clarity of fixation, and the response of the instruments.
5) Check the work of anti-theft lock of the steering shaft. Triggering should be with a clear, distinct click.
6) We check the operation of the belt buckle detector.
7) We start the engine, check the operation of the instruments. It is very wide functional, so everyone does not make sense to paint. Focus on the instructions for use of a particular car.
Air conditioning, heater
Checking is done with closed doors and windows.
1) Turn on the interior heater to full mode when the engine is running. We are convinced in uniform streams of air in all channels, and also in the absence of an unpleasant smell during its work.
2) Turn on the air conditioner in all modes. When you turn on the air conditioner there should be no extraneous sounds in the compressor and unpleasant smell in the cabin. When approaching the hand to any deflector should be clearly felt cold.
1) Check the operation of the gearshift lever. What is on the mechanics, what is on the machine, the inclusion should be tangible, with clearly distinguishable fixation.
2) We put on the "handbrake". “Ratchet” should be clearly audible, the lever should be securely fixed, backlash should not be allowed. When you press the button, the lever should be easily lowered, without rattling and jamming.
1) Cover the steering wheel with your hands. Is it convenient? We check all available adjustments for reach and height. Moving the steering column should be securely fixed. Backlash - to be absent (or, depending on the car - to be within the limits of standards).
2) We check the steering wheel functionality - signal, multimedia control, climate, etc., depending on the car.
3) When the engine is running, the steering should be free, without jerking and jamming, the engine operation may vary slightly due to the activation of the power steering pump.
We press on the hood and trunk. The car must "sit down", when released - immediately return to its original position. We press twice "in the buildup." The car should stop immediately when it reaches the top position. If there is a "swing" (the car is swinging up and down for a while) - the shock absorbers are completely faulty. Mark in a notebook - "under the immediate replacement", as it directly affects the security.