Galina Mihaylova & Anton Ivanov
Tips for buying a second hand car

Tips for buying a second hand car

Tips for buying a second hand car

Lately a lot of people buy cars. Often “second hand.” But how do you choose your car?

Since and I are such a task, and raising money proved difficult ;-), collect tips.

They would be useful not only for me. And will probably save you a lot of headaches and quite unnecessarily wasted money… I’m not the author, but I do not know who they are… Source forums, discussions with experts, read and heard here and there… it’s in the public domain, so I guess no conflicts copyright.


Follow gloss paint and varnish, uniformity of all the details. Compass the entire car – there should be no differences in the color of the paint and glitter nail polish on the details of the car!

Watch seals near windows, etc. Laish. repainting, those places will often find small flakes of the new layer of varnish. Bulk seals the glass is not removed and is sprayed to them, and this can be observed with the naked eye. Rose slightly and see them below if there is a new coat of paint on the border with the old one.

“Feel” the car with his hand on the sheets, there should be no difference in smoothness.

Look very closely lacquer paint, see if there are violations of paint that are under the varnish (dark spots scratched pinholes). If all this is under the paint and it is not broken make sure that the car was refreshed with an additional layer of varnish for a good trade or business type. Usually this procedure is performed at appropriate ways (to come cheaper) and your elbow after another month will begin to brood …

Check for blow doors, fenders and other larger plates.

Squat front of the car so that the angle below the page to see the car against blinker example, look at the impact of the environment on the observed element (door, fender) – should not have bends and bounces the reflection)

As well be kitosano and painted again evident. Factory plates are perfectly straight. Look the same from all four corners of the car.

Lift the bonnet and look at the part about the radiator and under the headlights where the basket end of the car at the front (which is usually not visible). Watch whether it is painting, welding, processing otherwise. Look for signs of shock. She stared at the assembly of the parts and the distance between them (eg between the fender and hood, fender and door) – the niche must be equal in width anywhere, the whole car!

Turn the tires to end position left and right and see under-the-fenders of the car. They are usually plastic and if there was a shock, probably glued, and it shows or even missing. Thresholds under doors also produce potential manipulation of hiding suffered a stroke.

Explore the headlights/tail lights, see what brand it says on each of them (must be identical). Staring also the transparency of the glass headlight (newer are transparent and clean.) If one lamp is a new type of glass or other, then was changed.

Stared at the front of the car, mainly sheets around the grill and headlights for signs of pebbles. Find and light covers (if no fuck off and the car is more than 3 years, probably repaint the front).

Explore the windshield for cracks that could potentially create your care in the future.

Staring at what distance are bumper to fender. There should be no large niches (eg greater than those between the door and fender or between the two doors).

Do not trust the seller in hanging bumpers and explanations like “must be adjusted/snap clip…”. In most cases it is broken claws curved guides, non-original bumpers!


Search everywhere to calm your head. Note that each car rot if hit plate! Watch thresholds edges of doors, edges of wings, the trim around in the basket of the engine around the factory welds and horns must open the trunk and rose upholstery look state of the metal underneath, mostly basket of spare tire! For the year of the car do not judge the words of the seller or the numbers of glass. To make sure you read the VIN number on the frame.


Explore the salon as a whole to wear out, cigarette burns, etc..

Seat upholstery withstand hundreds of thousands of miles and should not be frayed or broken. See if the ceiling upholstery in various shades of color (if so, it probably smoked in the car is tight).

See also state of ashtrays and lighters for the same reasons. Used ashtray, as it is well washed traces of burns and ash.

Key features of mileage on the car are not its mileage but condition of:

  • belts;
  • steering wheel;
  • shifter;
  • pedals;
  • driver’s seat;
  • the driver’s door handle.

Belts in upavane must return quickly and not be dragged and helping them to harvest (compared to pull back belts and front and then mainly driving).

The steering wheel should not have sectoral wear and abrasions on his trim. See mainly the part that faces in steering looking at the glass and stood normally to the sun. It is not uncommon to have the wheels covered with nefabrichni covers for steering wheels (supposedly for better comfort). If there is such a case, be sure to remove it and see the condition of the wheel.

Lever has the same characteristics as these wear out of the wheel. See and its rind.

Pedals and just their rubber coating withstand a lot of friction and even 100-150 thousand km city driving are unable to cause her serious wear out. If worn, judge for yourself the actual mileage of the car.

Driver’s seat is seen compared to rear mainly in appearance. Check all settings on it for problems.

Staring very closely at the control board small black screws that are trapped speedometer and tachometer! Closely to see whether they are touched and scarred. Usually coated with black paint in the groove for the screwdriver to traces and paint shown (more shine and sits unnaturally). For comparison, look at the first of these tachometer (usually not touching) and then move your eyes on those of the speedometer. If there is a difference, probably rotated mechanical odometer.

Of course check all buttons and functions gym is a must!

If something does not work, do not fall for the seller on how to fix it and its insignificance. For example if you do not operate power window on the driver’s door may be opening the door is missing the whole mechanism holding and guiding the glass, and itself has been propped up with a piece of board.

