As the cost-of-living crisis is increasing the price of motoring, many drivers are turning to the second-hand market to find their next set of wheels.
However, a social media mechanic has warned drivers that they could easily fall for common scams that could see them lose thousands.
Craig, who works for the automotive garage Walsall Wood Tyre & Service advised motorists to always check the oil and coolant on a used car they are interested in buying.
He explained: “As with every used vehicle, start with the basics. Check out your levels. Is the coolant level low?
“Does it look like it’s been topped up recently? If it has, why has it been topped up recently? Is there the potential it’s got a leak?”
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Whilst clear and green coolant may be a sign that the car was recently serviced, a seller could be trying to cover up a potential leak, which could be expensive to repair.
Craig also recommended that drivers should always look for a full-service history for the vehicle, which would detail how it has been cared for, any anything repaired on it.
Without a service history, he warned, the buyer could receive a car with various unexpected issues.
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In the video, Craig also highlighted the importance of looking at the oil, stating that residue on the cap could be a sign of head gasket failure.
He said: “And take a look at the engine oil. How black is it? How dirty is it? Is it a petrol or is it a diesel? If it’s a diesel we’d expect it to be black, but if it’s a petrol we don’t expect it to be.
“Again, we’re going to take off the oil filler cap and look for emulsification [droplets] under there, we’re going to see if there’s any custardy chemicals starting to build up on the bottom of the cap, suggesting that the oil is getting contaminated.”
Finally, the mechanic also noted that looking at the brake discs on a used car could tell if it was previously owned by a boy racer.
He added: “In addition to that we’d want to look at tyres and brakes which are quite easy and visual to see through the wheels, and one of the good things to look at with brakes, especially if you’re buying what might have been a boy racer’s car, is the actual colour of the brake discs around the edge.
“We can see on this one that this is just a standard rusty colour, but what we find on vehicles that are driven more aggressively is that the edges of those discs start to go a red or orange, simply from the heat involved in aggressive braking.”
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