Expert Guide: Essentials To Keep In Mind When Buying A Pre-Owned Car

A typical car has about 10,000 moving parts, and typical petrol or diesel engine has 2,000 parts – almost all of them are internal. This means you cannot really judge a car only by its external appearance. And if you are looking to buy a pre-owned car, then it’s essential to examine every inch, considering it has a history unknown to you.

When we say examine, we don’t mean use a magnifying glass to peer around. But it does involve checking the car, inside and out, to ensure it is up to the mark and avoid any unpleasant surprises post the purchase. While a test drive is necessary, you can conduct a few other checks to assess a pre-owned car’s quality and performance.

Here are some expert tips to guide you:

Inspect The Car In Daylight

Seeing a potential pre-owned car at night or late evening is best avoided as artificial light, especially sodium vapour lamps, will not show you subtle changes in the car’s paint shade. Thoroughly checking the paint is necessary as it can reveal scratches, bad maintenance, flaking, previous repairs and patchwork. You also need enough light to make sure the body panels are properly aligned. Therefore, scan the car when the sun is up and move it to a bright spot with less shade.

Check The Fluid Levels

This applies to all the fluid levels; the coolant level in the reservoir, the radiator, the brake fluid level, and the engine oil level. If the battery is not sealed, you can check the fluid levels in the cells too. For older cars, ensure the power steering fluid is topped up.
Expert tip: Remember to do the fluid check when the engine is cold; opening the radiator cap of a warm engine can be dangerous.

Try and check the rubber hoses in the engine area and make sure they have no cracks. Since rubber ages with heat and time, the hoses lose flexibility. And with loss of flexibility, there is a chance of failure, so have them checked and replaced if need be.

Check For Leaks

This involves you getting down and peeking under the car to look for signs of leaking oil. It is more prominent in the area where the engine’s two metal parts are joined, or the joints between the engine and the gearbox. For a better assessment, a look under the car’s regular parking spot can probably indicate if there is a leak in the engine or not.

Check The Tyres

If a car with a low kilometre reading on the odometer has all four new tyres, that’s a red flag. Tyres do not wear out easily, so there is no reason to replace all of them unless they were at the end of their life. Tyres on Indian roads usually last from 30,000 km to well over 50,000 km, depending on how and where the car is driven. So, if you’re looking at a car whose odometer reads 25,000 km and has a brand-new set of tyres, ask for the reason and then make a decision. The reason can be either of these two; the tyres wore out because of rough driving on bad road conditions, or the odometer has been tampered with to show a lower number.

Examine The Interiors

Check the condition of the seat and its inclination. Some experienced mechanics can tell how much a car has been used simply by assessing the base foam compression of the driver seat. Ensure the car comes with airbags, and if possible, check for deployment evidence. Replacing airbags can be a costly proposition; more importantly, you should make sure this safety feature works seamlessly.

Also, check for rust in the usual places – door bottoms, edges of the roof liner, the windshield base where the water drains away under the hood, and under the spare wheel in the boot. Be especially careful about rust if you’re looking at a car that has spent its life in a coastal area.

Save Yourself The Hassle – Choose Ford Assured

Experienced mechanics are aware of the concerns that come with pre-owned cars. Since they know what problems trouble a particular brand or model, they are better placed to offer you the best advice. At Ford Assured, a pre-owned car venture by Ford, trained mechanics follow a 169-point checklist to evaluate the quality and performance of pre-owned cars. This means they check every nook and cranny to certify that every car that passes through is in top condition. Apart from this, there are several other reasons to leave it up to an expert dealer.

All cars sold by Ford Assured also follow a scientific pricing technique. And to assure a hassle-free driving experience, thorough checking of the car’s history and finance is conducted to prevent any possible fraud. Unlike other used car dealers, Ford Assured guarantees a company warranty of 20,000 kms/1 year on all pre-owned Ford cars and select non-Ford vehicles. In addition to this, you get two free services conducted by Ford-trained technicians. Ford Assured also takes care of transfer formalities, so both the buyer and seller can have complete peace of mind. So, if you are looking to buy a pre-owned car, choose Ford Assured. With over 200 dealership showrooms in 155 cities, we may be closer than you think.

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Driving Ford
Driving Ford is the official blog of Ford India. Established in 1995, Ford in India manufactures and exports automobiles and engines made at its integrated manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. Ford’s current range of award-winning products in India includes the Ford Mustang, Ford EcoSport, Ford Figo, Ford Aspire, and Ford Endeavour.