How to check the condition of your car before buying a used car

If you are about to buy a used car, but don’t know much about buying a car, take a look at this article. There are so many things to consider, especially if you’re buying your first car, it’s bound to feel even more difficult. Of all the considerations, it is most important to actually test the car before making a final decision.

Check the shape of the car

1. Check on flat ground. Only in this way can you accurately check the car’s tires and check if there are any drooping parts under the car.

2. Carefully inspect the vehicle for paint, rust, dents, scratches, etc. Only when the exterior of the car is clean can you accurately check the paint condition. Get your body close to the side of the car and look for bumpy paint marks. Then, touch the part where the car plates meet with your fingers and check for any traces of the tape applied.

3.Check the vehicle status through the vehicle’s trunk. There should be no traces of rust or water retention due to holes or cracks in the trunk. If there are any signs of wear in the trunk, it means that the vehicle has been highly utilized.

4.Check the tires. The level of wear of the tires must be even and the tires must be of the same product. Let’s look at the surface of the tire to see feathering (alignment). Tire alignment can be disrupted by worn steering or suspension, dents in the road, or damage to the car body.

5. Never buy a car with damage to the body. Check the saddle-shaped saddle (the part that connects the front fenders and supports the top of the radiator). It should be well welded or bolted in place. Also check the head of the bolt on the top of the fender inside the hood. If there are scratches in this area, the fenders may have been replaced (after the accident) or readjusted.

6.Once the car is safely lifted, go under the car and check the exhaust system and body for rust. Look for black marks on the exhaust system that indicates signs of a leak. And when looking at the underside of the car, it is good to check whether there is any damage to the body and the unibody.

Check the exhaust system with your finger. If oil gets on your fingers, there may be a big problem, and white smoke (when not in cold weather) when the car is started is a negative sign.

Check the under-hood

1. Look under the car hood for dents, damage, rust and corrosion. These marks are signs of poor maintenance or damage to the vehicle. Each fender located on the inside where the hood meets will have the vehicle’s unique identification number (VIN) sticker attached. Because the location of VIN sticker is different for each vehicle manufacturer, the absence of this sticker when checking the fender does not necessarily mean the fender has been replaced.

2.Check hoses and belts. Hoses and belts must not have cracks, and radiator hoses must not be loose.

3.Check the engine for leaks or signs of corrosion. If you see dark brown oil marks on the engine block, it could mean there was a leak in the gasket, which could cost you expensive repairs in the future. Check the brake oil and oil tank for leaks. Belts should look like new, with no signs of cracks or dryness. Old belts can break, and if you don’t know how to replace them, it can cost between 100,000 and 500,000 won depending on the type of belt.

4. Remove the oil filler cap. If there are foam marks on the inside, it is a sign that there was a leak in the head gasket, so do not buy this vehicle.

5.Check if the color of the oil is pink or red when the transmission dipstick is removed. Older cars may be darker in color, but it is normal for them not to appear burnt or smell burnt. When the dipstick is checked while the engine is running, the oil level should be full.

6.Check the timing belt. The timing belt is the most important belt in an engine and also the most expensive part to replace. If your car’s timing chain is made of steel, you don’t need to worry about this part. In general, the average lifespan of a timing belt is about 96,500-160,000 km, and it may show a slight difference depending on re-examination.

Check the inside of the car

1. Get into the car. Check your car’s seats and covers for rips, stains, and other scars.

2. Make sure the air conditioner is working properly. If you absolutely need air conditioning, buy a car with R134 refrigerant. Most cars from 1993 or later are equipped with R134 refrigerant and will have a sticker on the AC condenser.

3.Check the mileage through the autometer. Mileage is important because it is closely related to the year of production of the car. Generally, the average mileage per year is 16,000 – 24,000 km, but the mileage may vary depending on various factors. Even though the car is over 10 years old, just because the mileage is short doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good.

Checking your car while driving

1. Take a test drive before making a final decision. A test drive is the best way to judge a car. Therefore, it is recommended that buyers set up an environment where they can test drive before making a decision.

2. To check the brakes, press the brakes hard so that the speed suddenly decreases, but be careful not to skid the car. Try driving at 50 km/h in an area free of traffic. You should not feel any vibrations on the brake pedal and there should be no squeaking sound when you press the pedal. If the brakes vibrate, the rotor should be serviced or replaced and new pads installed. If the brakes are in the wrong direction, the brake caliper may be faulty or a worn steering component may be the cause.

See if you feel a slight vibration when you step on it at 3.70 km/h, 90 km/h, 100 km/h, or 120 km/h. If a vibration is detected when you step on the accelerator by narrowing the speed gap, the direction adjustment part may be worn out, and repairing such a part costs about 45 to 1.5 million won. Also, vibration may occur when parts such as suspension arms and joints wear disproportionately to the front tire.

Observe the overall sound, tremors, and bumps made when turning 4.90 degrees. Check the noises made when turning at low speed Since these problems are also problems of the front part of the vehicle, they can be solved by replacing the joint.

until the decision

1. View your vehicle’s maintenance history so you can see information about your vehicle’s performance, repair history, problems, and more. If you’re lucky and the seller has records of when the vehicle was serviced, the seller will share these records with the buyer. However, there are cases where the maintenance record is not left because the vehicle was repaired by the seller himself. In this case, it doesn’t really matter if you can prove that the vehicle has been properly maintained in some other way. However, they often come to the used car market because of an accident history or other problems.

2. Go with someone who knows tea well. It’s a good idea to accompany someone with inspection know-how who can check things you’re not familiar with. If you don’t have a trusted friend who knows your car well, you can pay a mechanic to check it out. Only by choosing a mechanic with a good reputation can you avoid being deceived and get good results.

3. Not paying the amount set by the seller or dealer. A used car is a negotiable product. Don’t feel like you have to pay what they ask for. A used car dealer buys a car at a low price, repairs it, and sets the price so that buyers can negotiate in advance and leave a profit. Negotiate the price according to the quality of the vehicle, but offer a reasonable price. It is not right to offer 10 million won when the dealer asks for 15 million won, but if the car is measured at 10 million won, it is okay to see if there is a possibility of negotiating around 1.5 million won. Before negotiating a price, it is helpful to visit a bank, etc., and find out what the range of loans you can get is helpful when negotiating a price. Above all, try to buy the vehicle at a price lower than the price the dealer offers. Also, remember that no matter how good your car is, it must be inspected later.

Use the parts you don’t like about the car as a point of negotiation. If you don’t like the color of the car, tell the dealer, “I really like the car, but I don’t like the green color. If not, I’ll buy it right away…” The dealer will notice that you want a car and will somehow try to convince you to buy the car.

4. Bring a pen, paper and cell phone. When inspecting the vehicle, meticulously note the parts that are damaged or that require replacement in the future. If necessary, let them know that the notes you are taking will be handled by you, not the seller’s repair. After making the list, call a repair shop or an auto parts supply store to check the price and stock of the parts you need. Once the costs of the repair are identified, not only will the cost to be spent be more accurate, but the seller may be asking for a lower price.

However, be careful as there are sellers who refuse to sell because they think this behavior is rude.


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