Most people will buy a used car at some point in their life. It’s the wisest choice in many cases. A two or three-year-old car has a much higher resale value than a brand new model, and it won’t hurt you as much financially if you write it off. However, there are many problems that can come with used cars, that are difficult to spot at first. In this guide, I’m going to show you what they are.
First of all, whenever you buy a used car, you should always listen out for the engine. Some problems won’t start to show themselves until you have driven a certain distance, and you may not notice anything on you test drive.
If you hear any strange noises emanating from under the bonnet, it could be a sign that something serious is happening. Stop driving as soon as you can and get a professional to cast their eye over it. You can also help to reduce the chance of engine failure by having it checked often.
I contacted used car dealers Inchcape Lexus for their advice. They recommended having a minimum of one service every year – or two a year, if possible. That doesn’t include your MOT, which only makes the necessary checks for making your car legal.
Wheels can also cause a problem with used cars. Slow punctures can cause havoc with your steering because the weight distribution of the car is affected. There could also be problems with the nuts, which could start to loosen several weeks after your purchase.
It’s important to keep an eye on your wheels for many reasons, but the obvious point is one of safety. All it takes is a slightly bent axle – which you may not even notice – and you could end up in a serious accident.
It’s also a good idea to check your new car for a spare tyre. A lot of people don’t remember to do this. Then, they suddenly get a puncture, and could be stranded waiting for the very nice man from the AA. So, before you buy a used car – or shortly after you take it home – make sure you have checked for a spare.
The electric systems in cars are usually used or things like the stereo, windows and air conditioning. But it also looks after your car’s core functions. It all starts with the battery, which runs the whole show Without it, your car won’t work.
So, the first thing to do is to check how much juice you have in there. If you are running on empty, it might be worth buying a new one and installing it if you want to reduce the risk of breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
There are other things to look at, too. Your alternator helps your car distribute electricity to the different functions of the car. However, when it stops supplying enough juice, it can be dangerous. Watch out for your headlights dimming slightly, or if you have any problems starting your car. There’s a good chance the alternator will need to be replaced, and if you don’t, it could wear down your battery.
I hope this has helped. Buying a new car can be a testing experience, but knowing how to deal with these issues should make things go smoother for you. Happy driving!