Under The Bonnet Of A Used Car

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Sometimes it feels like you are rolling the dice when you buy a used car, especially if you aren’t mechanically minded. The great news is that you can pocket those dice right now. You won’t have to be a mechanic to check if a used car is worth the investment with these simple tips of what to look for under the hood.

Visual Signs

Simply opening a car’s bonnet and peaking in can tell you a lot of things about the vehicle and how it has been cared for. Look for…

Dust: If there is a layer of dust under the bonnet then you can be sure that maintenance hasn’t been carried out in a while.

Service Stickers: Check to see if there is evidence of regular servicing or maintenance with stickers for a cambelt replacement or transmission checks.

Leaks or Fractures: If the pipes are old and worn then you will be able to see this at a glance. Worn pipes can lead to leaks and more serious problems.

Essential Checks

These are the things you want to check out when you do open up that bonnet…

Oil: Check the dipstick to see if there is a sufficient amount of oil in the motor. Black and dirty oil or a lack of oil means the car hasn’t been serviced in a while.

Cap Contamination: Check that there isn’t a thick creamy white substance under the radiator and oil caps. That can mean a contamination of oil and coolant.

Coolant Colour: The coolant should be either bright green or bright red. If the liquid is clear then it means the car requires regular top ups, so could overheat or have a cooling issue.

Mismatching: If anything under the bonnet doesn’t quite match or line up then chances are major repairs have been undertaken. Definitely question this before buying.

Turn It On: Run the engine with the bonnet open, it will be easier to hear any rattling or unusual sounds that would usually be muffled by the car’s insulation.

Metal Damage

Rust: Check for signs of rust or corrosion as this could mean an exposure to corrosive materials or water damage.

Nuts and Bolts: Missing, worn or mismatched bolts can mean that the car has had a checkered past.

Arming yourself with this knowledge will mean that you can make a safe and informed decision about the next used vehicle you buy. Don’t fall in love until you have checked over what’s on the inside!

Kelvin Armstrong Auto Repairs

Kelvin Armstrong Auto Repairs (KAAR) is recognised as the most competent, capable, and reliable automotive repairer west of the Auckland City isthmus.

With fully equipped, state of art facilities in both Avondale and Henderson, KAAR gives a choice of two handy locations for full automotive, mechanical, electrical repairs and servicing for all vehicles, including European makes and models like Audi, VW and BMW.

We cater for all makes and models of cars, vans, 4x4s and light trucks. We service petrol, diesel and hybrid motors.

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