When you are buying a used car directly from a private seller, it’s difficult to know the real condition of the car. But with a detailed pre-purchase inspection, you can rest assured that you are purchasing the right vehicle.
What does a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection Entail?
A Pre-purchase car inspection involves a thorough inspection of the car from inside and outside. You can do the inspection yourself or you can hire an expert mechanic to do it for you. Hiring an expert is better especially if you don’t know a lot about cars or if you don’t have the time.
Usually, a pre-purchase inspection should involve the following:
1. Inspect the Car Exterior
The first thing you should do is thoroughly check the car from outside. Check for dents, scratches or discolourations. If the pain is uneven or chipped or if there are dents on the car, its value decreases. You should also look under the car to make sure everything is perfect.
Don’t forget to look at the doors, windows and mirrors of the car. Check if the door locks are working. Open and close the door and see if it works properly. Inspect the windows. Check if there are any cracked or missing mirrors. Make sure the windshield is crack-free.
Inspect the headlights and tail lights for any signs of cracks or damage. Also, check if all the lights are properly working. Open the trunk of the car and see if everything looks fine. If there is rust on any car part, removing that could be expensive. While you are at it, look for any frame damage on the car. Also, make sure there’s no water damage under the carpets.
2. Check the Car Interiors
Sit inside the car and turn the key to start the car. See if all the lights on the dashboard are properly working. Check the AC, radio, dome lights and all other car components, See if the seat adjustments work and the seat belts are functional. Check the carpet for stains or damage and verify if the windows roll up and down properly.
Turn on the car and leave it in the park mode for some time. Ensure that the engine isn’t making any strange noises. Any clanking or squeaking noise might mean that there’s something wrong with the car. Check if the engine is jerking around.
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3. Inspect the tyres
You or your mechanic must inspect the tyres thoroughly. Look for the DOT number on the side of the tyre to see the date of manufacturing the tyre. This will tell you its age. Check the tyre’s wear indicators and tread to ensure they don’t need immediate replacement. Look at the tyre evenness to ensure there is no suspension or alignment problem.
4. Engine Inspection
Open and shut the hood of the car to see if it works. Also, see if the hood stand works. Look at the engine to verify its cleanliness and maintenance. Don’t forget to check the car fluids. You need to ensure that no fluid in the car is running low. Also, check the colour of all the fluids to ensure they are clean. Verify if there’s any leakage.
5. Engine Belts
The engine of a car is connected with many belts like a power steering belt, AC belt, drive belt, and serpentine belt/alternator belt. Look for signs of damage and wear on these belts. Ask the owner about the last time these belts were replaced. Ensure that no belt is broken or you might have to spend on repairs and replacements after purchasing this car.
A pre-purchase inspection is a must before purchasing a used car. Check the car’s exterior, interior, tyres, engine and fluids. Drive the car for a bit to see if everything is working smoothly. If you are unsure of anything, hire an expert mechanic. You can book Swezo’s pre-purchase car inspection. Our expert mechanics will visit the owner’s location and thoroughly inspect the car.