When you buy a used car, you’re inheriting all the troubles and damages that come with it. The severity of long-term damage can vary significantly, but you need to know the common maintenance to expect after purchasing a used car. Whether they are temporary or ongoing, neglecting these issues can only decrease your safety while driving and hurt your vehicle’s performance.
The Brake System
A car’s brakes go through a lot of abuse during its lifetime, and sometimes, the damage is so severe that you need to perform a complete overhaul and replacement. Regardless, there’s no telling what state the brakes are in, whether they are good for another several years or if they’re going to need some service in six months.
What To Look Out For
Generally, your brakes include the calipers, the brake pads, and the rotors. If any one of these pieces wears down, it can have adverse effects on the other two. Pay attention to every little noise and creak as you bring your vehicle to a stop; low grinding sounds or high-pitched squeals are usual signs of deteriorating brakes.
Your car’s driveline is among the most important systems in your vehicle; it transfers power from the engine to your axles and wheels. Without it, your car will remain motionless without any driving force to propel it forward or backward. Because of the number of components involved with the driveline, there are many different points of failure, even the smallest of which can negatively impact your vehicle’s handling.
What To Look Out For
Because of the complexity of the system, there are several different considerations for driveline maintenance. Despite what parts may break, there are some warning signs to alert you to necessary maintenance. Those symptoms include:
- Clunking sounds while driving.
- Steering wheel vibration.
- Vibrations that progress to shaking the whole vehicle.
A set of tires can last for years before they need replacement, but they can easily fail long before the end of their expected lifespan. Though tires always face deterioration, they can still perform safely even after some wear and tear, but you need to know the line between adequate tires and unsafe ones.
What To Look For
You may not know the precise installation date of your used car’s tires, but you can check the manufacturing date. Every tire has the manufacturing date located on the sidewall, indicating the week and year of production. Use this to gain an understanding of how much longer the tire has before replacement. Also, always check the tread depth to see if it can still maintain proper traction on the road.
Remain Suspicious For a Time
Unless you have a detailed history of your car, you need to drive it with a critical mentality. Make a note of any strange noises or oddities in handling; any small indication can warn you as to when you need to perform maintenance on your used vehicle. After a time, you can let your guard down as you understand your car more.