Here’s a short but concise checklist on the things that people usually forget to check when looking to buy a used car. Funnily enough, every one of these forgotten places is under the car. Out of sight, out of mind seems to be the catch cry, but in many cases these areas are the most expensive to get fixed.
The driveshaft carries the power to the axle which is connected to the wheels. It has several joints which make the axle and wheels moveable as the car drives on uneven and bumpy roads.
5) Inspections and Emissions. Just as important as warranties is whether the car can even pass inspection in your state. I can not state this enough – every state has its own inspection and emission requirements. I recently bought a car through Ebay from Farmerville Motors in Monroe, LA. I specifically asked if the car would pass inspection in my state, North Carolina. I was told it was in great condition and that it would pass in my state without any problems. I bought the car, drove it back, and later found it couldn’t pass inspection because the OBD system had been tampered with and was inoperable. Don’t rely on a sellers word.- get it in writing!
Most wheels today have wear indicators that make it easy to identify when they need to be replaced. If you’re unable to see indicator bars, you can buy a tread-depth gauge for a few dollars at any auto supply store. Simply stick the gauge into each of your tires’ grooves every three or four weeks. Once they wear down to 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace them. If you drive in inclement weather, you might consider replacing them when they reach 4/32 of an inch.
Make sure the doors, hood and trunk latch correctly. Open and close everything! Make sure all locks work. Ask yourself, do you want to deal what’s broken? If you don’t care, keep looking.
EFFICIENCY – There is a lot of thermochemical energy in gasoline, but there is even more energy in water. The DOE has quoted about 40%, 50 it is probably much more than that. Most people are unaware that ‘internal combustion’ is DEFINED as: a thermo-vapor process; as in ‘no liquid in the reaction’; AND most of the gasoline in a standard internal combustion engine, is ACTUALLY CONSUMED cooked and finally broken down) IN THE catalytic converter recycling, which happens AFTER the fuel has been not-so-burnt in the engine. Sadly, this means that most of the fuel we use in this way, is used only to cool down the combustion process, rather than using a cleaner and more efficient means to do so.
If you can smell gas, your engine may be flooded. Don’t sit there and try over and over to start the engine. Wait several minutes between attempts to start the car. If the problem persists and the smell lingers, you may have a major leak in your fuel system. The fuel pump may also be affected, which can be a costly bill, so get the vehicle to a repair shop.
A flickering warning light is serious. A light that is showing a clear pattern of off and on is your worst case scenario light. This likely means you have a severe emission control failure and every time that light flashes your catalytic converter is being damaged by a misfire. This means your catalytic converter is overheating and can start a car fire. Pull over and get towed. This is not a time to try and make it a few miles to your destination.