Used Car Safety Check Tips
It is critically important to have a safety check done on any used car before you buy it. We recommend having a certified mechanic do it for you because it is likely that their knowledge will exceed yours. However, if you have already bought the car, then there are basic steps that you can follow to find out if there are any major problems. Not everything wrong is serious. For example; if the car came with wheel locks that were misplaced, a simple wheel lock removal kit will unlock them.
All used cars have imperfections. Some need panel beating; others require rust elimination or a new paint job. These are not going to get you killed on the road. Perhaps wheel alignment is necessary; maybe there is a minor oil leak. It can be difficult to know which problems will affect you most. These tips will offer you insight into which safety checks are absolutely essential. First, take the car for a drive and follow these steps:
It is imperative that your brakes be in optimal condition. Test their responsiveness under varying road conditions. Be alert and feel for vibrations coming from the brake pedal. Any strange sounds or slow response is a matter of urgency. If this is the case, check the entire brake system and have it serviced – pads, pedals, fluid and lights.
Accelerate to 65mph once on the freeway. At this speed, any vibrations could be an indication of some serious issues; from severe structural damage to tires that are out of sync.
When on a straight and even road, let go of the steering wheel briefly. If the car veers either left or right, you will probably need to realign your wheels or replace your steering linkage.
Once you have come to a complete halt – then accelerate hard. Listen for popping or knocking noises. It is common for moisture to enter your C.V. joints when the protective rubber surrounding them becomes torn. This damages the joints and will require replacing them.
Secondly, there are other safety features that you need to check carefully once you have returned from your drive. Go through this checklist:
Check under the hood of the car. Climb under the engine as well. Make sure that all rubber belts and hoses are not worn or torn. All clamps and connections must be present. Fortunately, these are not pricey. However, if there are leaking fluids, then that could be a big expense. Be alert for seepage and any worn components in the engine.
Nowadays most cars have airbags as a safety precaution. They are expensive and many people neglect to replace them. If they are meant to be there, check that they are.
Closely scrutinize the wear of the tires. The tread should be worn evenly. If you are in any way unsure of their effectiveness, have them replaced immediately. While there, use a wheel lock removal kit if your wheels are locked. If you do not have the key, then you can get one of these kits from Our Locksmiths.
Check every single light in a used car to make sure that they are in good working order. If they are not functioning or cracked, then change them. These include hazard lights, brake lights, headlights and indicator lights. Lights are not expensive and are easy to replace.
Many people fiddle with seatbelts in order to fool the sensors because they prefer not to wear them. Make sure that all seatbelts are working properly, they really do save lives.
Spare Tire and Jack
Strangely, most people do not even know if there is a spare tire or jack in their car. Although this does not affect the condition of your car, it is imperative that you have them. Being stuck on the side of the road is extremely unsafe and you must be able to change your wheel. If the car comes with locked lug nuts, be sure to include a wheel lock removal kit if the key is missing.
If your used car underwent a safety check before you got it, you will know how much it will cost to get it through the required safety inspection. If not, you are now aware of the most important potential problems and can get the necessary quotes. It is still advisable that you take it to a mechanic and have them check it for roadworthiness, as well as safety.