Buying A Family Car? Read These Tips First!

Starting a family brings an abundance of important decisions and lifestyle changes. In that mix is your choice of car—what vehicle will you choose to carry the most precious cargo you’ll ever be responsible for?There are many vehicles on the market and the options can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to be a daunting task. Before buying a family car, read these tips first!

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 Much Can You Afford?

First thing first, how much can you spend on a new family car—be it new or used?

There’s no point buying something that’s too expensive, where the repayments will stress the family budget for years to come. Plan carefully, think about how much the car costs to run as well as the initial costs (things like insurance, fuel efficiency, warranty and service, ongoing registration, etc), and don’t spend what you can’t cover. Period.

What Do You Use The Car For?

Is yours mainly a plain suburban route between school, work, the grandparents and the supermarket? You might not need that enormous off-roader SUV that’s going to chew up petrol for no reason then.

Even if you think to yourself, “But we’ll go camping! If we had this car, we’d go off-road all the time!”, the reality is if you haven’t done those trips already, before children, it’s unlikely you’ll do them regularly after children. Or at least, regularly enough to warrant spending more money on one.

But if you live in the country and have to travel 50km to your letterbox across rough terrain and spend weekends crossing rivers and pitching tents, that giant SUV could be just the thing for you.

Choose your car based on how you use it. Granted, in Australia, people are mad for SUVs when it comes to family cars, and with good reason. They’re higher off the road and bigger, so you feel safe in them, plus you’re not bending down to do the child seats up. And they have bigger boot space (some of them). Some sedans really do have a lot of boot space).

Consider An SUV Or A People Mover

There is a reason SUVs are the weapon of choice at the school drop off/pick up war zone. Their upright driving position offers better visibility over traffic. Their height means they are easier to get in and out of with kids and groceries; you’ll do your back twisting and lowering a snoozing baby into a low car. SUVs generally hold more stuff.

Also, consider people movers. While decidedly uncool, they offer practical motoring at their best. Their sliding doors are brilliant when it comes to ushering kids into the car. Not to mention eliminating dinged doors in the car park.

Don’t forget, it’s not just your own kids you’ll be ferrying around. You’ll also play taxi driver to all their friends and sporting groups, so consider whether you need a 5, 7 or even an 8 seater model.

Make Sure You Will Be Comfortable During Long Trips

A woman sleeping in a comfortable family car
Not only you should think about choosing between an SUV or a people mover, but you should also choose a car that will be comfortable for a long trip.

This family car is also bound to be your everywhere car, which means you’re going to use it for holidays and road trips. Make sure every single person inside the car will be comfortable during these times!

Check The Safety Features

These days, you really shouldn’t be buying a car that doesn’t have airbags that cover all rows of the car. Then there are child seat fixtures called either tether points or ISOFIX points, depending on what kind of car seat you have. Both of those things should be standard features in a family car.

But there are a whole bunch of other, newer features that are just coming into play which you should also consider. Things like auto emergency braking (the car will stop itself if you’re about to hit something in front of you); blind-spot monitoring (a light will show on the side mirror if you have a car in your blind spot); lane departure warnings (beeps in case you veer off out of your lane), reverse parking cameras (a camera that shows you the road behind you, great for parking.

Some cars now have 360-degree cameras which will show you all around your car (super useful), and adaptive cruise control (which will keep you safer on long drives and in traffic).

Know The Fuel Type And Efficiency

Petrol, hybrid, electric—they’re all a bit different in terms of fuel consumption. Make sure you get the one that best suits your needs.

Manufacturers will always have an official fuel consumption expressed as litres per 100 km. But this is usually a combination of “urban” and “extra-urban” aka freeway conditions. The manner and usage in which you drive your car could make that quite different. For example, if you do lots of school runs and stop-start city driving your fuel usage will be higher.

Does It Have A Big Boot?

A family of four and a family car
Kids come with a lot of equipment. While you might not be in the market for an SUV, you’ll definitely need as much cargo capacity as possible for prams, school bags and toys—not to mention the four-legged family member.

When you’re test-driving a car, bring your pram or stroller along and see if it will fit in the cargo area with room to spare.

If you’re shopping for a more compact car, check to see how easy it is to fold the rear seats in case you need to increase capacity.

