Don't Overlook These Details When Buying a Used Car
When you're buying a used car, of course you'll take it for a test drive and look under the hood for any obvious signs of damage, and you may ask about previous accidents and the maintenance done to the car over the years. However, there is much more you can do to ensure you get a used car that is in good repair and that should last for years. Note a few details you don't want to overlook when buying a used car so you know you'll get your money's worth and be happy with your purchase for years to come.
When you drive the car, do you notice any odd smells? A sweet smell often means that there is a leak of coolant, whereas a burning smell might mean that oil is mixing with the fuel or that the engine is running very hot and needs a new fan or thermostat. Burning smells can also mean that the transmission fluid is old and corroded and will soon need to be flushed and refilled, or that the brakes are burning when applied. The brake pads and potentially the rotors will then need replacing.
It's also good to switch on the air conditioner and turn the dashboard fan on full blast and see if you notice any smells coming out of the vents. A musty smell may mean that the air conditioner is gathering mould and mildew and needs cleaning and repair.
Clunking sounds often indicate worn differentials, which control the speed of tyres when you turn a corner. This clunking can also be damaged tie rods, which connect the wheels to the axle; these can get bent or rusted and clunk when you hit bumps in the road. Rusted struts may also clunk when you drive; struts are springs that connect the tie rods to the top of the vehicle, holding the wheels in place. If those springs don't move smoothly up and down, they may clunk when you go over a bump.
You might also note if the clunking seems to be coming from outside the car; this often means the lug nuts for the wheels are coming loose. This can indicate a poor alignment or that the wheels need balancing; while this may seem like a small fix, if the car has been driven for many kilometres while in need of an alignment or balance, this may have put undue stress on the tyres, tie rods, struts, and all parts of the steering, and they may be worn and in need of repair or replacement.