What Damage In A Car Could Stop You From Buying It? [2023 Online Survey]

How damage in a car can influence our buying decision. Buyers mostly would like to know about the vehicle’s condition when buying a vehicle, even when it is new. The concern about the condition helps them make an informed decision and determines whether to buy or not. We have created a poll with types of car damage for you to vote below. Please cast your vote to enable us to serve you better when purchasing your next car.

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Damage In A Car What Damage Could Stop You From Buying A Vehicle?

Why Look For Damage In A Car Before Buying Crucial?

You look for damage in a car before buying it. That is great! But why doing so is crucial when buying an auto whether used or new? The vehicle damage report in the ad description barely gives enough information for one to know the exact health of the car.

Reasons Buyers Avoid Damaged Vehicles

Sometimes damage in a car does not worth it for a buyer to fix due to different reasons. Such reasons could be the cost of fixing it, the complexity of the technology, and the lack of know-how to work in the environment of the damaged area.

Car Pre-Purchase Inspection

In some situations, using special tools to do a car purchase inspection would give a detailed insight into the vehicle’s life, which can give a buyer an opportunity to make an informed decision.

In our survey, we would want you to help us to vote for damage in a vehicle that can stop you from buying it. Your vote would assist us in understanding your needs and we will serve you in a more suitable way.

Types Of Car Damage

Different types of damage in a car could lead to danger or high maintenance costs for a buyer. Here is the list of eleven critical and challenging damages a car buyer should check on a vehicle before purchasing.

  • Brake system failure
  • Rust (Corrosion)
  • Transmission
  • Engine
  • Clutch system failure
  • Chasis (car base frame)
  • Brainbox (engine control unit)
  • Axle
  • Cable fire
  • Flood
  • Exhaust

Brake system failure

The brake system plays a crucial role in restraining your car from crashing into obstacles. It is the driver’s first line of defense in the face of an imminent accident. However, like other mechanical components, brakes can fail.

The issue of brake failure on the road has over time proven too fatal to be overlooked. Therefore ensuring that the brake of the car you want to buy is working properly:

  1. check the car’s dashboard for any brake warning signal.
  2. Look at the brake pad and disk if they have worn or if their surface is not smooth.
  3. Test-drive the car and check if the brake pedal goes flat.

Applying the brake involves the transmission of pressure from the brake pedal to the wheel, generating enough friction to slow down the vehicle. This pressure is transmitted through the channels in the brake system. A problem at any stage of this process can lead to brake failure.

What Are The Common Causes Of Brake Failure?

1. Leakage in the brake line

A leak can cause brake fluid to drain out gradually until there is no fluid left to transmit pressure.

2. Worn-out brakes (Disk or Pad)

Disk or drum brakes can wear out due to constant usage thereby offering less resistance to the wheel.

How to identify a faulty brake system

The brake is faulty if

  • It makes an unusual grinding noise when applied.
  • The vehicle pulls to a side any time you use the brake.
  • The brake pedal seems stuck in an awkwardly low position or sinks to the floor slowly.
  • You have to exert more pressure than usual to make it function.

Know that you can always get a mechanic or a trusted person who knows about vehicles to carry out these checks.

Rust (Corrosion)

Rusty patches here and there can make a car look unappealing and less valuable. While a few brown stains may not be an issue, large corroded surfaces could simply mean the beginning of the vehicle’s end. This is therefore necessary to consider when buying a car.

Rust on a car is formed when metal elements react with moisture resulting in annoying brownish scars (iron oxide). Here are some reasons for corrosion on vehicles.

  1. Exposure to salt (salt water or air)
  2. Lack of proper maintenance

Before examining the car yourself if there are hidden areas affected by rust. You may hire a technician to check places that could be challenging for you to find out faults. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Transmission (Gear System Of A Vehicle)

A damaged transmission is as dangerous as a failed brake system and shouldn’t be toiled with. Just like the brake, the function of the transmission depends on the proper working of the parts that make up the system – like the Clutch, layshaft, gear and output shaft, collar, and gear selector fork.

Where any of these components develops a fault, it could undermine the ability of the transmission to switch gears; which is technically referred to as Transmission failure.

What can cause Transmission Damage?

  1. Leakage of transmission fluid
  2. A clogged transmission filter
  3. Poor quality transmission fluid.

Symptoms of a transmission problem include:

  1. Emission of unusual noise
  2. Refusal to change gear
  3. Gear slipping
  4. Fluid leakage

As you test-drive the car, carefully observe if any of these symptoms are present.

