Car Tyres: When Should I Replace My Tyres?

Few things are more critical to the safety and performance of a car than its tyres. Simply put, a car cannot be safe if its tyres are in poor condition. Unfortunately, like everything else, tyres suffer from wear. And the amount of wear proportionally affects the way a car behaves on the road. So when should I replace my car tyres?

As the only components in constant touch with the road surface, the tyres contribute not only to safe handling and braking but also to the comfort and overall running costs of a car. Hopefully, all car owners and operators know the best time to replace a worn or ageing tyre. The indicators are generally simple and involve little more than a visual check.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.
We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.

How Long Does a Tyre Last?

First of all, know how long car tyres last. A few milestones and tips:

1. Keep five years in mind

After five years or more in use, your tyres should be thoroughly inspected at least once per year by a professional.

2. Ten years is a maximum

If the tyres haven’t been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, as a precaution, Michelin recommends replacing them with new tyres. Even if they appear to be in a usable condition and have not been worn down to the tread wear indicator. This applies to spare tyres as well.

3. Proper care expands a tyre’s lifespan

If you take good care of your tyres’ air pressure, tread wear, alignment and so on, you can increase their longevity.

Don’t forget to check your owner’s manual to find out what your car maker recommends.

So how do you know when you should replace those old tyres?

Check The Tread Depth

Tyre treads are there for one reason: To assist grip on wet surfaces by clearing the water under the tyre and allowing contact with the road. The less tread, the more compromised the wet-surface grip.

All tyres have tread wear indicators (TWIs) comprising small blocks of rubber within the tread at certain points around the tyre. As the tyre wears, these blocks get closer and eventually become flush with the surface of the tyre.

Once that happens, the tyre is officially unroadworthy because by this time only 1.6mm of tread is left. The recommendation is that the tyre should be replaced once the tread depth is down to around 2mm.

The easiest way of ascertaining how much life is left in the tyre is by using a tread depth indicator. Often tyre retailers offer these for free; otherwise, they’re a small-cost item from a car part retailer.

Car tyres tread wear indicators
The minimum legal tread depth is 1.5 mm across the width of the tread.

When the tyre is worn to the legal limit the bars will be flush with the surface of the tread.

While that is the legal requirement, some car manufacturers recommend you to replace your tyres before they wear to that extent.

Check Your Tyres Age

If your tyres are older than 5 years, it is also suggested to replace them even if they appear to be in great condition and haven’t been worn down to the tread wear indicator. This is because rubber deteriorates over time. This also applies to your spare tyre. Just because it hasn’t been used regularly or even at all, does not mean it is in great condition. Spare tyres need to be replaced every 6 to 8 years due to the degrading of the rubber.

Are Your Tyres Damaged?

Take a quick look at your tyres. This can be an obvious reason to replace your tyres. Can you detect any damage such as a cut, nails or chunks missing? If so, then it’s time to get the tyre replaced as these damages can make your tyres unsafe. Keep an eye out for cracks on the tyres too. These cracks are caused by too much exposure to sunlight.

Now you know when to change your tyres, but how about maintaining them? Here are some handy hints on how you can extend the life of your tyres by keeping them in good condition to get the most possible use out of them.

Have Your Tyres Inflated Correctly

Maintaining the correct inflation pressure is one of the most important things you can do to look after your tyres. There are 2 reasons why your tyre pressure is so critical:

• Underinflation
• Overinflation

If your tyres are under-inflated, they will wear out on the outer edges quicker than normal. The wearing of the edges can increase braking distance and increase fuel use.

Overinflation will result in wear on the middle of the tread instead of the outer edges. This can cause issues with cornering ability, steering and braking.

The correct pressure for your vehicle can be found on the card attached to the car body, which is generally on the driver’s door pillar. Your tyre pressure should be checked every month, before a long journey and before you plan on towing as it will need to sit higher. The recommended inflation pressure is shown on a placard attached to the body—usually on the driver’s door pillar—and also in the owner’s manual.

Rotate Your Tyres

Tyres wear at different rates depending on their position on the car. On a rear-wheel-drive car, the rear tyres wear faster than the front tyres. On a front-drive car, it’s the front tyres that wear the fastest.

