In this episode, we cover 4 easy steps that you can take before you decide to buy an inexpensive car or truck on the internet. There are many supposed deals that may exist and these tips are quick basic steps that you can perform to give you an idea if you are truly getting a deal. Always remember that ideally you should have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a certified mechanic, which will include a more detailed and comprehensive evaluation.
1. Road Test
The road test portion is an obvious step to ensuring that you're not getting ready to purchase a bank account buster. Keep in mind the three areas of steering, stopping, and stability. During the test drive, you are paying particular attention to any noises in the suspension and steering as well as the overall feel of the ride. Make sure to drive on somewhat rougher rides and always take a nice drive on the freeway to get a complete feel of the vehicle.
2. Tire Condition
The tire condition can reveal lots of clues to not only the condition of the suspension and steering components but also allow you insight as to how the previous owner took care of the vehicle. Tire tread should not be choppy or have uneven wear throughout the tread surface. In some occasions an inexpensive alignment may be required, however, in other cases, odd tire wear can be an indication that there are repairs required to the steering linkages or suspension components. Additionally, be aware of the expiration date of the tires. Tires are typically good for 5 years regardless of how new they look. This 4 digit code stamped on the sidewall will list the week and year produced.
3. Fluid Condition
Clues from the condition of the vehicles fluid and the levels that are present can really give you insight to the history of the vehicle Engine oil should brownish and have no metallic flaking or any moisture\water\coolant as this is an indication of severe engine damage and ultimately a bank buster. Stay clear away from this scenario.
Transmission fluid should have a reddish to slightly brown tint and not smelled burnt or have metal residue. Burnt transmission fluid is a financial disaster waiting …run far away from this condition.
Brake fluid should be clear and have no signs of moisture. Utilizing brake fluid test strips is a quick peace of mind. If the system is contaminated with moisture or anything but brake fluid….it can be a bank buster.
The radiator coolant should have no trace evidence of a milky substance that may look like chocolate milk, as this is a clear sign of a cylinder gasket or cylinder head failure…which stems from a serious overheat episode. Stay clear from the milky radiator coolant as this is for sure not only a bank buster but a coronary ready to take place.
Power steering fluid should be clear and levels not low. A growling or whining steering function could be present and is an indication that the steering system may have substantial leaks or worse …failing steering components. Be careful here as a steering gear or rack and pinion can be a bank buster.
4. Dash Warning Lights
The check engine light is a direct link to the health of your power train. If this light is on, it really should be properly tested to determine the severity. In some occasions, a simple gas cap may just be the fix. In other occasions, there could be a bank buster waiting for you,. Do not take this lightly …even if you do not have any symptoms and all seems to drive well. A code pull at a local parts house may help, however, complete and thorough testing of engine/transmission data stream will pinpoint failures and eliminate costly guesswork. Do not skimp with check engine lights. They can be one of the biggest bank busters and land you in someone's dog house.
Brake Test Strip you can purchase: http://www.jegs.com/i/Phoenix+Systems/596/3003/10002/-1?CAWELAID=1710767308&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=230006180003468544&cadevice=c&gclid=COSJsOjVtMoCFQdafgodiTQGJw