How To Fake Car Knowledge

Know what you’re looking for when it comes to buying a car? Well, you’re not alone. While many of us might have a working knowledge of what goes on under the hood, not many of us can claim to have much more than that unless you work in the trade.

That’s why, when it come to buying a car we tend to scratch our chins and wiggle the spark plugs a bit under the bonnet before kicking a tyre or two and buying it anyway.

Unless you’re buying a new luxury model from you’ll want to have a few buyer’s tips for when the hood’s popped and you need to adopt your best, most knowledgeable pose.

Under the hood

First take a look around all the parts of the engine for rust or any other signs of damage.     You’ll also want to make a note of the Vehicle Identification Number for later on.

Run your hands over the belts to make sure there are no obvious signs of cracking and do the same with any hoses that you see. Next, just check over the various parts of the engine. You don’t need to know what each bit does but you’ll still want to make sure there are no brown oil stains that might indicate a leaking part.

Perhaps the most important check you can do is to undo the oil filler cap and check for any foamy residue. If you do find some, that indicates the head gasket is leaking and that means a very costly repair. At that point you should consider walking away from this vehicle.

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You’re looking for signs of wear and tear to the body work and in particular any areas of metal work that look like they might have been patched up, filled in and resprayed. If you have the car’s VIN, you can sometimes check if it’s been written off by checking online.

Never even think about buying a car without taking it for a spin and while you’re out take your time checking that the air conditioning system and the stereo works, along with all the main driving functions such as the indicators, hazard lights and so on.

Before you make a decision, you’ll want to make sure that you know the going rate for similar models. That way you can, at least, look like you know if you’re getting a bargain or not. Never take the first offer in any case.

Use the fact that you’re a cash buyer to leverage a bit of leeway with the seller and start your negotiating hard, like a professional. If they refuse to budge, then be prepared to walk away. Don’t, whatever you do, go outside of your budget. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last car you’ll see so remind yourself that you have the advantage. With a little knowledge about what to look for under the hood you might just save yourself a lot of heartache and an awful lot of money.

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