Rotating the tyres around the car can even out the wear on all tyres. That way they should all need replacement at the same time.

If you do rotate your tyres, do it regularly at 5000km intervals. That way, the disparity between those that are wearing the fastest and those wearing the slowest is minimised.

When rotating your tyres you can also include the spare.

Should I Replace The Spare Tyre?

The spare is almost always forgotten, left to sit in the dark in the boot of our car until needed in an emergency.

A forgotten spare tyre in your boot
In an emergency, you can still use spare tyres that are six years or older. But a tyre that is 10 years old should be replaced.

Hire The Best Pre-purchase Car Inspector in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: carsguide.com.au, motoring.com.au, michelin.com.au, westsideauto.com.au

Avoid These 4 Things When Buying a Used Car!

Buying a used car can be a cost-efficient alternative to owning a vehicle as long as you’re purchasing one in good condition. Being more affordable than a new vehicle, it enables you to own a car for personal or business use in the shortest time possible. However, the preloved car may also come with several issues that could affect your driving experience. Thus, it is essential to know things to avoid when buying a used car.

If you’re in the market for your first used car, beware of these four things.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


Not Knowing What You Can Afford

Find out how much you can afford before looking for a car. You should never skip your homework—don’t visit the dealership empty-handed or you’d pay more than necessary. If you jump straight to the car search, you might end up making unnecessary sacrifices, or you might be wasting time looking at cars that don’t fit with your budget.

The internet is a good place to begin your car buying process. Once you’ve worked out your budget and your needs, start comparing models and finding out what the various car features mean. Different manufacturers sometimes use slightly different terms to refer to the same thing. Make note of any advertised prices, especially on runout deals.

Relying On Monthly Payments

If you’re planning to buy a used car through a car loan, using your monthly payments as the sole basis in calculating and calculating prices is not smart. A low monthly payment may seem affordable and friendly on your budget but it would require a long time to complete. This would mean that you would end up paying back more money. Take note that the interest of your loan is calculated in your monthly repayments—the longer your car loan runs, the more interest you would have to pay.

Also, a car’s value depreciates over time. Although a used car doesn’t depreciate as fast as a new one, it still loses 15 to 20 per cent of value each year. In other words, reselling your already second-hand car to a new buyer would be very difficult.

Only Visiting One Dealer

There are a lot more buyers out there who only shop at a single dealership than you realise. But even if you know the salesperson or you’ve bought all your cars from him before, that doesn’t mean they are offering the best price.

The bonus is that these days a lot of dealerships also put their best deals online, so it makes it easier to shop around, pick a couple, pay them a visit, and negotiate. Also, make sure that you go to an honest used car dealership. They will genuinely help you, and that’s what you want from visiting your local dealership.

Not Asking Enough Questions

“We’ll even throw in…” is always an appealing phrase when you’re trying to make a deal. But did you know dealers make more money on extras and servicing than they do on the actual margin of the car? So while accessories are an extra bargaining chip to sweeten a deal, they’re also likely to use these to up the final price you’re paying.

Don’t feel bad to ask some questions. Believe in your gut. If you think something is fishy, then maybe it is. Don’t forget about these red flags as well. It’s best to avoid these things when buying a used car!

BONUS: Not Hiring The Best Pre-purchase Car Inspector in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: macquarie.com.au, whichcar.com.au, positivelendingsolutions.com.au

5 Must-Have Features For Your Used Car

In the present times, when everything is becoming highly expensive and economic conditions are unstable, many people don’t wish to spend a fortune on a brand new car. Ten years ago, we were more concerned about basic safety features and aerodynamic design. Nowadays, advanced technology is the name of the game.

However, personal cars have now become an essential part of the modern lifestyle and one can’t deny the convenience and time-saving aspects of personal transportation. Nevertheless, one can easily get all the conveniences related to a new car while paying a lot less, if one can get hold of a good quality pre-owned car, like a used BMW.

