If you're planning on buying a used car, then you need to make sure it's in good shape. While it always helps to bring a car to a mechanic before you purchase it, you can check out several important things yourself. You don't have to be mechanically inclined, or even have tools on hand, to look at the following issues.
Check The Windshield For Cracks
Small cracks on a windshield might end up enlarging later. This can end up costing you quite a bit of money. This is not a reason not to buy the car. It is something that you can use to try and negotiate a lower price. A resurfacing company can fix small cracks. Large cracks, however, often require that the entire windshield be replaced.
Leaks Are A Warning Sign
Take the car out for a test drive. Then park the car on a clean surface (parking lot, driveway) and wait a few minutes. Look under the car and see if there is any fluid. If fluid has leaked out of the car, then this is an issue. The color of the fluid will indicate where the problem is.
Use a white paper towel to soak up a bit of the fluid. This will show the color. If the paper towel turns reddish, then that is transmission fluid. Transmission repairs are very costly. If the there is a lot of red fluid, you should seriously consider not buying the car.
If the paper towel turns a dark yellow, then that is either power steering fluid or brake fluid. Power steering leaks are caused when there is a faulty pump or hose. Brake fluid leakage is a very serious issue and needs to be addressed immediately. Because it is difficult for a non-mechanic to diagnose this fluid, it will need to be brought into the shop.
Green fluid is coolant. This is a problem because it can lead to the engine block overheating. This stuff is also toxic to animals and will kill them. It's very dangerous because it has a sweet smell that attracts animals. The radiator will need to be repaired or replaced. This does not mean you should not buy the car, but factor into the price the cost of a radiator replacement.
The Shock Test
If the shocks are bad on a car, it is something that needs to be replaced. If you wait too long, the entire suspension can be damaged. In severe cases the frame of the car can actually warp. If it gets to that stage, the car will end up going to the scrap heap.
Luckily, a suspension test is easy. Walk to the back of the car and press down on the bumper. If the car bounces, then walk away and don't look back. You don't want to deal with a car that has been driven with bad shocks. Too much damage could have been done to the suspension or frame.
To learn more, contact a used car dealer like Kar Connection.