Used Cars: Crucial Reliability Checks

By: Adam Boulton

One of the most important factors to be considered when decided to go for a used car is its reliability. Reliability is a crucial issue and after all choice will be better of the do not require more repairs. All cars are not the same. Some models of cars are proven to be very reliable while others are known for constant problems. The original warranty coverage would be probably over as it is a used car and hence the model has to be more reliable. For used cars, vehicle reliability has to be researched. The car sheen will be dull if the car has ongoing reliability problems. There are a number of resources for checking the reliability ratings of certain models.
Reliability studies indicate that expensive maintenance costs will be encountered after six years or for 10,000 miles for the average car, which means that significant repair bills will be running up along with the payments on the car for most sub prime buyers.

The annual J.D. Power and Associates report is obviously the best source of information on reliability, which is now available in the United Kingdom in association with "What Car?" Magazine, though it was originated in the United States for both new and used cars. The J.D Power survey reflects the reliability features of makes and models of various cars. It is worth to pay attention to CSI (Car Customer Satisfaction Index) report published by them. Increased Sales volume will be experienced for brands with higher dependability ratings and less likely to be avoided by consumers due to reliability concerns. That means better trade-in value will be obtained for the car.
Common problems with used cars:
History of any accidents with used car should be explored, but should not be just focusing on that as the mechanic may miss out commonly overlooked problems like missing airbags, flooded cars, Stolen cars, Gross polluter, cars from salvage yard auction sales and auto mismatched VINs. Most Car dealers run a vehicle history report. Buying a used car can also be risky with the exception of purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle available with a warranty.
Though there cannot be any guarantees about reliability, some tips can be offered on how to spot an unreliable car and various valuable resources with repair and reliability trends for every used car.

Odometer Clocking: "Clocking" is turning the odometer in reverse and is probably the most common dealer trick applied for used cars. The clocking is usually done by middlemen when they procure the vehicles in an auction or from a private party before it is sold again.
Adding additives for disguising engine problems: This is much more common practice especially with small used car lots and high-mileage cars. Instead of fixing the engine problems, some of the used car dealers disguise it with a few bottles of oil additives for temporarily addressing the issues like plug leaks, to reduce oil burning smoke and to lessen the noise in the engine parts. On the other side by trying to cover up the problems, other troubles like overheating, oil pump failure, excessive sludge and engine deposits may crop up by using larger than recommended quantities of these additives. They just quiet the noises temporarily. It is sometimes difficult to detect these additives
Covering up flood titles and salvage: Sale of salvage titled cars by dealers has risen in the past decade. The vehicle repair costs have risen and hence insurance companies mostly declare a car totaled, subsequently the car may be assembled with cut-rate parts by an opportunist who may in turn sell the car in an auction.Laws regarding salvage and flood titles vary from state to state, compounding the problem. By having a vehicle history check run on the used cars (with agencies like CARFAX), the issues of flood titled and salvaged cars can be known.

Extended warranties: Extended warranties are sold by most used car dealerships at higher rates and they are nearly useless as their limitation in coverage is extreme. The fine print has to be studied carefully to check that the warranty is not limited to cover just a few major components. These extended limited warranties will only cover a portion of the repair costs.
Rustproofing: Rustproofing was once a quick and easy method for dealers to make some quick money. Applying Rust proofing to a used car has to be done only by qualified body shop.

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