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Don’t buy a lemon! 10 things you must check when buying a used vehicle.

used car

You want a safe and reliable used vehicle, without the new car price tag.

So how do you avoid buying a lemon? You do your homework!

Knowing what to look for when purchasing a used vehicle significantly increases your chances of finding a reliable motor.

Top 10 things to look out for when buying a used vehicle:


  1. Service history – if a vehicle has been regularly and properly maintained according to the manufacturers standards then it is less likely to cause you problems in the future. Vehicles should be serviced at regular intervals to ensure
  2. Vehicle History Report – this will let you know if there are any prior accidents, or outstanding finance associated with the vehicle based on the VIN number.
  3. Check the car against the registration papers – the VIN number, date of manufacture, engine number (found on the engine) and number plates such match with the rego paperwork.
  4. Roadworthy certificate – some states require a roadworthy certificate to be produced for the vehicle prior to sale. This certificate ensures the car has been checked by a qualified mechanic and has been declared safe and legal to be on the road.
  5. Oil – use the dipstick and check the oil levels. If the oil is low, this is an indication that the owner hasn’t been looking after the oil properly. If the oil is cloudy, this could indicate major engine problems.
  6. Radiator and coolant – coolant should be green or orange – cloudy or milky coolant indicates leaks or issues.
  7. Tyres – make sure the tyres have plenty of tread (atleast 3-4mm) and that they are evenly worn. If they don’t have much tread left you may want to take this into consideration for the purchase price. Check the boot to ensure the spare tyre is there and legal.
  8. Check the electrics and controls – check the lights, air conditioning, electric mirrors etc. are all in good working order.
  9. Hoses & belts – squeeze the various hoses and belts under the bonnet; make sure they are firm and supple. Any belts showing signs of cracks, splits or frays indicate they will need replacing soon and this comes at a significant cost. Check whether the vehicle model is due a replacement timing belt at a certain point of its life and if the vehicle you’re looking at is at this point, if it has been replaced.
  10. Check for smells – check for any unusual smells coming from the engine, exhaust, or musty smells from the interior as this may signal leaks or smoke which can be hard to eliminate.

The team at Red Devil Radiators and Air Conditioning are the experts for all things to do with your vehicles air conditioning and radiator. If you have radiator overheating problem or your air conditioning is not working, call your local Red Devil store, they’ll have your car back on the road in no time.







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