THINKING OF BUYING OLDER CARS? KNOW WHAT TO CHECK TO DECIDE WISELY
With car prices reaching hundreds of millions of rupiah, buying a brand-new vehicle may not be for everyone. For this reason, the used car market has continued to attract consumers, although, if you’re on a budget, your options may be limited to cars that have been around for more than ten years.
The question then, can an old car still perform? The answer is yes, but you do need to know what to look out for in a decade-old car.
So, while the low price may be appealing, especially for car makes that are still on demand, be extra careful when assessing the car’s condition. See the following list to help you get the general idea of what to check.
The first thing on your list is certainly the engine. Make sure that it is dry and that the oil is not leaking within the engine system or dripping off the undercarriage. This is a good indication that the engine is healthy overall and you won’t need to pay for an expensive engine overhaul.
Next, try to start the car and pay attention to the engine sound. Without routine maintenance, an old car may produce rough noises. Also, check if you feel abnormal engine vibration – an indication of whether you should replace the engine mounting.
From the cabin, see how far up the engine temperature goes. Start the car and wait until the engine is warm. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge to ensure that the needle does not move more than 3/4, or worse, hit the “H” on the gauge – a sign of overheating.
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With the engine running, go around the back and see whether the exhaust lets out smoke. White smoke indicates a troubled engine that would usually require serious repair. Turn off the engine and then check the interior of the exhaust pipe’s end. Blackish color and a dry pipe may mean combustion issues, while a wet pipe may mean some of the engine oil has been burned.
Next on the list is the car’s electrical system. A problem in the electrical system can cost you quite significantly to repair, so activate all light features one by one and make sure all automated lights are on when they are supposed to. Also, check if the airbag is available.
Finally, take the car for a short ride. This way, you’ll notice if the car has more ‘surprises’, such as problems with the suspension or transmission system, which are typical in older cars.
Whenever possible, choose a route with bends and slopes. This way, you’ll be able to test the transmission system in different road conditions and notice if there are unwanted noises.