To ensure that you do not get stuck with a bad car, you must adhere to the essential tips and tricks that can guide you on making a good used-car purchase. Below, the article will discuss some of interior and exterior red flags that you should be looking out for when making a car purchase. To start with, you should give the car’s interior importance during the inspection.
Check the Interior
The interior of the car is where you are likely to spend most of your time. Hence, it only makes sense that you thoroughly inspect and look for red flags. You want to make sure that you are comfortable in your daily commutes.
When starting the interior inspection, start by looking at the seats. You want to make sure that the seat cover is still intact and does not have any tears or cracks. Most of the seat coverings are leather, which is a material that does not tear but instead shows signs of wear. Therefore you should make sure that the leather is not showing any signs of wear.
Another thing that is important is to check the adjustable qualities of the seat. When buying a used car, you should consider whether you still drive it while seated in your preferred seating arrangement. After you carefully inspect the front seats, you can move onwards to the rear and start an inspection on the rear seats.
You want to essentially remove the floor mats and check the condition of the floor of a car. The best way to do that is use your hands and feel for any water drain or soft spots. You can also go underneath the car and observe the floor of the car. This will tell you whether the car has rust, or whether it’s metal sheet’s dexterity is compromised.
Brake Pedal and Gas Pedal
These components can help you tell if the car’s odometer has gone through changes. The thing you should be careful of is the condition of the brake pads. If the metal on the brake pad is subject to wear and damage, then you can tell whether the car still has miles left in it.
The condition of the pedals is often consistent with the miles that a car covers. This means that if a car’s brake pedals are battered and broken, then the car has likely travelled vast distances.
You can tell a lot about a car by judging its interior. Even though an entire inspection of interior, exterior and engine is necessary, you should not ignore the interior and give it appropriate consideration.
Catalytic converters are important components of your car that play a crucial role in making it eco-friendly. Attached along the exhaust pipe, these converters convert pollutants inside an emitting gas, making the emissions that exit out of the exhaust are less harmful. In the year 2021, the cases of catalytic converter thefts are growing rapidly. Amidst this crime spree, you prepare accordingly, if you do not want to be the victim of such an incident.
Get Comprehensive Insurance
Even if you have car insurance, check whether that insurance includes catalytic converter replacements. Most insurances will not involve these automotive parts because they tend to last the lifetime of the car without needing maintenance or replacement. Therefore, if you want to save yourself a thousand dollars or even more from installing a new converter, make sure you have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy.
What Happens after Catalytic Converter is stolen?
Your car will tell you that it is missing a catalytic converter. How will it do that? Well, the car makes a loud gushing or roaring sound when you start it without the converter. Your car will also not drive smoothly and consume a lot more fuel than it uses to when you drive it. This is largely because when the thieves remove the catalytic converter, they also take away a big chunk of the exhaust pipe. This noise is very loud and the driver is instantly indicated that something is wrong.
Can You Identify your Catalytic Converter after it is Stolen?
Some garages can help make your catalytic converter traceable by engraving a unique serial number on it. This can make your converter identifiable if in case a thief steals it. You can also apply a sticker on your window that indicates to criminals that your catalytic converted has a serial number that you can track. This may help prevent theft if it manages to change the perpetrator’s mind.
Many car owners will resort to blocking the offenders from getting near their catalytic converters. This involves installing grills and steel plates on the converter. This can be expensive; however, it can save you the installation costs of a new catalytic converter which is much more expensive.
Catalytic converter theft is indeed turning out to be a growing wave all across the country. You should be worried, especially if you drive a Prius or a truck. Catalytic converters inside a Prius have more precious metals, and hence are a more desired target for robbers. On the other hand, trucks are higher up, and thieves do not need to jack them up to rip out the exhaust, which saves them precious seconds to flee from the scene.
Brake noise is a common issue with cars. To truly understand and get to the bottom of brake noise, you have to separate the noise into two categories. The first one is squeaking, while the other is grinding. Identifying between these noises may take a while, but after some time, it can become much clear to you. There are many reasons why these noises can emerge when you apply the brakes on your car. Lets start with the first classification of the common brake noise that is squeaking.
This noise resembles a high frequency whistle and will often start a few seconds after you apply the brakes. The most common reason for the sound of this nature involves the brake pads wearing out. A brake pad has a metal plate, and attached to it, you will find composite material, which is responsible for contacting your rotor and stopping your car. This composite material gradually wears out over time because of year’s load of stress and heat from friction.
Most brake pads also compose of indicator clips, which will start to squeak before your brake pad runs out fully. Another common reason why your car may be squeaking involves brake glazing. This happens when your brake overheats due to high temperature.
This can happen if you press upon the breaks while driving down a steep hill. Another instance how this can occur is if you drive the car without pulling down your emergency brake. Essentially, if your brake pads press against the rotors while you are pushing your wheels into motion, then you can expect noises.