The used car market is an immense space and it is actually much larger than the new car market. With time, the used car market is becoming even bigger as many first time buyers are going for pre-owned cars instead of brand new ones. While there are many reliable sources from which one can buy good quality used cars, you need to know which dealer worth your trust. It is also important that the cars offer the right kind of features to meet your requirements and offer you an overall pleasant car ownership experience.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


1. Comfortable Seats

This is the most basic and also very important feature to look for while buying a pre-owned car. A car drive cannot be enjoyed if its seats are not comfortable and this is true for both the driver and the passengers. While a driver can’t drive in peace if the seats are not comfortable, the other occupants will also feel discomfort, especially during long drives. It is important that you check for comfortable as well as supportive seats while buying a pre-owned car to ensure that it will provide pleasant and comfortable rides. Check the driver’s as well as passengers’ seat by spending around 15 minutes on them to check their comfort and support level.

2. Air Conditioning System

A good quality air conditioning system is a must-have in all cars. This keeps all the occupants comfortable through changing climate conditions. Things get even better if you have Auto Air Conditioning that offers much better fine-tuned temperature settings. Simply set it in auto mode and forget about it. The air conditioning system will automatically make the required adjustments as per the changing temperatures to keep the car interior comfortable.

3. Airbags

This is one of the most crucial car safety features and a must-have for your safety. While high-end variants offer a complete package of airbags for the safety of all the occupants in the event of a collision, you can also find the crucial front dual airbags even on the base models of many used cars.

4. Fuel Efficiency

Every driver on the road appreciates efficiency. And with today’s automotive advancements, even many of the larger trucks and SUVs offer impressive fuel efficiencies. If fuel efficiency is at the very top of your list, you may want to check out some of the hybrid vehicles available on the market. Hybrid used cars for sale can reach fuel efficiencies in the 40+ MPG range.

5. Cargo Space

Whether you’re looking for a sedan, truck, or SUV, cargo space is important. This allows you and your passengers to transport your belongings with ease. When browsing used cars for sale be sure to compare the available cargo space. If you’re in the market for an SUV, check out the cargo space with and without the seats folded down. You’ll want to make sure you still have plenty of room when you have passengers onboard!

BONUS: Advanced Safety Features

Safety is another important feature at the top of our list. Thankfully, safety is something that most automotive brands take very seriously. Each day, new safety technologies are emerging to keep drivers and passengers safe on the roads.

Here are a few of the advanced safety features to look for during your search for a used car:

  • backup camera
  • electronic stability control
  • LED headlights
  • fog lamps
  • brake assist
  • child LATCH system
  • cruise control
  • lane keep assist with lane departure warning
  • blind-spot detection

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: autoportal.com, toyotavacaville.com

Word of Mouth 2021 Service Award for German Precision

𝐆𝐄𝐑𝐌𝐀𝐍 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐎𝐍 is immensely grateful for this award.
 
As the owner, it has been an honour to work for everyone who has chosen me to inspect their dream cars, and for the trust that has been built over the years. This award recognises my work and the efforts that I put in, with the aim of exceeding your expectations.
 
We are very fortunate to have been able to help you. It would not be possible for us to receive this award without your trust and support.
 
If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne VIC, do not hesitate to contact 𝐆𝐄𝐑𝐌𝐀𝐍 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐎𝐍 today!
 
Gratefully,
Klaus Sturm
 
𝑷𝒉𝒐𝒏𝒆: 0421 083 390
𝑬𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒍: germanprecision@outlook.com, info@prepurchasecheck.com.au

Signs of an Honest Used Car Dealership You Should Know

Buying a car takes trust. It’s a huge investment, and it takes a little extra time and effort to get it right. When you’re on the hunt for the perfect car, knowing where to start may not be easy. But, finding a dealership you can trust is much easier if you know what to look for. Not all dealerships are made equal – some put their customers first, and others put themselves first. 

Still, it’s important to know that you’ve found an honest dealership that actually wants to help you out. The first way to do this, is to trust your gut. Here are some signs of an honest used car dealership you should know:

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


Finds Honest Salespeople Who Listen

In commission-based businesses, a bigger sale means more money in their pockets (a situation that can take the focus away from the customer’s needs). If a salesperson is consistently ignoring your requests, showing you cars out of your budget, or talking at you rather than to you, you’re not in the right place. Instead, look for sales staff who care about your opinions, show you the types of cars you want to see, and are willing to treat you with respect.