Take Advantage Of The Test Drive

Don’t be afraid to take the car out for longer than the usual ’round the block trip, especially if it’s a used family car.

People often think they won’t be allowed to drive it for a while but that’s not the case. If you’ve got something at home you want to test it with, for example, if your garage is small and you want to be sure it will fit, ask if you can test drive it home. They will let you. They want to sell you a car.

Consult A Professional Car Technician In Melbourne

Never buy a car without researching. If you can’t choose, consult a professional like German Precision.

We have engaged with many clients for independent, personal car purchase advice. Whilst we are not a CAR BROKER, we have assisted clients with discussions on MAKE/MODEL/YEAR/VERSION of vehicle best suited to their needs, and with low ‘grief’ factors. In some cases, clients, especially repeat clients (and we have many), have asked us to either source a car for them, or assist in the negotiations.

As much as some of us think we’re backyard mechanics, you can’t go past actually getting a used car checked out by a professional to determine whether it is mechanically sound. There’s nothing worse than driving away with your new purchase, only to find that it has an issue that is going to cost you dearly.

And if you want to buy a secondhand car, 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 the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: caradvice.com.au, booths.com.au, carsguide.com.au, stayathomemum.com.au, whichcar.com.au

Things to Do After Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and take advantage of depreciation. If you’ve been careful about car selling red flags, you might’ve just gotten a great deal on a used car. Excellent! But then what? What are the things to do after buying a used car?

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.

Transfer The Registration

When a used car changes hands, the registration has to be transferred from the seller to the buyer. It’s the buyer’s responsibility to transfer the registration.

The printed form is found on the reverse of the vehicle registration certificate. You must pay a transfer fee as well as stamp duty on the sale price or market value on the price you paid for it, whichever is higher. Go to VicRoads’ Transfer & Motor Vehicle Duty Fees to find out.

The seller will complete the disposal notice on the reverse of the registration certificate and submit it to the VicRoads, also done online—within 14 days. This provides proof to the VicRoads that you’re no longer the owner in the event the new owner receives a traffic infringement notice.

Get Your Vehicle Insured

Once you have the title in hand, more paperwork is required to file before you can hit the road in your new wheels. Most states require you to secure insurance for the vehicle before you can register it and get license plates.

If you go through a dealer, chances are they will walk you through these steps—and in some cases even file the paperwork on your behalf. If you bought your vehicle from a private seller, your first call should be to an insurance company to set up a policy and get your proof of insurance sent to you.

Sell Your Old Car

Selling your old ride is not difficult. In fact, if you trade it in, there’s nothing to it. However, you might wish to get more for your car by selling it yourself. Just make sure that you know what to do before selling your old car.

Clean Your Car

When we say clean it, we mean it.

Take an afternoon to wipe down everything. Vacuum, polish, take it through the car wash, and anything else that makes your ride look presentable. Have it looks good not only to your friends but yourself as well. Plus, who knows of the filth that lays under the seat and on the carpet.

Especially during a pandemic like this. Keeping your car clean during COVID-19 is very important.

Buy a couple of air fresheners too. This is probably the cheapest and easiest thing to do with your car.

Get Your Car Inspected

The last thing to do after buying a used car is to get a professional to do a vehicle safety inspection.

If you have time before the purchase though, 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: tocowarranty.com, mynrma.com.au, drivetribe.com

Factors To Consider When Buying A Used Car

When it comes to buying a used car, you want to make sure you get the right car, for the right price. Used cars, by definition, are not new, they have a history, and it’s a series of historical information that makeup what the car is now. There are important factors to consider when buying a new-to-you car.

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.


The Car’s Age

One of the first things you need to consider is the car’s age. The term ‘used’ simply means ‘not new’ so you can find cars ranging from six months to sixty years or more, falling into this category. Your first consideration is to really decide how old is too old for you. Cars of a certain age don’t come with certain luxuries or safety features that we have come to expect in new cars – can you live without them?

Lifestyle

It’s important to buy a car that suits your lifestyle now and in the future. A minivan could be a better choice than a compact sedan for a woman who has one child now but plans to have more in the future. Similarly, a commuter who drives more than 100 kilometres per day will be best served by a small SUV rather than a full-size SUV. Finding your balance and deciding on the best choice for your lifestyle is conceivably the most important aspect to consider in your used car search.

