When selling and testing a second-hand car, it is essential to review its components. After checking you need to hire experts like fast car removals in order to sale your old car.
If you are concerned about vehicle maintenance and safety but do not have the mechanical skills to check it, you do not have to worry. Here we show you how to do a test drive and check a used vehicle in the simplest way possible, simply by listening, observing, or being attentive to the vehicle’s behavior as a professional would.
Table of Contents
NOTICE if the light comes on when the vehicle is started and goes out shortly after that. This means that the system works properly as long as it is equipped with an ABS (anti-lock braking system) and ESP (stability control) system.
PAY ATTENTION to any high-pitched screeching when braking, as this is an audible warning that the brake pads need to be replaced.
PAY ATTENTION to loud sounds and vibrations when accelerating or cornering may indicate that the transmission is in poor condition.
TRY releasing the clutch in third or fourth gear as you step on the accelerator. If the car is slow to stall, there is probably a transmission failure.
TRY to release the clutch slowly without stepping on the accelerator. If the engine stalls or the loss of power is not gradual, the clutch may be damaged.
According to Tallerator: $400 for a new timing kit, not counting the timing belt.
SMELL oil, which needs to be changed if it smells like gasoline or is dirty. The clean oil must also be replenished when it reaches the minimum limit on the dipstick.
PAY ATTENTION to strange noises: a ticking or other high-pitched sounds indicate something wrong with the valve system; on the other hand, more serious sounds and knocks can be related to shaft failures.
SEE if the oil light is on or the temperature has reached the red zone. In such a case, please do not use the vehicle.
CHECK by starting the engine.
- Step 1: Start the engine until it finishes engaging and leave it like that for a couple of seconds.
- Step 2: Observe the levels on the instrument panel of the vehicle.
- Step 3: if the battery has less than 12 volts, it means that it is sulfated and does not accept the charge.
Estimated price according to Tallerator: the price of a new battery depends on the vehicle but is usually around $127.72.
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OBSERVE the use that has been given to the vehicle taking into account the age and the number of kilometers.
CHECK the brake pedal to see that it is not worn. If the bodywork has more damage than expected or the tires appear old, the odometer may not be working properly.
ASK for the ITV certificate or the vehicle’s history and see if there has been any odometer replacement. If you’re not sure anyway, it’s best to have a mechanic check the car.
6. Steering wheel
PAY ATTENTION to any screeching sound when turning the steering wheel, as this may be a warning that the steering fluid is low.
CHECK if the wheels are difficult to turn. The steering system can present problems if the steering fluid is insufficient if there is any leakage or damage to the steering belt.
FEEL if the flywheel vibrates vigorously even when the engine is stopped. This would indicate several things: that the strap is damaged, that it is time to change it, or missing.
CHECK the vehicle for jerking or squeaking when cornering, rocking, or bouncing at low speed.
SEE if the car is at an appropriate level to sit on.
ASK if a modification has been done on the suspension system such as the installation of lift kits for trucks.
8. Checking the tires
CHECK the levels in the tire tracks. An uneven tire track is also a sign of a suspension or alignment problem.
LOOK for stones or nails embedded in the tires, as well as cracks, tears, scuffs, flats, or bumps.
ASK if the tires have been thoroughly inspected at least once a year in the last 5 years; the date of manufacture can be found from the DOT number on the side of the wheel.
Estimated price: the cost of a tire change is about $470 for all four wheels, excluding labor.
9. Headlights and taillights
Day and night
- Brake lights
- Indicator lights
- Parking lights
10. Vehicle and traffic history
ASK for the car and traffic history to verify if there are any outstanding charges or debts. You can also get a more limited version of this document for free, as well as a detailed report for just $10.