Beware of Red Flags When Buying a Used Car

This is more subjective, but it’s extremely important to trust your instincts. Also, look out for any warning signs or red flags. A dealership should make you feel comfortable, and the salesman should be helpful. A good way to determine this is if you’ve talked to them over the phone. If they are willing to negotiate with you via telephone, then they genuinely want to help you. If they try to pressure you into coming in and talking to them face-to-face, however, that’s a red flag. Chances are, they want to try and use high-pressure sales tactics in order to force you to buy the car, and they can’t do that over the phone.

However, not all dealers who want you to come in and talk face-to-face want to pressure you into buying a car. There could be a good reason they want you to come in. Listen to the tone, do they sound frustrated? Are they being pushy? These are warning signs over the phone and when at the dealership, so it’s best to just walk away.

How Long Have They Been in Business?

You can see the sign of an honest used car dealership from how long they’ve been in business. If they just popped up, that doesn’t mean they are a bad dealership. They might just have not gotten their name out there enough. But, if you want to be sure, then check how long the dealership has been in business. If they have been in business for a long time, then chances are they are doing something right.

Find a Dealership That Gives Reliable Information

Too often, an untrustworthy dealer will tell customers lies about cars in hopes of making a sale. To some salespeople, a lie that gets a customer into negotiations with a manager is a lie worth telling. This can happen in a number of different ways, including deceiving customers about available features, pricing, or vehicle availability. A good dealership will always provide reliable information, even if that means telling a customer no, or that a sale isn’t possible.

How Many Positive Reviews Does The Dealership Have?

The internet is a wonderful resource – especially when it comes to local business reviews. If people aren’t happy, the internet is the number one place they’ll express themselves, which gives you the opportunity to explore how others view the dealerships in your area. Before choosing one to visit, take some time to read feedback from your community, both negative and positive. Look on sites like DealerRater and Google Reviews to check for information on reliability, helpfulness, pricing, and more. A dealer with many negative reviews may not be worth your time.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: millerautoplaza.com, depaulachevrolet.com

Don’t Only Trust Roadworthy Certificates When Buying a Used Car

You plan to buy a used car from a private seller. The car looks good to your untrained eyes, and after seeing the Roadworthy Certificate provided, you decide that this is your perfect car. Turns out, you can get that certification for $100. And that doesn’t guarantee that your ‘new’ used car is in top condition. Then you will end up paying more for reparations after learning the hard truth: your car is not roadworthy.

Make sure your armed with this information before you go and look at a vehicle, don’t learn this after the fact!

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


A roadworthy certificate proves your vehicle has passed a roadworthy test completed by an authorised roadworthy inspector. The roadworthy test is comprised of various criteria points that the vehicle must pass to qualify for a roadworthy certificate. These areas include:

• Tyres
• Brakes
• Steering
• Suspension
• Body (for rust or damage)
• Windscreen
• Lights

For example: A roadworthy inspector will check to make sure the tread level on the vehicle tyres are at an acceptable level and the brakes are correctly sized for the vehicle. If the vehicle does not pass these requirements, it will not receive a roadworthy certificate.

The roadworthy test is designed to make sure your vehicle is suitable for the roads as per the guidelines set out by the Department of Transport. However, it doesn’t test if your vehicle is healthy. For example, a roadworthy doesn’t include an inspection of your oil, motor or gearbox. For a comprehensive report of your vehicle’s health, you should book in for a full vehicle inspection.

What if the vehicle doesn’t pass the test?

If any item fails to meet the test standard, the tester will issue you with a rejection report. You are then given a period of seven days to get the items repaired and submit them for the second inspection. However, if the seven days elapse, then the test would be carried out all over again.

How much does a roadworthy inspection cost?

The cost of the inspection is not fixed as it generally depends on the age, model and condition of the vehicle being tested. Charges for the inspection will still be required if the vehicle does not pass the roadworthy test. The roadworthy certificate will be issued for the cost of the inspection if it passes the roadworthy test.

