Sterling Parts Blog

8 Car Parts to Check Before Buying a Used Car

November 20 2018

Posted in car care

Tagged car care


1. The Leak Test

Car fluids are to a car what blood and water is to our body. In other words, it is completely essential to check for any leaks. If not done so, you may end up spending much bigger amounts as the car ages under your ownership. An example of this is a leakage of engine oil can lead to introduction of foreign particles into the engine block.


To check your car is not having any leakages, take your car on a test drive and park the car. Keep the car running for at least 30 seconds. Move about the car and check for leakages. If you see a black fluid, it is possible that your engine oil is leaking. If you see green fluid near the front of your car, it is an indication of coolant leakage. And if the fluid is pink, it may indicate a leak in the car’s transmission.


2. Tires

One way tires tell the whole story of the car is the way they have worn out. People with rash driving who push their vehicle too much put too much pressure on the front wheel’s outside shoulder. This can be visually seen. If this is the case, expect problems to pop up in other parts as well because driving habits dictate the wear and tear of any car.


Also, the tires should be equally worn out. If not so, there may be a chronic wheel alignment problem. If the tires are worn out more on the drive wheels, this means that the driver didn’t rotate the wheels.


3. Pedals

Cars which haven’t been driven a lot have their brake pedals’ rubber intact. Whereas a used car will have the rubber brake pedals worn out. This shows that the car has been driven a lot. This small check will help you in case a seller has tried to tamper with the odometer.


4. Car Frame

Inspect the fenders and the saddle. A saddle supports the car radiator and connects the front fenders. It may be bolted or welded. Check this welding or the bolt heads inside the hood. A scratch mark to these will indicate that the fenders have either been replaced or realigned. This is usually done after a car crash.


5. Engine

Inspect the engine block for any oil stains. If there are any, it could mean leakage in a gasket. This can be an expensive future repair. Also check the belts. They should look new and should not have any cracks or indications of drying. The timing belt is the most important and also the most costly to replace. If it is a steel timing chain, there is no need to worry. Check from the manufacturer the advised time to change the timing belt. Also verify from the seller the last time the belt was changed.


6. Oil Filler Cap

Check for any foam residue inside the filler. If present, it indicates a leaking head gasket. Do not buy the car.


7. Dipstick Test

Check the engine oil with the dipstick. It should be pink or red and not look like it is burnt.


8. Car Exhaust

The function of the car exhaust is to release the burnt fuel. Checking he contents of this smoke and the exhaust can give you a good idea about the engine’s condition. If you see blue-grey smoke from the exhaust it means that engine oil is leaking past engine seals and is mixing with the fuel where it is getting burnt. It requires only a small amount of oil leakage to cause this blue smoke. This means the car may have worn out pistons, valve seal; piston rings engine oil seals, intake gasket leak or even head gasket leakage.