Things to Look for When You Test an Old Car

1. Outside

Windows: they must descend and ascend smoothly, and come to append perfectly against the knuckles. Attention to future cold showers!



  • Rust: used cars today do not have as formerly significant rust. The bodies are increasingly resistant. But still look the insides of the doors, windows surrounds, sills, passages of wings and the floor of the passenger compartment and trunk. Any paint chips may foreshadow the appearance of rust.
  • The joints: Make sure the door rubbers, hatchback or trunk lid are in good condition. If the vehicle is equipped with a sunroof, also inspect the knuckles.
  • Tires: Attention! It is mandatory that they are of the same brand and same size on the same axle. Then check them for wear. Obviously, there must be no rupture or tear on the flank. Tread depth should be consistent. When inserting one euro coin in a sculpture, silver circle should not appear. Moreover, irregular wear shows defect in parallelism or inflation to erroneous values.
  • Shaking the front wheels in the horizontal axis, it is also possible to realize if there is a game of management. All of this examination must be thorough. Take your time: This is for your safety. A tire in poor condition may shatter and cause an accident. If you are unsure and want to change it, tell the seller and note this element in the negotiation.

2. The interior



The counter: Make sure the numbers are correctly aligned. Otherwise, it may mean that it was “revised” downward using a screwdriver. Another trick is to flush out the scam: Make sure that the indicated mileage is not lower than the label of the last oil stuck to the oil pan.

  • Covers: the presence of covers is a double edged sword. We can consider that this is an advantage because your passengers will be protected. But we can also think that they are there to hide holes or cigarette burns. Feel free to uncover to check the status of the seat fabrics. If this review is inconclusive, think twice. This is not a reason not to buy the car, but it is a reason to ask for a small discount.
  • Board controls: it would be stupid to buy an old car having the reverse light which is not working. Despite this, the car can be a good deal. But we do not want to immediately do work on a vehicle that we have just bought. So even if you seem simplistic these checks, make sure the correct operation of all controls: headlights, taillights (back, Position, stop, flashing). Then check the heating, the warnings, the defogger, wipers, etc. Witnesses on the dashboard should come on when you turn on the ignition. On Momentum, also test the car radio and, where applicable, its steering wheel.
  • Air Conditioning: after operating the compressor, we see its start to a slight decrease in engine speed. The cold must evacuate aerators after a few seconds. If the cold does not come, two options: you either recharge the refrigerant gas which is more annoying because it is much more expensive, or replace the air conditioning compressor.
  • The spare wheel: perhaps you think this is unnecessary verification? You never know: Make sure all the same to the presence.
  • Attach of trailer: few vehicles have them, but beware if that is the case. The car may have been led to make great efforts to tow a heavy trailer. The clutch and the engine could suffer.

3. Engine



Oil leaks: While stopped, the traces of seepage are easily identifiable. But do not panic. It is not disturbing to see on an engine: none can be perfectly clean. However, in the case of a leak, be wary. A leak is when there is a drop that flows and a spot under the car after a few hours of parking.

4. Four scenarios are possible:

  1. There may be a leaking oil seal placed near the pulley side opposite the gearbox, it is annoying, but not very serious: it is possible to carry out a repair for an amount between 150 and 500 Euros.
  2. The oil seal placed near the clutch and the gearbox can also be the source of the leak. In this case, the problem is more serious. It will often cost more than 1000 Euros.
  3. The rocker joint is involved. It’s nothing. It should be changed. Cost: 50 Euros.
  4. The shaft seal camshaft is replaced. This leak can cause the replacement of the timing belt, operation will return to several hundred Euros.

As we see, an oil leak does not necessarily indicate a worrying failure. This depends on the type of failure. But it is just very difficult to successfully identify. At best, by leaning on the car, you will see traces of oil. But if not a professional mechanic, you will not be able to detect the origin.

It is best not to dwell on the vehicle that you are going to possibly buy if you see oil flows. Burnt oil also emits a characteristic odor. If you feel it, do not buy.

And, remember these tips are especially valid for cars sold by individuals. For those of garages, guarantees a priori assure you that you will not experience this kind of surprises (even if that happens, alas …).

  • Battery terminals: they must not be covered with a whitish and dry substance. This index reflects a low level of maintenance of the car and could foreshadow a problem at startup.
  • No trace of a leak or drip should appear. They should not be swollen by the action of excessive pressure. If they are cracked, it is a sign of wear or aging, which means that a replacement is expected to more or less in short term.
  • Radiator: If you detect whitish fluid leaks on the engine, this means that there are leaks. So that made frequent liquid level may fur the radiator tubes. So cool under the engine.

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>>> See more:

Signs You Need to Replace Your Vehicle’s Air Filter


About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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