How long is the certificate valid?

A roadworthy is considered ‘current’ and valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issue before you present it at VicRoads (e.g. when you visit them to transfer or re-register a vehicle).

Note: This is NOT a guarantee that a vehicle with a roadworthy certificate will necessarily continue to remain in a roadworthy condition for 30 days from the date the certificate was issued.

Why you shouldn’t trust Roadworthy Certificates

The way it plays out is that a buyer will be interested in a car, typically in a private sale or a car yard, more often than not in a private sale. They’ll go look at the car and everything looks okay to their untrained eye, and then they will proceed to buy it. Straight after their purchase, they will take it to their mechanic to get it serviced and checked out.

Which is not okay. If you’re looking at buying a house you don’t buy a house and then get a building and pest inspection report AFTER to make sure that everything is the way it’s supposed to be, you get it done first.

A roadworthy inspection can be issued on a vehicle that is still working but has a blown head gasket. A roadworthy can be issued on a vehicle that has a gearbox which is still operating but is about to seize because it hasn’t been serviced ion 100,000k’s. A roadworthy certificate gives you no idea of the condition of the motor, the oil if it’s been serviced it is literally a piece of paper saying that the brakes aren’t undersized, that there’s no cracks in the windscreen and about 20 other things. You cannot rely on that when you’re spending your hard-earned money.

If you’re thinking of buying a used vehicle (especially a private sale because you have no come back) you must go and get a PRE PURCHASE CAR INSPECTION first to ensure there are no surprises after the fact. You can use these to negotiate the price but more importantly, you can have the peace of mind of any repairs that may be required.

Never trust a vehicle with your money based on the fact that it has a roadworthy certificate. For $250ish you can get a pre-purchase car inspection done on most vehicles which will give you peace of mind.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

source: autoking.com.au, australianmechanical.com.au, vicroads.vic.gov.au

Best Questions to Ask Before You Buy That Used Car

When buying a used car privately, paperwork is all-important. The same is true when buying a used car from a dealer, and it can also be stressful. But if you go into it prepared and make sure you ask the right questions—of yourself and the dealer—it will be a lot easier. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions wherever you choose to buy, either. Although there’s no obligation for sellers to volunteer information about a car they’re selling, any questions you ask must be answered truthfully—otherwise, the vendor is breaking the law.

General Questions to Ask Yourself

1. How much can I afford to spend? Make sure you know your budget before you go looking. Also, this will help you decide if you need to look into financing or not.

2. How big of a car do I need? This will help you narrow it down based on things like how big your family is, if you will need to haul a lot of stuff, or if you will be driving it in narrow streets.

3. How will I use this car? Depending on your needs, you may need a specific kind or type of car.

4. Can I take it on a test drive? Always make sure you try the car before you buy it. Get some of our best tips on how to get the most out of your test drive here.

5. What fees will I pay in addition to the price? You will never pay just the listed price. There may be dealership fees, taxes, etc.

6. Dealer or private? A car dealer is generally the safest place to buy a used car, as there’s a degree of legal protection implied by its status as a business. A car dealer has an obligation to properly prepare a car before the sale, including verifying that its recorded mileage is correct.

7. Should I buy new or used? If you can afford a brand new car, it’s nice to treat yourself. However, buying a used car that’s only a year or two old will save you a lot on depreciation. Buying a car can easily become a very emotional decision, so be sure to keep a clear head and seek the advice of someone that you trust when you narrow down your car.

Questions to Ask the Seller/Dealer

1. Why are you selling the car? The seller could answer this question in a few ways. They might be ready for an upgrade or perhaps the car’s size doesn’t suit their lifestyle anymore. It’s good to know the reasons behind this change because you might run into the same issues down the line.

2. How long have you owned the car? If they recently purchased the vehicle and they are already selling it, take note as this could mean they ran into problems with the car.

3. Has it been in any accidents? In some cases, accidents are reported on a vehicle history report—but don’t assume these reports catch everything. If the car was in an accident, find out how it was damaged and how it was fixed.