Value And Cost Of Ownership

Finding a vehicle that retains its worth well over time is the next step in ensuring continued money savings down the road. The old adage, “A car loses value the second it is driven off the lot,” may have been true in the past. In today’s market, it is becoming increasingly false. Vehicles are thoroughly researched by trusted outlets such as Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com) to find out how they hold their value over time and also rate vehicles based on their 5-year cost of ownership. By utilising this helpful data, drivers are saving more money than ever before on their used car purchase.

Test Driving The Car

Spending time with the vehicle will give you an idea of how comfortable it is to drive and if everything is working smoothly. Ask the seller if you can test drive the car on different road surfaces such as flat roads, uphill, highways and areas with sharp cornering.

The Previous Owners

Some people treat their car with the utmost respect, keeping it clean, driving it nicely and servicing it on time. Others see their car as a dumping ground that gets them from A to B or they race around with little regard for their poor car’s engine or exterior!

The number of owners a car has had is important to consider when buying a used car. The more owners a car has had, the more likely it has had at least one of the latter driver type. So, try to choose a used car that has had few owners. There’s more chance that it has been well looked after.

Warranty

Buying a used vehicle with a solid warranty will not only save you money on future unknown repairs, but it can also be a shield to protect your money. Whether it is a factory warranty or an extended warranty offered by the dealership, this added protection can go a long way when it comes to saving your wallet.

Pre-purchase Car Inspection

As much as some of us think we’re backyard mechanics, you can’t go past actually getting a used car checked out by a professional to determine whether it is mechanically sound. There’s nothing worse than driving away with your new purchase, only to find that it has an issue that is going to cost you dearly.

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.

It is worth taking your time when buying a second-hand car as you don’t want any surprises after you buy it.

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: chevroletofnaperville.com, pacifictoyota.com.au, loans.com.au

Does Your Used Car Have a Warranty?

So you’re in the market for a used car. You might have heaps of questions, including whether you should buy from a licensed dealer or a private seller. There are certainly advantages and drawbacks to each seller. But the first question you should probably have is does your used car have a warranty?On one hand, you can save money by buying from a private party and you can avoid pushy salespeople. On the other hand, buying from a licensed dealer grants you certain guarantees and warranties.

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.


Statutory Warranty

In certain circumstances, you are entitled to a warranty at no extra cost when you buy a used vehicle from a licensed:

• motor dealer
• chattel auctioneer.

When you buy a car from those places, you may be able to get a statutory warranty at no cost to you. This warranty protects you from financial loss if your vehicle is faulty.

A licensed motor car trader must provide a statutory warranty if the car:

• is less than 10 years old, and
• has travelled less than 160,000 kilometres.

Note: the car’s age is determined by the date stamped on its build plate, usually found on the firewall between the engine and passenger compartments.

What Your Used Car Warranty Covers

A statutory warranty will cover most part defects whether they stop working properly or altogether. However, a statutory warranty does not cover defects relating to:

• any item listed on a defect notice with a reasonable estimate of how much it will cost to repair
• accidental damage that occurred after delivery of the vehicle
• damage caused by misuse or negligence by a driver after delivery of the vehicle.

A statutory warranty also does not cover defects occurring in:

• tyres
• batteries
• radios, cassette players, CD players, MP3 and MP4 players, and docks
• DVD players and video display panels
• telephone and in-car telephone kits
• global positioning systems (GPS), satellite navigation systems and other computerised navigation systems
• power outlets, including cigarette lighter sockets
• cigarette lighters
• car aerials
• non-standard alarms
• clocks
• non-standard body hardware
• non-standard keyless entry systems and remote keypads
• tools other than jacks and wheel braces
• light globes, sealed beam lights and non-standard fog lights
• keyless entry systems and remote keypads that are not standard to the car.

How Long A Statutory Warranty Lasts

A statutory warranty lasts for three months or 5000 kilometres after purchase, whichever occurs first.

The trader must repair any faults covered during the warranty period in order to ensure the car is in a reasonable condition for its age.

Note: even after the statutory warranty expires, you still have rights under the Australian Consumer Law that you can rely on if there is a problem with your car. However, the level of protection will depend on things such as the car’s age and condition. For more information, view Consumer Affairs Victoria’s Consumer guarantees page.

