Though there are great deals for those who take the time to uncover the gems at car auctions, there are also lemons in the bunch as well. For this reason, it is imperative that you take the time to inspect the vehicle that you are interested in bidding on the auction. The good news is that you do not have to be an auto mechanic to improve your chances of getting a great vehicle at the car auctions.
For the most part, you will that the automobiles that are offered at government auctions and car auctions are going to be sold ‘as is’. What this means for you, as the buyer, is that you are going to be responsible for any repairs that the car may need. For this reason, many people are leery of auto auctions. However, there is no need for this fear.
Prior to bidding on the vehicles at government auctions, you will be afforded an opportunity to insect the cars in advance. Most auto auctions will not allow you to test drive the cars, but in most cases, you will be able to start the vehicle. To make sure you are getting a quality car, you should definitely take advantage of this pre inspection period.
You can begin your inspection by looking for external damage first. This means that you should visually inspect both the exterior and interior of the car. Be thorough in your inspections. Check the trunk and under the seats. Make sure that there is no dampness under the floor mats or seats. Make note of any other obvious major damage to the vehicle as well.
When you are checking the exterior body of the car, be sure to look for any rust, paint that does not match, or paint bubbles (which can indicate a potential for future rusting). You should also make sure that the body panels of the car are properly aligned. Be sure to check the lights and turn signals. And when you are inspecting the engine compartment, check for new bolts or bolts that do not match the other bolts in color.
While you are inspecting the engine compartment of the car, be sure to remove the oil stick. Make sure that there are no white bubbles (indicative of the presence of water) and feel the oil to ensure that it is not grainy. If the oil is extremely dirty, this may indicate poor maintenance. You should also avoid vehicles where the oil is paste like.
While you are beneath the hood, you should also check the transmission fluid. The fluid should not be dark brown or have a rancid odor.
Other things that you should be on the lookout for are leaking spots or stains beneath the vehicle. Be sure to also inspect the tailpipe for gummy spots.
When you start the car, listen closely for sounds out of the ordinary, such as knocking or pinging. The exhaust fumes should be clear. Make sure that all the equipment is functional, especially the air conditioning and heat. Test the power windows and locks and any other power options available on the car.
A quick transmission check will save you a lot of future headache. You can perform this simple test by placing your foot on the brake and putting the car in drive and reverse. Do this several times. You want to make sure that the vehicle does not making any clunking noises or lunge when put into gear – this can indicate a transmission or other major problem.
If you follow these simple guidelines when inspecting vehicles at car auctions, you need not be intimidated by the task. And by thoroughly inspecting the car you are interested in, you will vastly improve the chances of getting a great car in good working order.