Let the tape recorder and see if all the speakers play very often warp or depreciated to the point of scraping or may not work.

Check whether the heater warm the spirit, there may be problems with the heating system, which is traditionally difficult to repair. Check whether the unit cools air or just blow. Smooth air cools almost instantly, do not fall for all sorts of explanations of the seller.

When the engine rotate right and left quarter turn the wheel of any gaps.


You open cover yourself to make sure that it is not a trick done by the owner or seller on mechanism (generally the less you touch the vendor looked at the car, the better – everything you do, do not let it you demonstrate).

For what looks will be speaking, because the engines massive wash and dust. Still looking for the normal things: leakage suspicious scotch, glued plastic, etc.

See the spillway of the cooling system, it is usually clear plastic and see the color of antifreeze – on the inner walls of the container (overflow) should not have dark stains and deposits. This indicates that the antifreeze has not changed regularly.

See also the very color of antifreeze. You need to know that brown antifreeze gone! 😉

Before starting the engine it touch on the collectors or other heating part to see if it is warm. If it is warm, so rather pallets and any cold start problems remain hidden from you!

Start the engine (you personally !!!!) to find out if you can not light the gas or need to throttle (which is normal), and to find out whether immediately start or is necessary to hold the ignition key .

Immediately listened to taps valves, lifters and other abnormal sounds.

Listen to the sound and engine performance.

There should be no interruptions fuck whiz, playing rolls and belts and other unusual sounds. If you have a glass of water or coffee put it on the engine and watched the ripples on the surface of the liquid – as the less, the better the engine running.

Quivering engine has problems of all sorts of nature.

Force and again, listening for noises.

Can disconnect the cables one at a spark plug and see if there is a “weak” cylinder. Weak cylinder someone off after nearly NOT affect engine performance.

See if the idle stable. Must not be visible fluctuations. If you “play”, expect serious repairs! (better avoid such cars!). Generally more than 1000 rpm hot start is not normal.

Accelerate sharply gas engine, see if begin/pacify well (whether respond appropriately).

Unscrew the oil cap with the engine running, from there should not spirit! This is very important!

If the spirit run away from such an engine. See also around the neck and on the underside of the cap for deposits. Should not exist!

If debris are white or yellowish, then the oil is mixed with antifreeze. If you are black, then most likely the oil has not changed or has pretty supplements.

Let your man gunned the engine almost to the tachometer red, and you see what spews from tailpipes. If out black smoke (petrol engine), you will burn off if spewing white smoke – burning oil pretty, there are combinations that do not want to talk. If water comes out do not worry, it’s condensation from the exhaust pipe!

If you can replace the engine oil before purchase. Remember how it works and sounds the engine before changing and how after the change!

This will avoid a special additives, possibly deliberately poured and see the true “face” of what you are buying.

Agree about to change the oil seller, are now much more prone to such things than before.

Generally if the seller is pulling a lot and does not want to offer it to him, including that the car can not be conducted in the service, and to bring the master site (cause transit number of the car has expired and can not move with it), tell him “bye” and go to another car.

Listening to the work of the petrol pump. It should not be heard when the engine running – either outside or inside the car.

Log cabin and engine give off several times contact. Hear what the noise issue behind the pump. Principle must be difficult to hear if you hear a loud howling and it’s “gone”.

You can load the power steering, as you turn the steering wheel or the extreme left or extreme right and hold (eg 10 seconds). Listening for strange noises, then look for the leak of hydraulics in the engine compartment.

Golden Rule

Reach a pointer to “butt” of the car (exhaust) your fingers will become black (or very little). Blur blackness with your thumb and try in this way to delete it from your fingers (smearing finger and thumb). If blackness disappear almost everything is fine if you can not remove it, then the engine burning oil!

In the worst case the exhaust is straight oily and very dark black.

Necessarily do computer diagnostics (15-30 lv). It will examine the work of the plugs, lambda probes, cables and the engine as a whole. Things no other way to find out if they work well.

There you can check the value of the compression of the engine and is within prescribed limits.

Exhaust system checked for leaks, as idling the engine by hand plug outlet. If the engine starts subdued, it’s okay. However, if you change your job so there is a hole somewhere.


Staring front tires atrocities auto-Dzhambaz before sale (rotation of tires and therefore harassment engine and chassis). Tread surface should be smooth, no matter how worn tires. Should not be pulled or have small indentations – this indicates that they are rotated firmly on the asphalt. Put one foot sideways on top of the tire and push them into the vehicle without lifting their feet from them – there should be no gaps. If so, this speaks of broken bearings.

See the brake discs if possible. You should have an edge in the end on the page, but they should also have a “line” on the flat part. “Tracks” are obtained when it is driven to the edge of the metal pad and begin to rub against the discs, so even if you change the pads they take the form of discs and brakes will not be optimally effective.

Carefully stared distance which is in front of and after the tire to the fender must be symmetrical. Compare it with other tires. So you may notice a big hit and distortions chassis (less you tell them after the adjustment of the front).


