10 Parts to Check Before Buying a Car

An aftermarket car is always a lottery. Even visually intact, an entire vehicle can surprise a new owner unpleasantly. To prevent this from happening, you need to follow simple procedures.

Auto check

This point is the most important when it comes to buying a car on the secondary market. No matter how ideal the car may be, before inspecting it (and at the same time the owner for whom the car is registered), you need to check all the bases – from insurance to the bases of bailiffs. Many cars on the “secondary housing” are sold with restrictions on registration actions, with arrests due to debts.

Dealers and unscrupulous owners keep silent about these problems, and after registration, they change phone numbers – and all the difficulties fall on the new owner. If a car with minimum mileage makes its way into the database like a car after an accident, then it is better to refuse such a purchase right away. If everything is in order with the legal purity of the car, then you need to deal with its technical condition.

Changing the engine oil and flushing

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The first and most important step before which you need to find out what kind of oil the owner poured in before the sale. What the owner says, you need to check with the data of the plant – if they differ, then before changing the oil, you will have to fill the engine with flushing.

It will remove traces of old engine oil from cylinder walls and other parts before refilling with engine oil. You should not save on the brand and quality – the better the engine feels, the calmer the new owner will drive.

Changing the oil in the gearbox

It is believed that the factory recommendation for changing the oil in an automatic or manual transmission is 100 thousand kilometers. Conscientious owners violate this rule and change the oil in the automatic transmission or manual transmission every 50 thousand kilometers.

Transmission oil often needs to be changed if the car is subjected to frequent loads or has undergone major tuning. For sharp and fast driving, it is recommended to change the engine oil every 40 thousand kilometers.

Repair and replacement of automatic transmission

The golden rule of buying a car in the secondary market is to budget for the purchase either more money in order to find a car that is younger and with low mileage, or the same amount, but for repairs. By the way, about the latter: if everything is in order with the engine, then the automatic transmission (the vast majority of cars are sold with it) may fail literally the next day.

If, after starting the car in the passenger compartment, there are incomprehensible vibrations, and when the Drive mode is turned on, the car starts off with a barely perceptible shock, then you need to urgently go to the service. The price of the issue is from several thousand to several $160 Dollars. Replacing an automatic transmission is not a cheap pleasure, but a contract transmission can be cheaper than repairing an original one.

Conversion collapse and the cost of safety

After each repair of the suspension or steering system, wheel alignment must be done. Much depends on how correctly the wheels are adjusted to the position of the body, first of all – the safety of the car.

The correctness of the camber-convergence is checked on a special computer stand, but you need to keep in mind one important detail right away: unscrupulous drivers are trying to save money and often do not carry out this procedure after repairing the suspension or replacing rubber. The price of the issue is not high – depending on the region, it can cost from $20 to $34.34 dollars.

Generator repair

It is easy to identify this malfunction even at the stage of buying a car. If a characteristic metallic hum (which appears mainly during a cold snap) is heard from under the hood after starting, it means that the generator requires attention. The most common malfunctions are wear of the alternator belt, wear of bearings or diode bridge, failure of the winding. Repairing a generator is simple and inexpensive – from $20, depending on the car model.

Repair and refueling of air conditioners

Checking the climate system is the first thing to do, and preferably before buying a car. If the air conditioner does not cool the passenger compartment as needed, it may be necessary to refuel the air conditioner. It is filled with freon, a gas that, during a chemical reaction, takes heat from the air. The procedure is inexpensive – from $7 Dollars, depending on the type of freon and its amount. If after refueling the problem persists, then it may be necessary to repair the evaporator or electromagnetic clutch, as well as the air conditioner roller. The latter breaks down unpredictably and is not cheap – from $70 for budget cars to $700 for luxury foreign cars.

Replacing the radiator

car radiator
car radiator

The cooling system is one of the weak points of most modern cars. The ingress of dirt, dust, and stones will lead to cracks in the radiator and leakage of antifreeze. If there are spots of an unknown liquid under the front bumper of the car early in the morning and these spots do not exactly look like oil, then most likely this is antifreeze leaving the radiator or a branch pipe that is cracked nearby. When replacing this part, it is better not to pull – if the motor overheats, metal parts can change geometry, then the engine will have to be thrown away.

Catalyst removal

If the car suddenly stopped driving and accelerates noticeably worse than the passport data, then the problem may lie in the catalyst. It is expensive to buy a new “filter” for engine exhaust gases – just a manufactured catalyst for a budget KIA Rio costs about $400 Dollars. Removing it costs less – just three to five thousand and a couple of hours of work. In return, the car service technician will install a “snag”, or a flame arrester. You can look for a car service in which the removal of the catalyst is done for free – the servicemen usually keep the spare part for themselves. Inside the catalyst, there are many expensive metals, on the processing of which decent money is earned. If you hand over the catalyst to the collection point after removal, you can earn $40-$210.

Firmware, chip tuning, oxygen sensor, and lambda probe

Reprogramming the engine control unit (this procedure is also called “firmware” change, chip tuning) is the next step after removing the catalyst. Usually, along with this procedure, one of the oxygen sensors is turned off, the so-called. Lambda probe. If the previous owner of the car has already gone through this procedure, congratulations. The car has become less environmentally friendly, but it is guaranteed to emit exhaust gases without delay, and therefore, “breathes” much easier.

Windshield replacement

Cracks in the windshield are a reason for a good bargain. For budget cars like the KIA Rio, there is a chance to find aftermarket parts, but more expensive cars may only need the original. The price of the issue reaches $200 dollars, and in the case of expensive SUVs or sedans – up to a couple of $14 dollars. An attempt to save money on replacing the windshield will not lead to anything good – it will either burst completely, or it will not be possible to pass the inspection.

Replacing engine gaskets

If traces of fogging are visible on the engine, then this is another reason for bargaining. Replacing the valve cover gasket or the valve cover itself can cost a lot of money, especially when it comes to German cars. For Audi and Mercedes sedans, the bill can go for $60 for a spare part and work on its replacement.

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