SIGNS OF POOR CAR MAINTENANCE

Keeping any vehicle in its tip-top shape by following standard car maintenance tips ensures durability and enhances its safety and people driving in the car. If your car is running smoothly and functioning at its best, it will put less strain on the engine, including other components, and improve your driving performance. In addition, a well-prepared car maintenance checklist will prevent possible accidental mishaps or collisions and save you both on the roads and in the pocket. However, make sure the second-hand car you are buying is well kept.

SIGNS INDICATING POORLY MAINTAINED CAR

If you are looking for a pre-owned car, the most important thing you should look out for is its condition. If the owner does not properly maintain the vehicle, it can take years off its lifespan. Weed out poorly maintained cars based on these tell-tale signs. These signs should not prevent you from buying a second-hand car you liked the most, but these will prompt you to take a closer look at the vehicle or bring it to the most reputable car maintenance shop North York to have a third-party inspection.

Indications of poorly maintained second-hand cars.

Incomplete or no maintenance records

Incomplete or missing maintenance records are the first indication that something wrong needs extra attention. Punctilious owners will keep the maintenance records neatly filed and registered in their owner’s manual. Some rigorous people also maintain a separate listing of all the maintenance services and load all the receipts onto a cloud service for easy access.

Unfortunately, many car owners do not maintain any records and have no well-organized records. Some of them might have half or more or fewer records, but they may have kept their car well maintained and up-to-date. However, if you find missing or no maintenance records, this is not a solid reason to disqualify the car. Instead, it is the reason to perform more digging and have deeper inspections. And if the owner doesn’t have a single maintenance record, it is worth being concerned. In this case, consider having a third-party inspection.

Uneven or mismatched tires

It is recommended to replace tires in pairs, preferably four at once. The only exception is if the remaining tire treads are within 17mm of the new one. This check will ensure that the car tires will wear evenly and not slide to one side. Besides, if you notice extremely uneven wear on the tires, the previous owner might have had issues with simple maintenance like the tire pressure.

The most common tire wear you should look at includes outer or edge wear, outer and inner edge wear, center wear, angled wear, and roughness. All these signs indicate that the previous owner did not properly care for alignment, tire pressure, and tire rotation problems among all the basic maintenance techniques. This sign also indicates that the owner has not completed essential services like regular oil changes, transmission services, and coolant exchanges.

Burned engine oil on the dipstick

Engine oil is recommended to be checked every few weeks. To check the engine oil, you will need to remove the dipstick, wipe off the oil properly, and insert it back to ensure the correct oil level in the car engine. In addition, regular cleaning of the old oil will reduce the amount of oil burning onto the dipstick due to the engine heat.

If you find the dipstick thickly covered in burned-on oil, it means the owner probably has never looked at the oil level. In addition, the dipstick covered with burned engine oil is a warning sign that the owner might have left other crucial maintenance issues unresolved.

Sludge-filled thick engine oil

Chemical and heat contaminations can cause the engine oil to form a thick sludge, preventing the oil from flowing appropriately. Therefore, changing the oil regularly according to the manufacturers’ suggested intervals is vital to keep a vehicle well-maintained.

If you take off the dipstick and notice that the engine is highly thick and clumpy, it could be an excess sludge buildup from not changing the oil regularly. Besides, if the owner has not maintained the scheduled oil changes, there is a fair chance that other maintenance processes, like spark plug replacing or changing the brake fluid, are not completed timely.

Sticky and dark-colored transmission fluid

Usually, automatic transmission fluid is overlooked for many vehicles. However, as recommended by many car manufacturers, it is ideal for flushing the transmission or opting for filter and fluid replacement in intervals of sixty to a hundred thousand miles. This maintenance process is easy to forget, but it is vitally important as the fluid cleans and lubricates the transmission and produces the hydraulic pressure the transmission needs for shifting gears.

Transmission Fluid

If this maintenance routine is not followed accurately, the transmission fluid might turn darker and sticky. Besides, the lack of maintenance can cause issues in the transmission, which can go more expensive to fix.

OEM oil filter

Some vehicle owners drive to the car dealership for a regular oil change, whereas some might prefer to use the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) oil filter while changing oil elsewhere. Unfortunately, it is not the norm. If you find an OEM oil filter with the manufacturer’s brand name on the vehicle, chances are there that it has not changed since leaving the dealership.

If you don’t find the oil filter with the brand name, it couldn’t be a definite indication of poor maintenance. Perhaps the owner is among the few car owners who prefer to complete even the basic procedures at the dealership. Nevertheless, take it as an indication to be more vigilant with your eyes when trying to find other signs of poor maintenance.

Check engine light illuminated

The check engine light usually does not have anything to do with maintenance. Nevertheless, it shows an indication of negligence. This element is as simple as a loose fuel cap or sensor. If the check engine light illumination is left unchecked or untreated, it is a clear sign of poor maintenance.

Hypes on the battery terminals

As time passes, hydrogen gas blurts out from the sulfuric acid present in the car battery. It results in a corrosive environment in the area and causes the white buildup that you can notice on the battery terminals. Apply a little bit of cola on the terminals, or spray it with some chemical battery cleaner, and you will be ready in just a few minutes. The corrosion can affect the power flow to and from your car battery. In addition, negligence to it can strain the alternator of your vehicle.

So, if you find a heap of white corrosion on the battery terminal, take it as an indication that the owner has never looked under the hood or wasn’t concerned about the maintenance. Be sure you thoroughly check every inch of the car to ensure no maintenance was left incomplete.

Faded and thick coolant

Different coolants will have different colors. Orange, yellow, and green are most common. You can also find coolants with pink, blue, or any other color.

Find out the actual color of the coolant the car you want to buy uses and compare it within the radiator reservoir. Remember, the coolant ought to have the same consistency as water. Unfortunately, the owner has overlooked the scheduled coolant system maintenance if it appears in rust color or looks discolored.

Strong grinding brake pads

If it is time to change the brake pads, you will hear a gentle squealing sound. Nothing harmful! It is only a reminder to check and replace the brake pads. Once they get too low, the metal backing plates fixed on the brake pads contact the rotor and cause a horrendous grinding noise. For your information, the rotor is the metallic disk that the pads grip to stop the car.

This noise is an indication of poor maintenance of the brake system. The previous owner might have spent several weeks driving the car with that horrendous sound without driving it to the local auto repair shop for the routine inspection.

Keep these tell-tale signs of poor car maintenance in mind while buying a pre-owned car. It is ideal to opt for a third-party inspection. Whether it’s time for car service or inspection, there is a significant difference in where to go. Take your car to a reliable, trustworthy, premium, and economical car maintenance shop in North York. So, you get a professional and highly experienced team to inspect your car appropriately and come up with prompt fixing.

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