Then make sure to take a look back on the engine and look for leaks, which were pre-washed using a steam jet. Look around all gaskets and seals around the hydraulic pump and others.

List the all speeds. Watch for any pulls and dips in power. Boost least 80-100 km per hour. Submit a momentum and listen for suspicious playing sounds (bearings, differential).

Click sharper brakes at 100 km/h until the final stop of the car.

The car should not be held to one side during a suspension or shaking. The first speaks for faulty brakes and the second for worn brake discs and covers.

During movement (eg at 60 kilometers per hour) on a flat and straight road hands off the wheel. The car must maintain the set trajectory, and not to bring the left or right, indicating abnormal geometry. Maybe things just about adjustable front axle, but may be the result of a blow! In both cases we talked about negligence front owner.

See gearshift whether gaps. Unplug speed (neutral) and push it from extreme left to extreme right position (without turning speed) and feel that move around has a resistance of spring or in the middle is idle. This suggests porazbiti speed drivers.

Check if the connector is not over. Park your car against the curb with the front, so the front tires to rest against the curb, pull the parking brake (if there is no curb and only the hand brake is as long as you hold fast). Start the engine, turn 3 speed and keep the clutch pressed, lift about 2500-3000 rpm and hold the throttle gradually and slowly start releasing the clutch and finally relax completely. If the car off – well. If left the engine running, then the clutch slips.

Do the same procedure on the second speed. This is a test completely finished connector.

Check for worn boxes/axles.

Go by car to a place where you can safely rotate the car in a circle. Full wheel rotated in circles (one circle to the left, one on the right) to 1st speed if you hear hammering/banging from the front tires so are changing.

Maybe I feel and cornering at normal setting of first rate, but the test is not sure.

Check shock absorbers

Most probably shock tester. They do it in company D&N – it is free there.

Otherwise for heavy trucks: go through the hole or “speed bump” in the front and if you feel uncomfortable polyushkvane the front that lasts more than a second damping means are changing.

For passenger cars: Press the front/back of the car with all his weight on the shock absorber (fender) and let steep, there must be swaying until the final stop. A decent damper does not allow this!

After the purchase

People required before the purchase of a car they see her the following components:

  • engine oil;
  • timing belt;
  • Timing pulley;
  • support belt;
  • air filter;
  • oil filter;
  • fuel filter.

The sum of the above components, must have it by funding the purchase of the car!

Replacing the consumable is mandatory!

Furthermore, you should allow a minimum of 200-500 levs additional needs (plugs, brake pads, battery, tires, antifreeze, brake fluid, etc.).

It is desirable to change these things and to have a car which you can rely.

Supplies (and other parts) always buy them from trusted stores, scratch a line on the Internet and see who is the importer of a product and buy it, even a little more to your left, thus reducing the risk of fakes.

Engine oil is not so important what will viscosity (15W-40 or 10W-40, etc.) and what brand is more important to meet specifications of the factory!

Never underestimate the role of the oil filter, it is almost as important as the oil is changed along with the oil!

Filter without flaps with fewer valves or less capacity make nonthinking largely the poured good oil and becomes dangerous to the operation of the engine.

Antifreeze also must meet the relevant standards in order to make sure that the cooling system will function optimally. Do not assume that cheap antifreeze or poor water things are the same. Antifreeze unless specific cooling effect (better than that of pure water) has a cleaning and lubricating action. Should be more relevant norms specified by the manufacturer not to break the parts that contact (plastic, aluminum, other metals and mixtures). So help and colors of antifreeze.

Do not buy a larger battery than prescribed does not make sense because the alternator will not be able to load it up and anyway you will have the same capacity and a disposable battery diluted.

Do not ignore brake fluid (change is about 2-3 years).

Do not ignore the pads (just buy some companies not glued brake dust).

Do not neglect the tires, it is an investment that really worth any given lev, your car no matter how many security systems have, no matter how new is the powerful, regardless of the brand its only contact with the road with tires!

Consider this before you decide that music or alloy wheels are required by new tires!

Do not place more or less than the prescribed fuses! Violate the security of the electrical system and can have serious problems.

View and change often torn sleeves axle/coach because one cuff costs 10-15 lv unchanging and his new lead directly to repair 10 times greater amount.

Generally not good to put higher/lower tire prescribed because it affects the accurate data received from the speedometer and odometer.

If you change the height of the tires or rims radius look like to have the same radius (tire + rim).

Watch for properly inflated tires. Or too inflated tire will drop optimum contact with the road.

Information on how atmospheres must inflating can usually find a small patch around the driver’s door or on the inside of the lid of the tank and elsewhere.

If you burn bulb in the dashboard and decide to change it, be sure to see how wool is burnt and buy the same. Do not put more powerful bulbs because very often lead to melting of the plastic around them.

Of course these are just tips …

Every purchase is a compromise and evaluate yourself what direction to be – money, comfort, quality …

These tips are subject to change and add all suggestions are welcome!


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