Beware used cars that have had recent work done

December 9, 2019 | Used cars

A used car that has recent repairs or maintenance may seem more attractive than others, but beware that sometimes recent work can mean that there is a major problem with the car that the seller does not want to deal with.


A used car that has recent repairs or maintenance may seem more attractive than others, but beware that sometimes recent work can mean that there is a major problem with the car that the seller does not want to deal with.

Most people spending money on their car want to see a reasonable return on their investment. There may even be some sellers out there who want to make sure their car is sold problem-free, but I'm sure they are in the minority.

Here are some examples of what kind of recent work you should be suspicious of and investigate further before purchasing a used car.

Cooling system


The cooling system does require regular maintenance but you should be aware that when a cooling system component fails it can cause the car to overheat and subsequent major damage to the engine.

A recent water pump or radiator replacement may seem appealing but were they replaced as part of regular maintenance or did the component fail?

Some sellers may repair the obvious cooling system fault only to find out that the head gasket has failed and decide to cut their losses at that point.

Automatic transmission


The first step to try and fix many automatic transmission faults is to replace the filter and fluid. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

If it doesn't solve the problem then the next step is often an expensive repair, overhaul or replacement, so many sellers will attempt to sell and pass on the problem to the next owner.

Cylinder head


A used car for sale with a freshly reconditioned cylinder head or new head gasket is not that common but it is something to be cautious of.

One of the common reasons for an engine needing this kind of work is if it has been overheated.

These are expensive jobs, so not something you would expect the seller to be immediately offloading the car after having done.

This type of job doesn't always go well. If the job was done cheaply the head may not have been properly tested, and a crack is sometimes found later if the engine does not run well after the work.

Overheating an aluminium cylinder head, like that used in most modern cars, can cause it to lose its' hardness and become weak. Cylinder heads like this should not be reused otherwise they will not seal well and can cause a new head gasket to fail.

Other work


A car that has had paint and panel work should not necessarily be discarded, but if the work was done recently you will want to pay extra attention to make sure the job was done well and that the car hasn't developed some unwanted characteristics since the repairs.

Electrical problems can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, so recent electrical work could mean that the car has an intermittent electrical fault that may have become too hard or too much trouble to find.

There is, of course, many other types of work that might not have gone well and resulted in the owner putting the car up for sale. It's always a good idea to investigate whether any work was done properly and get a professional inspection if you aren't sure and want an expert opinion.

Related Posts

Used cars

Don't overestimate the value of low mileage

January 20, 2020

It always amazes and amuses us when we come across a used car for sale where the seller believes that because their vehicle has very low mileage that it deserves a very high sale price.


Used cars

Why are people still trying to sell their recalled BMWs?

December 19, 2019

We decided to do a random check on BMW E46 3-Series cars currently for sale to see if any were affected by the Takata airbag recalls.


News Used cars

Audi Australia issues Takata NADI safety recall

December 17, 2019

Hot on the heels of BMW's recall of 20-year-old BMW 3-series models, Audi has announced a recall of various models manufactured between 1997 and 1999.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to leave a comment!

Leave a Comment

Tags

© Copyright 2017-2019, Motor Traders Network (ABN 88 536 694 696). All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to verify the information on this website, Motor Traders Network takes no responsibility for the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. Motor Traders Network does not accept any liability to any person or entity for any information or any advice which is provided on this web site or incorporated into it by reference. The information provided is on the basis that anyone visiting the website undertakes responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content.