Checking the car before buying

The secondary car market is huge and diverse, so you should be responsible when choosing and buying a vehicle. Specialists in the selection and inspection of cars claim that the buyer is initially in a losing position, since he does not know anything about the presented car. In addition, not every seller honestly talks about the condition of the car. According to statistics, about 80% of information about a car is withheld by the seller.

The procedure for acquiring a new and used car requires in-depth knowledge of all the nuances of buying and selling. It is important to make sure that the vehicle is in good technical condition, as well as understand what problems and shortcomings there are. It is impossible to cope with such a task without appropriate experience and special diagnostic equipment.

Only a comprehensive diagnostics of a car before buying allows you to make sure of the objectivity and honesty of the price offered by the seller.

Experienced auto experts will check your chosen car and help you buy a technically sound and legally clean car. We check cars both at private sellers and in car dealerships.

What can be included in the technical check of a car?

  • Usually, the check begins with an external examination of the car in order to check for external damage (chips, scratches, dents, as well as traces of corrosion). Any defect is a reason to reduce the price, so the vehicle undergoes a thorough inspection.
  • Checking the body for an accident, repair and secondary painting of body elements.
  • Determination of the quality of body repair, in case of identification of repair work.
  • Computer diagnostics of electrical control units, checking the performance of sensors, electrics and electronics. All components and assemblies for which diagnostics are provided by the manufacturer are checked.
  • Checking engine operation, as part of computer diagnostics.
  • Visual inspection of the engine for mechanical damage.
  • Revealing the facts of leakage of working fluids (oil, antifreeze, etc.). Checking the automatic gearbox, as part of computer diagnostics. If possible, make a test drive, the checkpoint is checked in motion.
  • Checking the heating and air conditioning systems of the passenger compartment.
  • Checking the steering gear.
  • Checking the brake system, incl. wear of brake discs and pads. Checking lighting devices.
  • Checking the presence of airbags, identifying signs or facts, airbag deployment.
  • The check is carried out using computer diagnostics and visual inspection.
  • Checking the reality of the declared mileage, compliance of the indicated mileage with the wear of components and assemblies. In-depth check of electrical control units to identify the real mileage.
  • Control, checked, levels of working fluids (oils, antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering).

The number and completeness of checks depend on the conditions provided by the seller or customer for checking the vehicle.

Additionally, a car can be checked for crime:

  • Identification of signs or facts of changes in the identification marking of the VIN number, body number or chassis number.
  • Checking hidden and duplicate markings applied for official use.
  • In-depth study of electrical control units, to identify the identification markings recorded at the manufacturer.
  • Verification of vehicle documents for authenticity.
  • Checking the car for search, restrictions and arrests.
  • Preparation of a full audit opinion

The final stage is the preparation of a report on the check performed, which indicates the data obtained during the diagnosis and provides recommendations for purchasing a car and meeting the cost declared by the seller.

When should you contact a specialist?

You should contact us if:

  • The seller does not inspire confidence when meeting.
  • The vehicle is not under warranty (over 5 years).
  • The car looks suspicious (parts of different shades, strange engine sound).
  • The model has a number of weaknesses that need to be tested.

What are the most common steps involved in checking a car before buying?

  • First of all, the thickness gauge determines the thickness of the paintwork on different parts of the body surface, then the car is examined from below, which helps the specialists to make sure that all the components of the front and rear suspension, steering, brake system and wheel control system are in satisfactory condition. Diagnostics of the load-bearing parts of the body is carried out separately, since traces of an accident may remain on them, rust or rotten places may appear (it is they who often cause leaks in the tanks with coolant and brake fluid, as well as power steering). When examining the suspension, the presence of backlashes of absolutely all components of the units is also assessed, first of all, the front and rear levers, shock absorbers, ball joints, steering tips, silent blocks. The evaluation of the braking system should provide answers to the questions: are the pads worn out, whether the discs are thick enough and whether there is a brake fluid leak.
  • At the second stage of diagnostics, special attention is paid to the operation of the engine: after a visual-acoustic assessment, a specialist, at the request of the client, can measure the compression in the cylinders, which on some cars turns out to be a rather complicated procedure, especially when it comes to V-shaped or boxer engine types. Of course, all parts of the power unit, including even the smallest tubes, must be intact and in good condition. The presence of carbon deposits on the unscrewed plugs may indicate insufficient compression in the cylinders, which will further complicate the operation of the engine. If an oily liquid is found on the threads of the parts, it is worth checking the tightness of the piston rings, they may have worn out. When the budget and equipment of the workshop allows, you can inspect the engine cylinders from the inside using an endoscope camera (it helps to make sure that there are no “scuffs” on the walls of the part, often explaining the sudden wedging of the pistons when the engine is running).
  • The next stage of diagnostics is a computer assessment by scanning all electronic control units of the car for errors. If necessary, you can check the actual parameters of the activity of the actuators and all kinds of sensors of the power unit.
  • At the end of the inspection procedure, the wheel alignment of the car is adjusted at a special stand, but only with additional agreement with the owner of the car. The use of the stand allows you to accurately measure the geometry of the location of the wheels and detect traces of an accident on the body part.
  • In addition, it is worth remembering the vehicle air conditioning system. The climate control system must clearly control temperature changes, which is possible only if there are no refrigerant leaks, that is, the integrity of the pipes and the radiator.

Vehicle check options

If you want to attend in person

You need to choose the car you want to check yourself. Call the seller and find out when and where he can show the car. Be sure to agree with the seller on the possibility of checking the car, including the connection of diagnostic equipment. Call us, we will agree on the time and place of the check, we will write you down in the schedule. The expert who will conduct the check will call you to confirm the appointment. We recommend that you contact the seller 2-3 hours in advance on the day of check, so that he confirms the meeting, on his part.

Checking the car remotely, without your presence

You need to choose the car you want to check yourself. Call the seller and agree on the possibility of checking the car, including the connection of diagnostic equipment. Call us, we will take an order for remote verification. You will need the seller’s contacts, or a link to an advertisement for the sale of a car. After you make the payment, we contact the seller and agree on a check. The check is carried out within 1-2 days after receipt of payment. On the day of verification, no later than 1.5-2 hours before the meeting, we contact the seller to confirm the meeting on his part. After checking the car, the expert contacts you and tells you the results of the inspection. If you need the results of the check in writing, notify the expert about this, within 24 hours we will send a report to your e-mail.