5 Critical Areas to Inspect before Buying a Pre-Owned Car

Pre-owned cars are the most suitable alternative for budgeted buyers. They are available at several online car auctions at fraction of the cost of new models. Besides pre-owned cars, these sites also list salvage cars that require minor repair before they can hit the road again. Whether you are in Houston or any other city across the US, these auction sites either offer free car shipping or charge a nominal fee to ship the car to its destination. Several salvage cars auction in Houston, TX permit you to inspect the car before you bid for it. So, when going to inspect the car, make sure you examine these five critical areas to ensure you are making the right purchase.

1. Alignment

Alignment of the car is crucial to its performance. A perfectly aligned car maneuvers in a straight line and saves on tire wear. When inspecting pre-owned car make sure you check its alignment by holding a light grip on the steering and check if the vehicle is drifting to the right or left when it should be tracking in a straight line. No drifting means there’s no alignment problem. Also, check for shaky wheels, it’s another indication of alignment problem.

2. Brakes

Applying brakes to stop the car generates a tremendous amount of heat, wearing the brake pads, which is why after a couple years brakes become less responsive. When inspecting or test driving a pre-owned car, notice how quickly the car stops and whether it makes unusual sounds when slowing down or pulses. If possible, test drive the car in an empty lot where you can accelerate and quickly stop.

3. Electrical Systems

Most pre-owned car buyers ignore the electric problems with the car for they seem too minor to ponder over. Do not commit the same mistake as these small electrical problems can lead to heavy repair cost. Make sure the clock, turn signals, power windows, windshield wipers, interior lights, and headlights of the car you are considering are in perfect condition.

4. Head Gasket

The problem with head gasket can be an expensive affair, and you would not want to spend large amount on buying the car and then on a costly head gasket repair. Therefore it is crucial that you inspect the car’s head gasket before finalizing the purchase. Remove the cap of the oil filter and check for signs of leakage such as the formation of foamy residue on its inside. Also, examine the overflow jar coolant to ensure it is clean. A good practice is to take the car to a mechanic for inspection and request a compression test to be done. 

5. Transmission

Faulty transmission is one of the biggest causes of car problems and its repair cost is very high. To avoid the problem and expense, check the condition of the transmission and the level of transmission fluid of the pre-owned car. Low transmission fluid level indicates transmission leak. Also, the fluid should be free from metal flakes and grime.

Final Words

Inspecting the pre-owned can help you bid the most suitable price for it and even save money on its repair. If you are not too familiar with cars, it is advisable to take a professional for inspection, for they can help you make the right selection. So, check out online car auction sites to bid goodbye to exhausting public transport travel. Make sure you take a quote for shipping a car to your destination.


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