Secondhand Vehicle

Tips on buying a
secondhand vehicle.

Secondhand Vehicle
Buying Tips

Looking for a good
secondhand vehicle

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Your First Inspection

Know what you are looking
for, do not be pushed into
buying the wrong vehicle.

Keep an eye on older vehicles
on the road, and in parking
lots, this can give a good
idea on which vehicles last
Look at the paint and for

When checking out a potential
vehicle to buy, the first and
sometimes the only inspection
needed, is to inspect the
inside of the rear of the
exhaust pipe at the end of the

(Gasoline driven engines.)
Check the color just inside
the exhaust pipe, it should
be clean, something like a
neutral light grey and void
of any oil.

The cleaner, the exhaust pipe
looks, the better!

Black and sooty reveals a poor
burn, resulting in poor gas
mileage and poor performance.

This may the only thing you
need to see, before walking
away from the sale.

Black dirty looking exhaust
pipes usually indicates worn
piston rings, damaged valves
or worn valve stems, a costly
repair item!

If the exhaust pipe test checks
out, then follow up with
these other tests.

Check the outer surface of
the exhaust pipes and muffler,
visually inspect for rust
and holes.


Tire wear can tell you a lot,
are they wearing evenly
across the tire?

Rough driving and rough
roads can cause front end
damage which may or may
not be able to be corrected
with an alignment.


First do a visual inspection,
there should not be any oil
on the outside of the shock.

Try rocking the car back and
forth above each tire, one
at a time. The car should
quickly stop bouncing. If the
car continues to bounce
after you let up, the shocks
may need replacing.

Steering Wheel Play

Try turning the steering wheel
left, then right while watching
the front wheel on the drivers
side. If there is excessive
motion in the steering wheel,
before the wheels starts to
move, it could be an indication
of worn tire rod ends.
Worn tie rod ends cause
vehicles to wander on the

Check for Wear

Have a good look at the wear
of the steering wheel and the
rubber on the brake, clutch,
and gas pedal.
If the speedometer shows
80,000 kilometers and the
wear to the rest of the
vehicle, indicates otherwise,
the odometer may have been
disconnected for a time at
some time.

Finally yet importantly if
possible take the vehicle for
a road test. listen
for scraps, knocks etc.; no
sound is best, sounds may
lead to where a problem

Try the brakes, hand brake,
turning signal, windshield
wipers, lights and horn.

Take the vehicle down a
long hill, ldrop to a lower
gear and coast to the
bottom of the hill,

At the bottom of the hill
step on the gas pedal hard;
a blue cloud behind the
vehicle indicates worn rings,
cylinders and valve guides.

Drive the vehicle for at least
30 minutes.

Drive on roads that you use
most often, check for
uncomfortable seats, poor
visibility, and over stiff

Now is the time to detect
any problem, not after
you have paid for it.

By locating any of these
problems, you will be able
to bring it to the attention
of the seller.

You might be able to get
them to lower the price in
order to have the necessary
repairs done.

On the other hand you
may avoid a major

Odometer Reading

Be aware that the odometer
may not be the mileage.

Odometer fraud is more
common than you may

The mileage can be turned
back either mechanically or
by using computer

Compare the vehicle mileage
with maintenance records.

Request a history of the
vehicle, this will coincide
with the vehicle VIN number.

If the odometer is mechanical,
all the numbers should be
in a straight line.

Compare the wear of the
vehicle to the odometer

Winter Tires

The term snow tire has
changed over the years.

Todays technology has
created snow tires that
are quite different in design
and material from tires
of the past.

Years ago the same summer
tires compound was used
to make winter tires, only
the tread design was changed
to a more aggressive tread,
for winter conditions.

In the 1980s Bridgestone
introduced a line of tires
called Blizzak tires.
These winter tires, looks
like normal snow tires,
but the tread had slits
across the tread blocks.

The tread block is designed
with jagged edges to grip
snow, slush, and ice.

On icy roads a thin layer
of water is produced when
pressure is added from the
weight of vehicles passing
over the packed snow.
The water quickly freezes to
produce ice.

Normal all year seasonal
tires do not cope well on ice.
The rubber is very hard and
the colder it gets outside,
the harder the rubber

True winter tires are composed
of a softer type of rubber
that stays softer even as
the temperature drops.

All-season tires start to
harden at 7 degree Celsius,
while true winter tires
remain flexible to mnus 30

In the process of
manufacturing winter tires,
tiny channels are built into
the tread, called sipes, this
provides a place for water
to go.
The tire then ends up with
a dry tread surface that
can grip the ice better.

There is a drawback to
driving with soft winter tires,
the softer rubber wears

The solution is to only use
winter tires in the winter
and change back to summer
tires in the spring.

Store the winter tires in
a dry place out of sunlight.

There are two ways to go
when changing back and
forth between summer and
winter tires.

You can have the summer
tires removed from the
rims each year and the
stored winter tires placed
on the rims each year.

There is a fee, plus balancing
costs for removing the tires.
each year.

The action of changing tires
off the rim each year tends
to damage the tire and
aluminum rims somewhat.

The other option is to
purchase a set of steel rims,
have the winter tires placed
of the rims, ready for use
each year.

There is no need to rebalance
the tires each year, and only
an exchange of tires with
rims is necessary.


True winter tires have a
small snowflake picture
embedded into the side of
the tire rubber.

Insurance Rates to Consider.

Credit score:
People with poor credit
scores pay more for car

Driving record:
Speeding tickets and
multiple accidents raise
car insurance rates.

High crime rates boost
car insurance.

Gender and age
Young drivers car insurance
rates are higher, especially
young males.

Vehicle you drive:
Expensive vehicle are
associated with higher
insurance rates.

Repair costs:
Expensive materials used
in the vehicle can add
to the cost of repairs,
and insurance rates.

Claim rates:
Vehicles that have a high
claim rate can have
higher insurance rates.


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Secondhand Vehicle
Buying Tips,
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