Grinding or Scraping Noise
Usually, if you are unfortunate to come about this noise, it usually means that your brake pad has totally run out the composite material. Once the padding finishes, the metal backing of the rotor starts to rub on the rotors and scrape against each other. This noise does not have the same frequency and is often disturbing to the ears of the driver.
This noise will occur in a flash as you apply the brakes. By the time, your car’s brake pads start making this noise, it is most probably very late for replacement. Moreover, if you hear this noise, the possibility of rotor damage is also very high.
When you will look into the rotors, you will notice groves on the rotors in your rotor. Another reason why you may hear this noise coming from the car when you apply the brakes is again, overheating. When your brakes get too hot, the material of your brake pad brakes down, and in some extreme case, heat can result in an uneven sponge like surface.
Noise, at the instance of breaking can be detrimental, not only to the car, but also to your well-being. This is why you should never ignore even the slightest of squeaks, squeals or scrapes from the wheels.
A car’s engine design is beautiful. Many components inside the car have to move and rotate and move in perfect time and symmetry to get the engine to run without any flaws. Chains and belts are like bridges that connect integral parts of the engine to others. This is important because, for the engine to function, crankshafts and camshafts need to rotate at precise intervals, and chains and belts help achieve this movement.
For most internal combustion engines, the crankshaft, that holds the pistons, spins around. The crankshaft further connects to the camshaft that opens and closes the valves. There are various ways you can connect the camshaft to the crankshaft, one of them being the timing chains and timing belts.
When timing chains and belts did not exist, gears did the job of synchronizing shaft rotations in combustion engines. However, as time progressed, designers realized that they were not as effective for car engines. Even though the gear system was solid and reliable, but it has two disadvantages.
One of them was that the manufacturing of the gears was very costly, and the other was that the gears were loud. Hence, instead of having multiple gears fit into each other, car engine makers resorted to using timing chains.
With the introduction to timing chains, there was a shift in car engine design. In this car design, the crankshaft sprocket had teeth on it, which the timing chain could attach to. Following that, all American engines came with timing chains.
However, like everything, evolution has to take its course. Timing chains, although solid and durable, were also expensive to mold since they consisted of metal. This led to the introduction of rubber belts. These timing belts were rubber base, and connected to the crankshaft and camshaft, and did the same job as timing chains.
Why Some Cars have Timing Belts and Others have Timing Chains?
Many car manufacturers install timing belts instead of timing chains. One of the reasons why this is so is because they are cheaper to make. Toyota relies heavily on timing belts instead of chains because not only are they reliable in the Toyota engine, but also because every engine they make is non-interference.
This means that if the timing belt breaks, it will not cause the pistons to do any damage. However, if you take faster engine cars, the pistons are higher and the values were lower. This meant that if the rubber belts broke when driving fast, this would cause damage to the engine.
Both, the rubber timing belts, and metallic timing chains serve the same purpose but have different advantages and disadvantages. Many people can argue whether belts are better than chains, but if you want to get a car that requires the least expenditure and maintenance, then look for one with a timing chain. Chains, unlike rubber, do not deteriorate over time and last longer.
A tire replacement may be one of the most essential car maintenance measures that you take. Missing a replacement can result in car crashes, bumps, and also fatality, especially in wet road conditions. The friction and grip between the tire and the road are what keeps your car stable.
Driving on worn tires may as well be the sole contributor to a major accident. Even though cars are well equipped with several safety features, and can easily warn you about low tire pressures, they, however, fail to recognize low tread tires.
Tire tread refers to the grip on top of tires, which provides the tires grip. Over a certain time, these treads tend to smooth out, and driving worn tires is a red flag for any car owner. People often fail to realize that tires will tend to lose grip and performance as you use them. Other times your tire begins to lose its treads or grips are because of dry rotting.
You can also refer to dry rotting, as sidewalk cracking, and it can result in hairline cracks along the sidewalls and inside the tread of the tires. The worst-case scenario for dry rotting would be if the rotting causes small cracks inside the tires. These sidewalk cracks can lead to the blowing up of your tires. Moreover, it can also cause your tire treads to rip open.
How to Minimize the Dangers of Dry Rotting?
First, you have to be able to spot the dry rot. To inspect this occurrence, look very closely at the sidewalls and observe some of the cracks and lines. Once you find these cracks, you will identify the vulnerable spots of your tire’s possible leakage areas.
One of the best and simpler ways to protect your tire’s dry rot from worsening and blowing out is by replacing them with new ones. Make sure you do not purchase used ones, because they may have the same dry rot that you are trying to get rid of in the first place. Moreover, used ones are also not subject to the same federal regulations as new ones.
Another great way to minimize your risk of dry rotting is to go to a certified technician once you find the earliest indications of dry rotting. A professional has all the expertise to tell you whether your dry rot situation requires instant action or not.
Dry rotting is very consistent with all tires, and sunlight and heat exposure can make them worse. Therefore, make sure to keep your car tires away from harmful elements, and always be on top of tire maintenance.