Things You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars



Nowadays, more and more people replace their old cars with new ones. At the same time, a large number of used cars appear on the car market. The boom in the used car market also shows us that many people buy used cars.


Some new drivers and people with an insufficient budget will choose to buy used cars. So what are the considerations in the process of purchasing a used car? Let's take a look.


1. Pick the right time


Some vehicles will be hard to start or have oil leakage after being set aside too long. These symptoms indicate that there are problems with the electrical system or the fuel system.




The basic performance of the vehicle can mostly be revealed in the morning, especially in the summer. We should thoroughly check the air conditioning in summer, especially in the afternoon with high temperatures. It is the best time to test the ability of the air conditioning


Therefore, when you choose a used car, pick the right time and seize the opportunity.


2. Production date


Many countries have clear regulations on the service life of the vehicle. Generally, it is ten years. The most extended period is not more than 14 years. Therefore, when selecting a used car, we must check the vehicle's production date to prevent buying scrapped products.


We can find out the vehicle's production date through the vehicle tag or the original user's registration record. The most effective way is to check the vehicle's technical data.


3. Mileage


Usually, the service life of a car is directly related to the time of use and the mileage. Generally, after driving 150000-250000 km, the performance of the vehicle will be significantly reduced. The technical condition will deteriorate.


In this condition, the car needs constant repair or replacement of spare partsTo check the car's mileage, we can observe the condition of the clutch pedal and the rubber pedal on the brake.


Generally speaking, the clutch pedal of the manual transmission has a service life of 30000 to 50000 km. The pedal of the automatic transmission has a service life of 80000 to 100000 km.


In addition, according to the wear and tear of the tires, we can also determine the approximate mileage of the car. The normal tire has service life of 100000 to 120000 km. The abnormal wear and tear may significantly reduce the service life of the tires.




4. Automobile appearance


Speaking of buying used cars, remember not to get excited only based on the first impression of the model and the surface without scratches. We must carefully observe the appearance of the automobile. Observe the paint carefully in the order from the outside to the inside. The original spray paint usually has a uniform texture and color coordination.


While the paint repaired by the repair shop is with discordant color or thickness compared to things around. We can also determine whether the vehicle has been repainted by checking the color inside the trunk.


Therefore, pay attention to color deviation of the touch-up and paint residue on the edge of the rubber seal. We should also focus on the paint condition and corrosion in the areas such as the under-door edge and the longitudinal body beam. In addition, check the uniformity of the gap between the front cover, doors, and trunk perimeter frame.


5. Body rusting


The car body rusting has an extensive relationship with the usage time of the original car and the future service life. If there are problems, there are some symptoms like body shaking. In some severe cases, it needs to weld or repair the body. 


Check the seal and rusting state by observing the door, window, fender, launder, sealing tape, etc. You can also open the luggage compartment and uncover the front floor felt to see if there is water leakage.


6. Wear and tear


The identification of the wear and tear degree mainly depends on the front wheels. If the tread pattern is flat and all edges have no angles, either the tire itself is in poor condition, or the overall condition of the whole car is very problematic.


7. Car interiors


When checking the car interior, you should check the instrument panel one by one. See whether the function key switch of the steering wheel and the display light are intact. 


A good steering wheel should not have a gap between the upper and lower when shook by hand. The left and right shaking amplitude should not be too large. Also, pay attention to observing whether the door glass can be raised and lowered freely.




See whether the seal is good. The seat surface should be neat and undamaged. And the front and rear should slide smoothly without obstruction.


8. Engine


Check the appearance of the engine. Identify the oil leakage and water leakage traces. Ignite the engine. Observe the color of the exhaust gas. If it is translucent light gray, the engine is in good condition. If the exhaust gas is black, the engine is not well-tuned.


In addition, we can also identify by sound. The crisp and rhythmic sound usually indicates a good engine. But there are some models designed with subdued sound.


In short, the cabin must be neat and tidy. No oil leakage, oil seepage, and confusing sound rhythm are allowed. The oil should have viscosity and no metal dust. We can thus see whether the former owners love and maintain their cars.


9. Damping & Suspension


Use hands to press down the front and rear of the car's left and right corners. If the car body can rebound after loosening hands, and if it can jump freely 2~3 times, the suspension system is normal.


If there is a strange noise or the car can not automatically jump, the shock absorber or suspension system springs and other components work poorly. The comfort performance will naturally become worse.


10. Trunk


Lift the trunk lid. If you find that the edges have no sheet metal traces, the car was once rear-ended. Then observe the light reflection and color difference of the rear fender (luggage compartment side panel). It will show some hints.


11. Road test inspection


Start the car. Check if the clutch engagement is smooth and whether there is shaking and noise. Start in place to accelerate driving. Step on the gas pedal to see if the speed is sensitive. Check whether the acceleration is strong on the ramp.


If the speed is slow and weak, the engine power is insufficient.


12. Transmission system


The transmission system can be checked by neutral taxiing while driving. We can judge the effectiveness of the transmission according to the length of the coasting distance.




13. Gearboxes


We can feel the flexibility and smoothness while upshifting and downshifting. We can also check whether there are jumping gears, pinch gears, and strange noises.


14. Vehicle formalities


After checking the various performance and configurations of the car, we must check whether the different formalities of the used car are complete. The dates of some old vehicles' maintenance and insurance premiums are about to expire.


When buying used cars, we must consider this part of the cost so as not to cause losses.


15. Easy maintenance


Currently, there are various car manufacturers and complex models. Some vehicles are much tricky to repair. Once there are failures, long-term parking pending repair will be inevitable due to the lack of parts, which brings great inconvenience to us.


So when choosing used cars, it is best to select a model that is easy to repair. This behavior can reduce a lot of trouble.


16. Change locks


After purchasing a used car, it is best to change the original lock or immobilizer at first. Take every care just in case.


17. Talk to former owner


Ask the former owner if there is anything wrong with the car. Generally, after the deal, the owner will tell the truth. In addition, ask the former owner where the vehicle is usually repaired and who repairs it. Listen to opinions and suggestions.




18. Driving license


If you haven't got a driving license yet, don't rush to repair or renovate the car at first. Wait until you get the driving license. Because before you get the new license, the transaction may not necessarily go smoothly. 


And if you don't have a deal after repairing the vehicle, you and the former owner may have trouble with each other in terms of fees.


For more expert tips, advice on buying used cars and engine maintenance, take a look at our other articles here on the Delcoribo blog.

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