Pre-Sale/Purchase Inspections and Checks

One must NEVER skip a pre-sale/purchase inspection. You should definitely conduct a mechanical inspection before you buy or sell a used car. 

The sole purpose of a pre-sale/purchase inspection is to make sure you are getting what you  paid for – a totally functional car or in the case of selling your car, it is to make sure you can make these minor repairs before selling it to fetch a higher price and to avoid the buyers negotiating a lower value worrying that the cars may be problematic. The goal is to get the car to look promising that is able to run today, tomorrow and for the years to come. 

These are the top 10 areas that you should be paying attention to when test-driving the car before you even seek for a professional for further inspections:


1. Car Service Handbook

Check if there are any service or maintenance receipts or the car’s service handbook. Ideally, you will want the used car to be regularly serviced and properly maintained.


2. Bonnet

Open the bonnet to see how clean the engine is as an untidy engine may be an indicator that the seller hasn’t looked after the car properly. Check if the belts are located on the side or front of the engine for any frays or damage.


3. Oil Indicators

Oil can tell you a lot about the engine. If you pull the dipstick out and the oil residue doesn’t reach the ‘full’ marker, or it looks thick and black, this is a red flag that the car has not been maintained properly. If you look under the oil cap and find gritty carbon deposits there, you may consider moving on to other sellers or car dealers.


4. Leaks

Check underneath the car. Check the radiator. Check the hoses. Are there any signs of leakage, cracks or signs of corrosion? If the answer is yes to any of those, you definitely will need to spend some cash to fix them if you buy the used car.


5. Vehicle Lights

All lights in the car need to operate properly. Correctly working headlights give you good visibility in dark and inclement conditions, hazard lights alert others that you are having problems with your car on the road, while brake lights and turn signals let other drivers know your intent on the road. So make sure you check to make sure all lights are still functional.


6. Car Body

Check the body of the car. Look out for any rust, dents, scratches or ripples. The surface should be smooth. Check for any cracks or chips in the windows. Pay attention to the outside and inside the car for any difference in paint colour as well. Finally, look at the gaps between the body of the car and the doors, bonnet, tailgate and fuel filler cap. These gaps should all be parallel and the same width all the way around.


7. Odometer

Check for signs of a tampered odometer. If the used car looks worn out, brake, accelerator or clutch pedals are badly worn out, and the driver’s seat looks well used, chances are, the odometer may have been rolled back if the vehicle has low mileage.


8. Brakes

The brakes are one of the most crucial systems in a car that allows you to slow down or stop the car safely in times of need. If it takes a strong step on the brake pedals to make the car slow down or if the car continues to glide even after hitting the brake pedals hard, this means that the brake rotors need to be replaced.


9. Tyres

Check out all 4 tyres. They should all be free of cracks. Even better if they are of well-known tyre brands for extra assurance on the quality of the tyres. Check with the seller or car dealer as to when the tyre last changed too if possible.


10. Smoke from the exhaust

Turn on the engine! Step on the oil paddle a few times. Check if there is any smoke coming out from the exhaust. If there is, do you smell anything in the smoke? Either would be bad. Usually, a smoky exhaust indicates an oil-burning engine, which tells you there is an underlying problem waiting to be discovered, soon.

Looking to sell your car? Head over to any of our ezAuto Inspection Centre to leave the inspection to the experts to make sure you get the best value for your car. Locate the nearest ezAuto Inspection Centre at now!