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General Chat Thread, Tips for buying a used car in General; Right, hopefully going to buy my first car at the weekend. Gotta be used as I can't afford a new ...
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    button_ripple's Avatar
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    Tips for buying a used car

    Right, hopefully going to buy my first car at the weekend. Gotta be used as I can't afford a new car and the insurance to go with it!!

    Looking at the Peugeot 107/Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo as they are all the same car!

    Found a few on the net which I am going to have a look at.

    Anyone have any experience/opinions of these cars??? Any tips for buying used?

    Thanks!!

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Private seller or garage? If private then I would have somebody who knows what they're talking about (if you don't) go with you to have a look at the car. If the seller doesn't have anything to hide then they won't mind you having a look around. Obviously examine all the documents too before buying.

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    button_ripple (9th February 2009)

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    I dont know much about cars but what I tend to do is search through 'owner club forums' and just generally nose about and post some questions.

    Heres one:

    Toyota Owners Club - Toyota Forum -> Aygo Club

    And Another:

    Peugeot 107 Owners Club - 107oc.com - Index

    You usally get some good opinions on there and many of the members are very helpful. I recently purchased a brand new Renualt Twingo GT and asked all my questions on owners forums before buying (Especially as this was a new car to the UK), I was even able to contact a local member who let me have a look at his twingo and take it on a proper test drive.

    Always remember to kick the tyres lol

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    button_ripple (9th February 2009)

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    Disaster's Avatar
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    always give the tyres a bit of a kick too. It will make you look like a proper pro!

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    button_ripple (9th February 2009)

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    Domino's Avatar
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    some basic checks are normally advisable.

    eg - oil is filled to a reasonable level and not completely filthy
    - tyre pressures are reasonable
    - check for rust/damage, particularly on door edges
    - check VID matches V5 doc

    its also worth checking the service histroy to see what works been done - most people just assume getting the FSH is enough

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    button_ripple (9th February 2009)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    TBH the best thing that you can do is take it to a trustworthy mechanic to have a good look at it before you buy, they will charge you for this but will be able to tell you a lot more about the car than a simple visual inspection.

    Short of this there are a few things that you should check out beforehand that can save you a lot of hassle:

    • When you first put the key into the car and turn it to the stop just before ignition pay very close attention to the lights. They should all come on and then go off again one at a time - this is to prevent people wireing up two lights to one input to cover up a fault
    • Check for excessive wear on the accelerator/break peddle and make sure that it matches up to the mileage reported by the odometer.
    • Start the car with the window open and your head out the window to listen for the squeel of loose belts or any other dodgey noises.
    • Let it idle for a couple of minutes to make sure that it does not start running rough or overheat
    • while it is idleing listen to the exaust to make sure that there is no evident poping sound which can be a symptom of a misfire
    • Place a rag over the exaust for four or five seconds while it is running to make sure that the engine starts to struggle a bit, if it doesn't it could have a leaky exaust
    • visually check the engine block if you can see it for traces of oil near the headgasket - seam where the top bit of the engine joins to the main block- if their is evidence of oil leakage from this seam it is bad.
    • Check the oil for water and the radiator water for oil as if these two are mixing it is also very bad also check under the radiator cap for rust which is not a good sign.
    • Take the car for a longer drive where you can actually get it up to moterway speeds for a bit to see how it handles it.
    • While on you drive check for vibration in the stearing wheel and car itself which can indicate that the wheels need to be balanced
    • On a quite street at about 50km/h break firmly to make sure that the car does not pull to one side or the other - indicates break imbalance or bad tires/suspention
    • Drive the car in a tight circle - u turn - at full lock in both directions to make sure that there is no clicking from worn out CB joints
    • Check the temperature gague throughout the drive to make sure there is no engine cooling issues.
    • When you have the car stopped turn the wheels to full lock one way and check for uneven wear on the tires, then do the same in the other direction - this indicates a nessisary wheel alignment (not a big deal but new tires are needed to prevent reoccourance if it is bad)

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    button_ripple (9th February 2009)

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    rolfea's Avatar
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    Get a push bike

    they're cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, good for and and good for the environment.

    A clean environment is a happy environment.

  13. Thanks to rolfea from:

    button_ripple (9th February 2009)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Always buy Japanese! At least that's what my mechanic always tells me. My last car, a Honda, and my current, a Toyota, have both been very reliable cars and extremely nice to drive. My first car was a Renault Cleo which fell apart within 3 months of buying it. Head gasket blew, apparently a common fault in early 90's Cleo's. I had a Citreon C5 on loan when my Honda was total'd. Horrible to drive. An old teacher friend had a Purgeot 307. She loved the car, said it was great when it wasn't in the garage! She uses the same mechanic as me and now owns a Toyota!

    Lesson - Don't by French, they're sh*t. Buy Japanese because they 'never go wrong'.

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    tonyd's Avatar
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    Smile Or 'German'

    German cars are always rated pretty high in reliability too, and remember VW actually includes Audi, Seat, Skoda and not lastly Bugatti! My last car was a Skoda, currently have a VW (& now buying an Audi). I've driven the VW & the Skoda over 70,000 miles each with no big costs other than tyres and servicing.

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    if you dont know what your doing then to be honest checks that i could advise to you are worthless, so take someone that is in the game with you.

    and ye def stay away from anything french, jap is the way to go never let you down and built nice and sturdy but will cost slightly more to buy in the first instance for this reason.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    I'd agree to with the comments about jap and german cars up to a point, but the quality of french and italian cars in the past 5 to 7 years has shot forward.

    so it really depends on how new a acar you're looking at buying...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Lesson - Don't by French, they're sh*t.
    You'll always find someone to dispute an unfounded statement - and it's me for this one!

    We've driven Renaults in the family for probably 20-odd years now - We've had a couple of Fords in between but always go back to the Renaults and haven't suffered any major problems at all (touch wood!)

    Now we did have a Peugeot many moons ago, and that WAS a heap of crap!

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    good advice indeed. Listen for engine noise - noisy tappets etc. Make sure it fires immediatly when you turn the key.

    After it's idled for a while, boot the throttle, look for blue smoke. If it's a diesel, some is OK. Not a lot.

    Check the header tank for sludge and water colour..blue/green/red/pink is OK, rusty is NOT. Check the oil filler cap and inside the cover for yellow emulsion - some will be present probably due to the cold weather - any excess is a bit sus. If the water/oil look OK, this may not be such a worry.

    If it's got PAS, spin the wheel lock to lock and listen for any nasty noises, as well as make sure it turns smoothly.

    Road test is important. The seller wanted me to be a passenger while HE drove the Astra..I said no.

    See if you can talk them round to chucking in a service.. I did.

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    ...but the quality of french and italian cars in the past 5 to 7 years has shot forward....
    While the cars haven't because they've been waiting for the RAC..

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    Just say noooo to french

    As an ex mechanic, and break down recovery driver. I'd avoid any french car that doesn't come with warranty. The newer ones might be more reliable than the older ones, but parts are still relatively expensive, and they aren't the easiest of cars to work on, hence higher mechanic costs.

    Japanese cars are super reliable, then followed by German cars, and we all know what Ford stands for.....Fix Or Repair Daily, but at least the parts are cheap.

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