Transfer Of Statutory Warranty

A licensed motor car trader provides a statutory warranty only as part of the contract. Therefore, if you sell your car privately before the three months or 5,000 kilometres have passed, the warranty does not transfer to the new owner.

Claims And Repairs

If you have a part not listed above that needs a repair or replacement, you will need to notify the warrantor with a written notice, who has 5 days to tell you whether the defects are covered.

If the warrantor does not respond in writing within 5 days, they are taken to have accepted that:

• the statutory warranty does cover the defects
• they will be responsible for repairing your vehicle.

For repairs, you’ll need to take the car either to the warrantor or an authorised repair shop. The shop will then have 14 days to repair the vehicle.

Each day your car is in the shop, it adds an extra day to your warranty term.

The authorised repairer should be less than 20km from the warrantor’s place of business. They may only use a more distant repairer if you agree to it.

If your vehicle is more than 200km from the warrantor’s place of business, they may choose to:

• nominate the nearest qualified repairer
• pay delivery costs if they decide to use another repairer.

Hire The Best Pre-purchase Car Inspector 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: consumer.vic.gov.au, autoking.com.au, warrantyandinsurance.com.au

Happy Easter 2021!

When life gives you lemons, throw them back and ask for a chocolate bunny.

Or better yet, avoid lemons altogether by hiring a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne.

Happy Easter 2021!

Warm regards,
German Precision/Pre-purchase Check

𝑷𝒉𝒐𝒏𝒆: 0421 083 390
𝑬𝒎𝒂𝒊𝒍: info@prepurchasecheck.com.au, germanprecision@outlook.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

Buying a Used Car? Look for These Red Flags!

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and take advantage of depreciation but there are inherently more risks involved when a car has belonged to multiple owners.

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.


Incomplete Paperwork

Specific paperwork is required to make your vehicle transaction legal. It serves as an agreement between buyer and seller. The correct paperwork ensures that the vehicle you are purchasing is legally registered and in fair condition. This includes a comprehensive service and repair history report.

Whether purchasing from a Dealer or in the private market you should expect to inspect from the seller, the service books and history of the car. A logbook that contains a full-service history with accompanying records and shows the most recent services is like gold when seeking to purchase a car.

Vehicle registration papers identifying the current registered owner or previous owner if purchasing from a dealer to ensure there is the correct legal title. Obtaining a PPSR Report will also identify if the car has been previously stolen, is an Economic Repairable Write-off or still has finance owing on it from the previous owners. Missing paperwork indicates that there may be some issues with the vehicle’s function or road history, so if the paperwork is incomplete, reconsider the deal.

Excessive Rust

Almost anything on a car can be fixed or replaced. The question is, should it be? When it comes to excessive rust, the answer is often no. While rusted out body panels can be replaced, it’s expensive and time-consuming. Rust on the frame means that the frame—the very bedrock of the car—is rotting away. Replacing a car’s frame, even if you just replace part of it, is expensive and runs the risk of weakening the car overall. While some rust is to be expected on a used car, look out for excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off, and avoid cars with rust in key areas. Let’s put it this way: some rust on the floor pan is OK, but if Fred Flintstone could drive the car, you’re better off walking away.

Warning Lights

We’ve all driven around for a week or two with the check engine light on in our car. After all, if the car is running it’s easy to overlook a light on the dashboard. And, sometimes those lights do come on because of a bad sensor or because we didn’t tighten the gas cap enough.

Still, if you’re looking to buy a used car that has a dashboard that looks like a Christmas tree, that’s enough of a red flag that you should reconsider. Sure, the lights could be on for a minor reason (again, that tricky gas cap), but they also could be on because of a bigger problem. If you really love the car, a trusty inspection from a professional inspector like German Precision can tell you if those lights are something to be concerned about.

New or Mismatched Paint

A freshly-painted accent wall in your living room is a good idea. On a car, however, you want all the paint colours to match, and fresh paint isn’t always a selling point. Like new or mismatched carpet, new or mismatched paint is an indicator that repairs have been made, which could mean that the car was in an accident. While some accident damage can be repaired, other accident damage can make owning that car a headache and a seller that’s trying to camouflage accident damage is not someone who you want to deal with.

Take a close look at any used car with fresh paint or paint that isn’t quite the same on all the body panels of the car.

