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We cover all MG & Rover cars, We are the MG Owners Club & Rover Owners club, combined in one, from Rover 75 to MGZT, from Rover 800 to MGB, we are here for all your MG Rover MGR cars

How To's

How to view a potential new car

Unread postby baconbuttyman » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:55 am

A little advice when looking at a car for purchase. I am NOT a mechanic just a car enthusiasts, i have NEVER bought a bad car yet, IF you have 0% of common sense, then take some one with you! and a good torch, not your phone light

Buying a used car can be daunting if you are a little green, first of all, is the car being sold by a trader, that is defined in ONE way only, doe the seller regularly sell cars for profit, if so, then the seller IS a trader and no matter what he says, you have rights, The car has to be fit for purpose and as described. The onus is on YOU to prove any issues are inherent with the car tho. If the trader is of any worth, he will always address any issues that arise straight away.
On initial inquiry of the car, when discussing a viewing, ask the seller NOT to warm the car up before you get there.
ok lets get on to viewing the car, Don't let your heart rule your head, look over the car cosmetically, any rust spots, these can be expensive to repair if wanted, look at the tyres, are they legal, what condition are the side walls in, any chunks missing, and bulges in the rubber, these can be expensive to replace.
are there any dents in the car, is the bumper dented, if so, has it been in an accident??
Look under the car for any obvious signs of rot
Checking the engine now, make sure you are careful incase it has already been warmed up before you got there, open the bonnet, first of all, is the engine oily or just grubby, oily isn't what we want, although doesn't mean that anything is necessarily wrong, check the filler cap, is there a creamy paste there aka mayo, if so, walk away, although on a V6 engine, TRACES of mayo are normal, but if in excess, again, walk away, Mayo is a sign of head gasket failure (hgf), more investigation needed, take the lid off the coolant tank, look at the coolant, is there an oily slick on the surface, does the header tank smell of fuel, if so, then this is another indication of hgf, mayo is unlikely here but has been known, check the dipstick, any mayo there, was the dipstick fixed in place correctly.
Check the vehicle identification numbers match, should either be located on the engine bay front or inside the passenger or drivers side front door and WILL be under the windshield on the passenger side, make sure they match.

Interior wise, check all electric switches are working, windows, seats etc, turn the engine on, listen to the starter motor, does it sound crisp n clear, or does it sound sloppy n labored, should sound crisp, if not, could be a sign of imminent failure, rev the car, do the lights brighten on the rev, if not, could mean alternator is failing.
Does the engine idle constantly at one level.
turn the air con on, the fan should kick in immediately, if not, then issues could be present.i would assume there is an issue and walk away.
while engine is running, lake a look under the bonnet, keep your hands away from moving parts, Is there a ticking noise or knocking, ticks indicate a tappet or lifter issue, this will not damage the engine, Knocking is bad, walk away.
Time to test drive the car, it should move through the gears smoothly, if you feel a shunt/kick when moving up from 1st to second then that mean a new engine mount is needed, if and maybe a new flexicat depending upon model of car.
Take the car for a test drive, not just round the clock, listed to any noises, bring them up with the vendor, as i say, don't let your heart rule your head, common sense has to prevail, if you see gaffer or other tape holding anything inplace, walk away now!!!!!
If the vendor is a trader, do not accept any receipt that says "sold as seen". The motor trade is abound with Rogue traders, view a car as if the vendor is lying to you, ask questions, what is reason for sale, how long have they owned it, Is the log book present, if not, walk away, there are plenty of fish in the sea so to speak, did the vin check out with the log book too, any service history, don't worry too much if not, a lot of people service their own cars, I do!...
You can check out recent MOT history on the VOSA web site. Remember car tax is none transferable now so that is an expense to be factored in, some people don't yet realize this.
If you still unsure, ask a local mechanic to take a look, for about £35 they will put it up on the ramps and have a look for you, i it saves you wasting £500 on a dog then is worth it, AA and RAC charge about £100 to inspect a car, but that includes HPI check.
Hope this helps you, i am sure others will be along to add to this. remember this is just a guide and does not replace common sense

You are responsible for any inspections carried out on ANY car and and purchases are at your own risk. I will not be held liable for anything that may happen as a result of you following this guide
I recommend you take a qualified mechanic with you to view any car, to not do so is at your own risk.
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