4. What features don’t work the way they’re supposed to? Older used cars nearly always have something wrong with them. It might not be a deal-breaker—for example, if it’s a malfunctioning CD player. But other defects can come as annoying surprises, such as weak air conditioning, blown speakers or missing pixels in displays.

5. Is there any reason you wouldn’t drive the car coast-to-coast tomorrow? This is a fun question and sometimes throws the seller off balance. But if the answer is a resounding “No, there’s nothing wrong with the car,” that’s a nice vote of confidence.

6. What is the ownership history? “If the seller doesn’t really have many details about the car or only owned it a short time, that’s a warning sign,” Holthoff says. “I’m looking for a seller who really cared for the car for several years or more.” When searching for good used cars, he recommends using keywords like “original owner” or “service records” or even “garaged.”

7. How did you arrive at this price? If you’ve asked all the above questions, and you’re getting serious about buying the car, find out how the seller priced it. Many people simply pick a figure out of the air. If the seller says he or she used a pricing guide, you can double-check to see if the price is accurate.

8. Do you have the title in hand? If there’s a loan on the car from the bank, the seller might not have the title. Or they may not know where it is. These are problems that can be worked around, but it’s best to buy from someone who actually has the title of the car easily accessible.

9. Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection? It’s important that you take the car to a professional pre-purchase car inspector so you can get an expert’s opinion on what’s happening with the car under the hood. If the seller hesitates then this could be a red flag that there’s something they don’t want you to know.

As you can imagine, these questions will come in handy. Are you getting a good deal or buying someone else’s issues?

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: requestyourcar.com, canstarblue.com.au, carbuyer.co.uk, nerdwallet.com

Understanding Pre-purchase Mechanical Inspection

The point of the pre-purchase inspection is to confirm you’re not getting a dud. It’s to confirm the car is going to run, today and into the future. Your inspector will investigate the engine, radiator, battery, exhaust, tyres and body.

They’ll check for oil and coolant leaks, battery issues and poorly done modifications. You need an expert eye on this because even the shiniest car can come with hidden problems under the hood, and usually, they’re expensive to fix.

Here’s what you should run your eye over before you test-drive a car. This is not a substitute a professional mechanical inspection and you should always seek expert advice.

Think of this list as early warning signs – a red flag. If any of these issues present themselves, skip the professional inspection and move on to the next car.

Oil indicators

Oil can tell you a lot about the engine, so check it. If you pull the dipstick out and the oil residue doesn’t reach the ‘full’ marker, or it looks thick and black, this is a sign that the car has not been maintained well. If you look under the oil cap and find gritty carbon deposits there too, you can be sure there has been some engine neglect.

Leaks

Look underneath the car. Look at the radiator. Look at the hoses. Are there any signs of leakage? Cracking? Corrosion? If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance you’ll run into some of those hidden problems we mentioned about.

Filters

Look for excess dust, filter condition and clean and or replace filters as necessary. Check airbox seal is intact and closes correctly and all airbox latches and mounting point. Check all intercooler piping for damage & hose clamps. Do a visual check of primary and secondary fuel filters, if the secondary fuel filter isn’t fitted, recommend getting fitted pre-trip.

Windows

Check windshield and all windows and exterior light lenses, both in terms of cleanliness and visibility. Check windshield wipers and washers are operational.

Smoke from the exhaust

Turn the car on. Have someone rev it a few times. Is there smoke from the exhaust? Can you smell anything in the smoke? Either would be bad. Usually, a smoky exhaust indicates an oil-burning engine, which tells you there is a problem to be found.

Who can do my pre-purchase inspection?

All you need for a good vehicle inspection is a qualified inspector like German Precision.

When buying something big like a new car, have it professionally inspected. A pre-purchase car inspection would cost you $250 to $350, and it’s worth every penny.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: justautosmechanical.com.au, carsguide.com.au

Keeping Your Car Clean During COVID-19

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) can live on some surfaces for several hours or even days, it is essential that we clean them regularly. Since most car interiors have plastic, it is important to get rid of the virus from these surfaces so that you don’t get it or pass it on to anyone else. Your seats, steering wheel, radio controls, door handles, cup holders and payment equipment are high contact areas and can easily be cleaned to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The Commercial Passenger Vehicles (CPV) of Victoria has published vehicle cleaning laws for the CPV industry.

