Buying a Used Car – 11 Common Problems You Might Face

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Thanks to the economy, a brand-new car may not be on everyone’s bucket list these days. Nevertheless, having your own ride is necessary both for work and personal purposes. That is why buying well-maintained used cars is in trend.

Second-hand vehicles offer a good deal that saves your pocket while serving their purpose, given it is in good condition. Make sure you have yielded a car that is worth your money. Used cars are riddled with several issues, and it pays you to heed them well before settling on a car. Here we discuss the common faults in used vehicles and how to avoid them.

If you are planning to buy a new car, it is very obvious that you might sell your previous car. However, unfortunately there are definitely some people who will sell a damaged car. Therefore, there are a few problems you might face when you buy a second hand car.

Odometer Rollback

It is unfortunately a hard truth that many unscrupulous dealers and car mechanics tamper with odometer readings to mislead naive buyers. Therefore, just checking the mileage on the vehicle isn’t enough to verify the readings. It is ideal for cross-checking through reliable databases like DVLA and MOT for the car reg check. This will help you verify whether the display readings are valid.

Title Problems

Sparing a minute to check the car’s title can save you from fraud and many legal issues down the road. One way is to go through the VIN of the vehicle you want to purchase. This will give you all information about the vehicle since its manufacture, including the number of people who have used the car before, verification of the car registration certificate, and all the accumulated tax and insurance fees. You can go through free vin decoder websites to find all the details for the car you like.

The rule of thumb is to go through all car papers with a magnifying glass to avoid even the slightest inconsistencies.

Insurance Write-Off

Adjusting odometer readings and changing number plates and car color are just some tricks fraudsters use to defraude unsuspecting buyers. These con artists also hide the car’s condition from you.

For instance, they may hide that the vehicle is a write-off from the insurance company. This means that the car is a failed investment as you will be spending more on repairs than the value of the car itself.

Car Engines Not Starting or Faulty Engines

This is a no-brainer that a faulty engine won’t start when you turn over and needs to be replaced. Other issues like unusual sounds, smoke, or oil leaking from the engines usually indicates that your engine requires immediate professional attention.

If your second-hand vehicle price is unbelievably low, be sure to check the engines. A faulty engine will significantly shorten the lifespan of your vehicle and is more expensive to replace.

Transmission Issues

Smooth transmission is essential to smooth riding. You will need to shift gears easily without grinding noise or leaking transmission fluid. Remember that transmission repairs and replacements are expensive and may ultimately negate any economic benefit of buying a used car.

This is why it is ideal to test drive the car to get a feel of the gears and find out whether you are comfortable. If you are confused, have a mechanic give it a look over for confirmation.

Bad Brakes or Worn-out Brake Pads

This is a potentially dangerous issue that must be identified at the earliest.  Unfortunately, this is also one of the most common issues amongst used cars. Although worn-out brake pads are easily replaced, professional intervention is required if the issue is damaged brake discs or calipers.

A test drive is imperative to check the brakes before making a purchase. Ensure that the brakes are responsive and not stiff, and confirm with a mechanic before finalizing the deal.

Rust and Corrosion

Rust and corrosion are serious nuisances that can become a pressing issue over time. Once rust begins on one part of the car, it slowly spreads over time, especially if the vehicle is exposed to the elements.

Corrosion involving important car parts like the battery terminals and brake lines must be considered and fixed before you purchase.

Electrical Problems

Used cars are often plagued by flickering headlights, noisy dashboards, and other electrical issues. These repairs are necessary but costly, so be sure to check your used car’s electrical system before making a purchase.

Worn Tires

A car that has seen great mileage definitely does not have the best tires. Be prepared to replace bald or thin tread tires after your purchase. Remember that tires should be replaced every six years, regardless of usage.

Replacements aren’t as expensive as other adjustments, but well-maintained tires are essential for smooth riding and braking.

Suspension Troubles

Another issue with used cars is suspension. To identify if the suspension is in order, pay attention to any creaking, instability on the road, or constant bouncing. Suspension issues should be identified as early as possible during the test drive and resolved quickly.

Have a professional inspect and identify any issues before you buy the car.

Faulty Airbags

Another safety feature that you shouldn’t make any compromises with is airbags. Functioning airbags can be the difference between life and death in the event of a severe injury. This is an important safety issue; you must not overlook it when looking into used cars. Remember that airbags are expensive to replace, so check this before making a decision.


There are many possible pitfalls that unsuspecting buyers may fall into when purchasing used cars, especially those who are first-time buyers. The golden rule is to constantly research beforehand, look into authentic dealerships, and inspect with a keen eye to spot issues early on.

Taking the car on a test drive and getting a professional to identify potential problems is advisable. These common faults can be easily avoided and save you from costly repairs that negate any use of buying a second-hand vehicle. Be sure to run a vehicle check before finalizing any deal to find the right car.