Thursday, August 14, 2008

On the Road 2

  • Listen for rattling or any other body noises - driving over speed humps is a good check for this
  • Watch the exhaust for smoke - accelerating uphill is a good check for this
  • On a straight road, ease your grip on the steering wheel and see if the car pulls to one side, which can indicate worn suspension or misaligned steering
  • Also on a straight road and after checking for traffic behind you, try the brakes several times. The car shouldn't pull to one side, and the brake pedal should feel firm

Thursday, August 7, 2008

On the Road 1

  • Take the car for test drive, preferably on quite roads where you can concentrate on the car rather that the heavy traffic. make sure car's adequately insured before you do, and take your time; one spin around the block is hardly enough to get a good picture of the car
  • Make sure the engine runs smoothly in all situations...when cruising, accelerating and decelerating both on flat roads and uphill
  • All gears should change smoothly up and down
  • Watch the dashboard for any warning lights, and keep an eye on the temperature gauge
to be continued........

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Under the Hood

  • Look at the dipstick. Gray or milky oil may indicate serious engine problems
  • Take off the radiator cap and check the coolant. It should be brightly colored and clean. Oil in the coolant may indicate serious engine problems
  • Check the radiator cooling fans and the battery and its mounting platform for corrosion and other damage
  • Look for signs of rust under the carpet (if possible) and mats (don't forget the boot)
  • Check that the jack and toolkit are in place and in good condition

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Buying for a Used Car - Outside Assessment Tips

  • Check the paintwork for bubbles and color differences, which could indicate rust or an accident
  • Use a fridge magnet to check suspicious areas for body filler - the magnet won't stick to filler
  • Panels that don't seem to fit properly, or doors, the boot lid and windows that don't open and close properly can indicate the car's been in an accident
  • Check for:
    • Cracks in the windshield
    • Worn or rusted windshield wipers
    • Cracked or corroded mirrors
    • Broken Light lenses
  • Check for the tires, including the spare, for sufficient tread and uneven wear (which can show a problem with the steering or suspension)
  • Check under the car for oil leaks

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Buying for a Used Car - General Tips

General Tips:

  • Inspect the car in daylight or in a well lit area. You will need a safe space to open the doors and walk around
  • Does the vehicle have all the equipment that is indicated by your research materials? Note what's missing
  • Note all removable items. Specify which of these should be included in the sale
  • Check for service records in the glove box. Look for any oil change sticker - was it changed recently?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Buying for a Used Car

Before you begin your search for a good deal on a used car, spend time considering many of the same factors that would apply to a new car purchase:
  • how will you use the vehicle
  • how long do you plan to keep it
  • your budget for the purchase (including insurance, operation, maintenance and repair costs)
Buying a used car can save money if you know what to look for. If you don't, you may just be buying someone else's problems. To buy a used car, you need to know-how. What to look for, where to look for it and when to say no and walk away.