Whether you’re simply looking to keep on top of your current vehicle or if you’re buying a new car, checking the vehicle fully and often is vital. We’re looking at some of the key steps you should take when buying a car or maintaining your vehicle to make sure it’s all in good working order; hopefully, this will help you get the most from your new car.
Don’t get caught out by buying a dodgy car or missing out on key warning signs of issues with your current vehicle! While we all like to hope our vehicles will be in good condition, this isn’t always the case. Fortunately, the following eight steps can help you make sure a car’s in good condition.
Before you go any further, it’s first important that you check the seller’s details to ensure they are legitimate. Of course, this isn’t necessarily an easy job in and of itself, but ensuring the seller’s profile is complete and doesn’t have any glaring red flags may help.
Once you’ve checked the seller, try to make sure the photos line up with the vehicle information provided. If you notice any obvious discrepancies, be sure to check this with the seller; there may be an explanation, but this could also be a sign it’s a scam.
By now, you should consider running a car history check. This will allow you to check whether a listed vehicle is all it’s cracked up to be. Car history checks allow you to verify that the vehicle’s features align with those registered to the plate; furthermore, these provide a range of other useful information, such as stolen status, past MOT history, and the like.
You’re confident the car checker hasn’t highlighted any significant points for concern. At this point, you’ll want to check the logbook to make sure that the seller is registered as the owner of the vehicle. Try to check that the logbook itself is genuine, too; fraudulent sellers will occasionally attempt to create a fake logbook!
Once everything else is looking positive, you should begin checking the key components of the vehicle. Some factors to look at here include:
- Engine: Try to ensure that the engine is kept clean. When maintaining your car, the engine should ideally be cleaned and sprayed with a degreaser at least once a year (or more).
- Engine oil: The engine oil should always be kept topped up, which you can check quickly using the dipstick. It’s worth noting here that when adding new oil, try to warm the engine first by running the car for several minutes.
- Coolant: Ensuring you’ve got enough coolant is crucial to prevent your vehicle from overheating. Most coolant containers will have clearly marked levels that you can check quickly.
- Battery: When checking the engine, don’t disregard the battery! Batteries should regularly be checked for charge levels to ensure they are charging effectively while the engine is running; moreover, you should also check that the battery’s casing and the like are in good condition. Ensure the battery leads are tight and clean, and check that there is a suitable level of battery fluid, taking precautions to avoid injury or damage.
Problems with tyres can arise incredibly often. In line with this thought, it’s important to make sure that the tyres are well-inflated, don’t have any punctures, and have plenty of tread depth left. If not, you’ll need to replace the tyres quickly to stay roadworthy; plus, underinflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption, too!
Steering and brake problems can frequently be among the most dangerous issues to arise with a car, especially if they go unnoticed. Critically, you should routinely check include whether the brake pedal or steering wheel is getting loose; these should be repaired as soon as possible if so.
Effective windscreen wipers are crucial when driving during bad weather conditions. As such, making sure the windscreen wipers are secure and working effectively is crucial; furthermore, you should also check the wiper fluid level and ensure that fluid is being successfully delivered to the windscreen as part of this.
If you have been trying to keep your car in good condition for as long as possible, today’s eight checks are crucial steps to consider. However, don’t overlook the importance of checking the bodywork regularly for signs of wear, too.