Vehicle Engine

Engine failure is the last problem you would want to deal with. It can be quite expensive to fix. So you should painstakingly ensure that the car’s engine is in proper working condition before you strike a deal. Here are various ways to know if an engine is in bad condition:

  • Unusual noise from the bonnet Every strange sound the car emits may not always be the sign of a troubled engine. However, a knocking sound emanating from the bonnet is a clear signal that the engine is wearing out.
  • Oil puddles beneath the car. Try to see if there are oil patches in the position where the vehicle is parked. It is a sign of a leaky engine.
  • Exhaust emissions shouldn’t be perceived inside a vehicle. If you can strongly perceive the engine’s smoke or fume in the car, it could be a sign that the engine is packing up.

If the car’s exhaust produces excessive smoke when turned on, it means that the engine’s components are worn.

Clutch System Failure

Clutch system especially in manual transmission vehicles, plays a very vital role and should not be neglected. This system like other mechanical systems at any point can fail. So it is crucial to examine the clutch for possible issues before paying for a car.

What are the major signs of clutch system failure?

  • You hear squeaking sounds when pressure is applied to the clutch pedal.
  • The clutch pedal vibrates and even feels loose or spongy when pressed upon.
  • You observe that acceleration is quite difficult.
  • There’s a clutch slip when you release the pedal after switching gears leading to a quick loss of acceleration.
  • When there are oil puddles under the car that indicates clutch fluid leakage.

Chasis (Car base frame)

Chasis (frame) is essentially the structural support on which mechanical components of a vehicle are placed. It bears almost the entire load of the car. If the integrity of a car frame is compromised, it is no longer safe for driving. Frame damage which can be a result of external forces like disrepair or collision is not hard to point out.

How to tell if a car base frame is damaged

Here are some signs that the car you want to buy has frame damage:

  • Visibly disfigured or bent frame
  • Uneven wear of tires, shocks, or suspension
  • Poor wheel tracking
  • Faulty vehicle alignment
  • Creaking or squeaking noise from the front or rear of the car.

If possible get the vehicle’s history document from the seller as you assess the frame. It will help you know if the car has been involved in an accident that is detrimental to the chassis.

Brainbox (Engine control unit)

Almost every part of today’s cars are regulated by the Engine control unit. They help to maintain the engine and also make faulty components of the vehicle readily detectable. It is therefore not a good idea to buy a vehicle without checking the ECU for possible problems.

Common signs of a Faulty brainbox

  1. Overheating Engine control unit
  2. Engine switching off arbitrarily
  3. Lagging or stuttering of the engine when you press on the accelerator.
  4. Malfunction indicator lamp alert- check engine light can stay on when there is an ECU problem.
  5. Difficulty in starting the engine.

Vehicle Axle

Without the axle, the power for motion wouldn’t be transmitted to the wheel of your car. Therefore it is necessary to duly check the axle before you pay for the car. Axles can break or sustain progressive damage as a result of pressure from too much load on the vehicle over time. Fixing the axle issue after buying the car will add to your expenses. It is better to spot the damage before deciding whether to buy or not.

The following are signs of a faulty axle

  • When wearing noise comes from the rear area of an axle for a back-wheel drive car. It’s a common sign of a faulty axle.
  • Difficulty in moving the car (whether forward or backward) may be an indication that the axle is not transferring adequate power to the wheels.
  • As the vehicle struggles to move, it may also make clunking sounds as a result of the axle’s inability to efficiently transmit pressure to the wheels.
  • You may notice constant vibration of the vehicle when driving or applying brakes.

Cable fire

A cable fire in a car is caused by a short circuit in the electrical system, which can destroy the entire vehicle leading to total damage.

Vehicles Damaged By Flood

Some vehicles damaged by the flood are repaired and put up for sale like every other vehicle. It is possible to fall victim to buying a car with a waterlog history if you aren’t careful.

The problem here is that the vehicle’s electronic or mechanical system doesn’t always return to its original state after repairs and may be vulnerable to more serious damage. So you have to ensure that the vehicle you are buying is not one that has been submerged in flood.

How to identify a flood-damaged car

  • Check out the car’s carpet for any sign of muddiness.
  • Try perceiving the vehicle’s interior. If it smells musty, it could be because of protracted exposure to flood water.
  • Excessive rust under the car and around odd areas like the door, hood, or dashboard is another sign you should watch out for.
  • Large interior discolorations shouldn’t be ignored. Big stains and dried water marks on the interior of the car may be caused by prolonged exposure to water.

Again the vehicle history document can easily help to set the records straight on the issue.

Exhaust system

The exhaust system is made up of several parts that work together to clean and expel waste (burnt fuel) from the engine.

Damaged fuel from the engine passed through the manifold to the catalytic converter where it is transformed into gas that is less harmful to the environment before emission. If any of these components get bad, the exhaust system is bound to malfunction. So it is important to look at the state of the exhaust as you test-drive.

Symptoms of a damaged exhaust

  • Emission of loud noise
  • Increased expulsion mission of fumes due to a faulty catalytic converter
  • Low engine performance can lead to a rough engine running and poor fuel economy.

Please Share Your Experience to support a better car importation process.

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