Deciding What You Want

Deciding What You Want

Don't Just Kick The Tires, Learn How To Test Used Cars

by Alex Hale

Buying a used car can save you a lot of money, as long as you don't buy a car that is going to need repairs in the near future. Many people focus only on the price of the car and how it feels as you drive, but that is inexact. Follow these tips to know exactly what problems you should be looking for.

Smoke Signals

The color of the exhaust from the tailpipe can tell you a lot about the car. Have someone start the car while you watch the color of the smoke. A small puff of white smoke is normal and is usually caused by condensation.

A lot of white smoke means that there is water in the combustion chamber. This requires expensive repairs because the car could have a cracked block, blown head gasket or a damaged cylinder head.

If black smoke is coming from the tailpipe, then you know that the air-fuel mixture is too rich. This could be caused by one of two problems; either the oxygen sensor is faulty or the air filter is dirty and needs to be replaced. 

Sometimes the smoke from the tailpipe will look a little bit blue. This means that oil has started leaking past the engine seals and is burning somewhere in the cylinders. You will have to check for a wide variety of problems, including: worn piston seals, worn valve seals, worn value guides, intake manifold gasket leak, or a non-functioning PVC valve.

Check the Clutch

Many people drive a car and notice some problems with shifting, but they blow it off as not being used to the car yet. Don't make that mistake. The clutch is vital to the life of your car and you need to make sure that it is not damaged before you buy. It is not driver error to have a shaking car when shifting gears. That means the clutch is getting worn out.

Take the car for a test drive and listen to the sound of the engine. You do not want the engine to rev excessively before the car starts to accelerate. This is a symptom of a worn out, or misadjusted clutch. A misadjusted clutch can be fixed without too much expense, but one that is worn out is very expensive to repair.

A final way to check the clutch is to stop in a parking lot on your test drive, but keep the car running. Shift into 2nd or 3rd gear and then let out the clutch. If the RPMs go up but the vehicle doesn't move or stall, then you know for sure that the clutch needs to be replaced before you buy.   


About Me

Deciding What You Want

How many different cars have you purchased over the course of your lifetime? If you are like most people, it might only be a handful of vehicles. Unfortunately, this means that you have a pretty small scope of vehicular understanding, which can limit your ability to find what you really want. Since I have been in the automotive industry for several years, I decided to create a blog dedicated to furthering other people's knowledge about cars. Go through the information on my blog to find out what you really want in a ride, so that you can be happy with your purchase.