Unlicensed Dealer

If you choose to purchase your next vehicle through a dealer, research the company and ask for proof of licence. Licence credentials ensure that you are purchasing from a dealer that is legally approved to sell you a vehicle. If a dealer is unable to provide you with proof of their licence, do not purchase a vehicle from them.

An Anti-Inspection Seller

Getting a prospective new car checked out by an independent mechanic is just good sense. While you’ll spend money ($250 or so) on the inspection, avoiding a used car lemon is more than worth it. Any upstanding used car seller should consent to have the car inspected by someone you choose. If the seller refuses to let you have the car inspected or insists you use their mechanic find someone else to buy from. Having a car inspected is a routine part of buying a used car, so sellers who refuse it may not be on the level. That’s a deal you can feel good about walking away from.

Smelly Interior Masked by Car Perfume

If a car’s interior is overly perfumed, the seller may be trying to hide mould or mildew smells. The vehicle may not be watertight if there are mould smells inside the car.

There are three common places where mildew smell can originate from:
• Dashboard — where water can build up as part of running your air-conditioning
• Body Leaking — in cracks from weatherstrips around doors and windows
• Leaking Drainage — such as those found in A/C and sunroofs

Alternatively, the previous owner may have been a smoker and caused odour damage to the interior upholstery.

Rectifying smells and damaged wet mouldy carpets and interiors is an expensive exercise.

In general, an excessive amount of air freshener in a used vehicle may be a reason to walk away from the deal.

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!

sources: mynextcarbuyingadvocacy.com.au, autoversed.com

Buying a Used Car: Common Car Selling Scams You Need to Know!

An online car scam is circulating Victoria and it has already had multiple people trying to buy a second-hand car that does not exist. Classified scams trick online shoppers on classified websites into thinking they are dealing with a legitimate contact but it is actually a scammer.

The public has been alerted by Victoria Police after 8 people fell for the scam, losing thousands of dollars after ‘buying’ the car advertised on a popular website. Someone claiming to be a member of the armed forces was advertising the car. 

You might think that scams disproportionately affect older generations. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) statistics show that ages between 25 and 55 are being hit the hardest.

So what you need to know before buying that dream car of yours?

Continue reading “Buying a Used Car: Common Car Selling Scams You Need to Know!”

Top 4 Car Maintenance Tips for Summer

Aah, summer. A great time to hit the beach and strut your stuff in shorts and thongs.It’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of the season’s longer days by taking a drive along the coast, or through the city. Relax as you cruise along, listen to your favourite tunes and check out the nightlife.

However, before you can enjoy the perks of Australia’s gorgeous summer weather, you’ll need to make sure your car is in good shape. After all, you don’t want your summer plans interrupted by a breakdown, do you?

You can prevent costly car repairs by following these simple summer car maintenance tips!

Cooling System

The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

CAUTION! – Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot – boiling coolant under pressure could cause serious burns.

Tyres

Your safety rides on your tyres – literally. They are the only parts of your vehicle that are actually in contact with the road, so it makes sense to keep them in their best possible condition.

Under or over-inflation of your tyres is dangerous and can lead to excessive tread wear. Check your tyres monthly to ensure correct tyre inflation and adjust the pressure according to the placard on the driver’s door jamb.

Make sure there is at least 3mm of the tyre tread remaining (have a mechanic check if you’re not sure). If under 3mm of tread left, your tyres need to be replaced. Also, ensure your spare tyre is properly inflated and in good repair in the event of a flat.

Fix the Check Engine Light

The most common problem you’re likely to experience is an illuminated Check Engine light.

It tells you your car’s not healthy in one way or another, yet doesn’t provide the exact mechanical issue.

Avoid the urge to ignore your Check Engine light. While the problem could be as minor as a loose fuel cap, it could be a major problem that could cost thousands to repair if not addressed quickly, or worse still, leave you stranded.

Brakes

Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

BONUS: Get a Complete Vehicle Inspection

Before you head out on a summer trip, organise an overall vehicle inspection. Get your battery and charging system tested, have all the fluids, brakes and lubrication points checked, and have the steering and suspension components looked over.

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to check all the mechanical and electrical systems to ensure they are 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: autoguru.com.au, ase.com, exchange.aaa.com

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