When cleaning your car interior, it is recommended that you wear suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as disposable gloves and a face mask.

You should pay attention to high-touch areas such as:

• steering wheel,
• gear selector,
• door handles (internal and external),
• payment terminals,
• touch displays,
• audio and climate control systems,
• seats and seatbelts,
• headrests,
• window controls,
• armrests,
• cupholders, and
• anywhere directly in the firing line of a sneeze or cough

As these surfaces can be quite textured for grip, they may require extra effort to clean.

What products can be used?

The first step to cleaning and disinfecting your car interior is to choose the cleaning agents and materials you will use. Depending on whether you have leather, cloth, or imitation leather upholstery, steps and cleaning agents will differ.

Isopropyl alcohol is a proven disinfectant and is also safe to use on most car interior surfaces. In fact, it is used in many production plants to put a final touch on interior components before they are shipped out. Isopropyl alcohol will remove many stains, smudges and residues, as well as kill bacteria and viruses. However, that stain removing quality can also cause problems with leather.

If your vehicle has a leather interior, it probably has a thin protective coating to prevent discolouration. Isopropyl alcohol can deteriorate that coating and even remove the dye from the leather itself.

For Cleaning Leather Interior

For leather steering wheels, seating, and trim, a combination of soap and water is a safe and sufficient way to clean them. Do not scrub hard when cleaning your leather interior, and avoid excess suds and water. Hand washing has been recommended as a primary way to protect oneself against infection by COVID-19. This is not only because soap can kill the virus, but also because the friction of washing contributes. This holds true for washing your leather interior as well.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Car Interiors

While car interiors are built to be durable, hard scrubbing or using a rough cloth can cause scratches or even discolouration. A wipe with alcohol on hard surfaces and gentle circular cleaning on upholstery are the best bets for both cleaning and maintaining your car interior.

It is also very important not to use too much water on your seats. If cloth upholstery soaks through with water, it can get into the cushion beneath. This can cause the growth of mould and that musty smell you will recognize if you’ve left your car windows open in the rain.

If washing the seats of your car, it is best to wet cloth or sponge with soap and water and wipe the seats. You do not want to leave excess soap or water, as it can take a long time to dry. Isopropyl alcohol can safely be used on non-leather seats, but it is not an ideal cleaning agent for those surfaces unless you have imitation leather.

If you are not sick and haven’t had anyone sick in your car, don’t get too worried about doing this repeatedly. However, starting with a truly clean slate in your vehicle will certainly give you some peace of mind.

A common recommendation from experts is that once your car’s interior is cleaned and disinfected, it is important to wash your hands before getting in from now on. This will help keep your car a clean place and reduce the chance of a virus making it into your vehicle. Cleaning your hands before and after touching the steering wheel will go a long way to keeping it in good condition after being disinfected.

If you believe you have had someone with COVID-19 in your vehicle, you should disinfect and call your doctor for the next steps. They believe that the virus can survive in the air for up to three hours, and on surfaces for much longer, so it is best to be cautious if you believe your vehicle has been exposed.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: racq.com.au, volvoofdayton.com, tcq.org.au

How to Test Drive a Used Car

Once you have compiled a shortlist of cars that meet all your needs and wants, it’s time to go test driving. 

Whether you’re buying a new or used car, one of the most important steps in the process is, of course, the test drive. But sometimes a quick spin around the block just doesn’t cut it. With the salesperson or seller at your side and a speed limit of 50km/h, can you really make a solid decision on whether this is the car for you?

A short test drive near the dealership is a good start, but an extended test drive is better, allowing you to live with the car for a few hours or longer. At a minimum, make sure the test drive includes everything from parking and low-speed maneuvering to urban, arterial and, if possible, motorway driving.

Before you drive off, it’s important to know what you might be liable to pay in the event you’re involved in a collision during a test drive, such as an insurance excess. Before you sign a test drive agreement, make sure you read it to ensure you’re comfortable with all the conditions.

