What a joy to appear in front of a coveted vehicle, to finally proceed with its purchase! But before you get your hands on the portfolio, take the time to check the following checkpoints to make sure your investment is worth it. There are many hidden defects in a used car. Even if you are not completely familiar with mechanics, inspecting the following aspects can save you a lot of trouble after the acquisition.
THE GENERAL APPEARANCE
The first point is to check the vehicle’s administrative documents. Before checking all the equipment, look at the registration document to confirm that it is not a stolen car. If the chassis and engine numbers match, you can be reassured and continue the investigation. Go on to visit the general appearance of the vehicle, the condition of the bodywork to detect any corrosion. A misalignment of the doors, hood and trunk can allow you to deduce from improper training work following a previous accident. Similarly, a paint defect visible in good weather can indicate a significant scratch that has not been properly corrected.
The next step is to check the condition of the rolling parts, especially the front axle, which is under the greatest stress. Uneven wear on both front wheels or a torn cardan bellows means that the steering ball or all parts of this undercarriage deserve special attention. On the engine side, the level of the various fluids (cooling, brake and rack) indicates normal maintenance and good health of the parts to be lubricated on a used car. A mayonnaise on the cylinder head cover cap indicates a broken cylinder head gasket, so work in perspective. If possible, also check the thickness of the brake discs and pads.
As the last step before the final decision is made, it is still necessary to use the moving car to determine your opinion. All indicators must light up at the time of contact. To control all the vehicle’s equipment, feel free to test all the buttons and features offered, such as power windows, air conditioning and lights. Listen carefully to the engine noise at idle, and check that no persistent smoke comes out of the exhaust. While driving, release the steering wheel when you are in a straight line to see if the car is pulling to one side or the other.