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6 Elements To Keenly Identify When Buying An Old Car

6 Elements To Keenly Identify When Buying An Old Car

Buying an old vehicle can be a bargain purchase, but it can also be risky. There are several things to check in an old car, from mechanical issues to mileage. Checking these things ensures you purchase a working vehicle that won’t give you serious problems. Below, we look at the old car issues checklist that features the most vital factors to consider.



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Six Most Important Factors

Old car problems are frequently found and are a natural result of the vehicle’s age. However, there are some problems more pressing than others. While it’s critical to check for rust/paint damage, upholstery quality, and tire conditions, these are ultimately cosmetic problems. It can cost a bit to replace or fix but ultimately aren’t as demanding. Below, we look at the crucial factors you should look at before buying.


Vehicle History

The vehicle history will let you know what the vehicle has been through, which services it had, and the weak spots that previous owners have fixed. Ensure the previous owner or automotive company gives you a complete history of the vehicle you’re buying. You can also use a service like CARFAX, where you enter the VIN and see the vehicle’s accident history, liens on the car, or model recalls.


Frame Issues

Frame issues are easy to spot if you’re looking for them and can make a massive difference in your driving experience. When you walk around the car, look for anything out of place, like something hanging from the undercarriage, warping in the bumper or trunk, or if the car’s frame is too close to the ground. All these things can mean the vehicle was previously in an accident or that the frame structure is insecure and can fall apart. The frame is a challenging and expensive element to fix in most cases.


Under the Hood

This aspect is one of the most vital items to check, as most old car problems originate from under the hood. The engine is the car’s heart, and no healthy heart means it can’t function. Pop the hood and check for any oil leaks, rust spots, cracked hoses and belts, corrosion, or other fluid leaks. Ensure to dip the oil and transmission sticks in their fluid and check for discolouration, with oil being light brown and transmission fluid pink or red.



The mileage on a car is an excellent way to check whether the previous owner treated the car well over its lifetime. Most cars rack up about 20,000 km each year on average, so a simple calculation you can do is divide the mileage by the car’s age. A young car with a lot of mileage can show more wear and tear on the car’s mechanics.


Interior Electronics

Your interior electronics are another crucial component of the old car issues checklist. Test the radio, aircon, and other electrical components to see if they work. That includes checking auto window switches, windshield wipers, indicator lights, and elements like steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Often, a bad electronic problem can affect the reliability of your car’s performance.


Mechanic Inspection

Even if you’ve checked everything about the car, it’s still critical you allow a mechanic to inspect the vehicle. A reliable mechanic will have a standard checklist of stuff they look at to ensure there are no underlying problems. This check will at least help you know what you’re getting when purchasing the vehicle. 


Buy a Reliable Old Vehicle

While there are many things to check in an old car, the above six are the most important ones. A paint job and replaced tires can make a car good as new, but a broken frame, faulty engine, or broken interior electronics can cause a car to land in the graveyard. Ensure you buy your ideal vehicle for an affordable price and with no unexpected problems cropping up.



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Categories: Used Car, Car Purchase FAQ