In a new car, the test drive will help you determine whether you like the driving feel and comfort of the car and whether it’s a practical fit for your needs.

A used car test drive is a bit different in that you’re also looking for mechanical faults or other issues that may have arisen as a result of wear and tear or poor maintenance.

Before the test drive

Strangely enough, the driving part of the test drive is only a small part of the experience. So as tempting as it might be to jump right into the driver’s seat and get out on the road take your time and do these things first.

Give the car the once over
Familiarise yourself with everything about the car.

• Open the boot and check how easy it is to get at the spare wheel (or if it has one)
• Open all the doors and climb into the back
• Fold down the rear seats (if possible)
• Check all storage compartments (make sure there’s enough)
• Try out the infotainment/audio system

While you’re doing all of this, you’ll notice how well each part functions. This will give you a general idea of the build quality of the car. It will also help you find any of those little things that might annoy you once the car is yours. If it annoys you on the test drive, then you can bet it will drive you nuts after a few months.

Sit in it for a little while
Now don’t get too excited, you’re not driving yet. You’ll want to make sure that you feel comfortable in the car and the best way to do this is to just sit there without the distraction of driving. Make sure the seat adjusts to fit your height and that you have pretty good visibility.

If you have kids, it might be a good idea to bring them along and have them sit in the back and tell you if it’s comfortable enough. They’ll want to be able to open and close the doors and get their seatbelts on easily.

Consider the test drive route
Ideally, you’ll want to take the car beyond the local neighbourhood and out onto the open road. Talk to the dealer/seller about where you’d like to go or if they know of a good route locally.

You simply can’t get a good feel for a car in a quick two-minute spin so taking it for a long drive is absolutely essential. It’s also not a bad idea to ask if you can take the car out once more at night. Night driving is a completely different experience, and you may notice some things about the car that you couldn’t have during the day.

Do you have a garage? Then ask the dealer/seller if you can drop by your house to make sure the car fits.

During the drive

Once you’re behind the wheel, you’ll need to pay close attention to these things:

1. Steering – Check the steering for excessive free play, pulling to one side or vibration, which could point to suspension or alignment problems.

2. Brakes – Ensure the car stops smoothly, strongly and in a straight line when the brake pedal is pressed. The pedal should not sink to the floor or feel spongy, and the steering wheel should not wobble or vibrate.

3. Exhaust – Check for noticeable exhaust smoke with the engine running at idle and under load during acceleration. Black, blue or white smoke each indicate different engine problems.

4. Engine – The car should run smoothly during accelerating, decelerating and when driving steadily. The water temperature gauge should remain in the safe range (or the temperature light should stay off). Rattling or knocking sounds might suggest incorrect tuning or engine wear.

5. Transmission – Check gear changes are smooth and decisive. On front-wheel drive vehicles, a knocking noise when turning indicates worn constant-velocity joints (CV joints).

6. Knocks and rattles – Listen for knocks and rattles as you drive, particularly over bumps and while turning, which could point to loose suspension or body components.

After the drive

At the end of the test drive, it’s okay if you’re not sure whether you want to buy the particular vehicle or model – you’re not under any obligation to buy it.

Once you’re back and parked, the dealer/seller will do all that they can to get you sitting down and talking about finalising that deal. They understand that if you just had a pleasant test drive, then it’s going to be pretty easy to push you into a decision. Don’t do it. Take time to reflect on your experience and to talk with whoever came with you on the test drive.

Even if you’ve fallen in love, it pays to take time to consider the options and try a few cars before you decide. Keeping emotion out of the process will help you negotiate more effectively, too.

This is a massive decision that you’re about to make so don’t allow someone to push you into making your choice on the spot. Go home, think about your experience, the extras available, and most importantly, the financial aspect. If it takes you a week to decide, then at least you’ll know you didn’t rush your decision.

Get it inspected by a professional

If you’re unsure, hire a professional like German Precision to help you.

When buying something big like a new car, have it professionally inspected. A pre-purchase car inspection would cost you $250 to $350, and it’s worth every penny.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: strattonfinance.com.au, mynrma.com.au