When you own a vehicle, regular service and preventative maintenance is essential to keeping repair costs low and driving safe. Similarly, when you purchase a car, you need to know that you’re buying a vehicle that’s in a healthy state.
Looking at buying a used car in Albuquerque, NM?
Be sure that you trust the car’s current condition with a thorough health and safety check. You’ll save money on hefty repairs if you can spot (and avoid) problems in advance.
What Is a Vehicle Health Check?
A VHC, or vehicle health check, is a process that determines which parts of your vehicle are safe and which need attention. It’s a great way to keep up with your car’s maintenance and learn right away when something starts to go south, allowing for speedy repairs.
Once you’ve had a VHC conducted, you’ll receive a report that places your vehicle in one of three categories: red, amber, or green. Similar to a traffic light, these colors indicate the risk of driving your vehicle.
Red reports reveal that your car needs immediate attention that it might even be unsafe to drive. Amber means that you’ve got some work to do, and a green report means you’re good to go.
What Does a VHC Include?
These non-mandatory checks go through a long list of important factors to examine, including:
The vehicle’s coolant level should be above the “minimum” or “fill” line in the container when the engine is cold. Occasionally, you’ll need to drain the system to remove the dirt and dust particles that can clog your cooling system. This is especially troublesome during the summer and winter months.
It’s illegal to drive a car without properly functioning lights. Don’t let a cop be the first one to inform you that a headlight or taillight is out! Instead, conduct a check on all of your lights to confirm that the reverse lights, fog lights, hazard lights, and everything else is functioning correctly.
Does the vehicle’s ride feel a little rougher than it should? There might be an issue with the suspension, which wears out over time. Check the car to make sure that there are no squeaks or issues with the suspension and that it absorbs the bumps like it’s supposed to.
A vehicle’s steering system allows drivers to properly guide the vehicle. If there are issues or looseness in the joints, driving can become dangerous. It may require some professional adjustment to fix.
Your exhaust system funnels away gases that are used in the combustion process via pipes. However, the exhaust system can become covered in rust or require tightening over time. You should also check the car’s support and catalytic converter for signs of aging.
You don’t want to buy an older car only to find out you’ll need to change the oil a week later. Check the oil with a dipstick to assess the level and see how soon a switch will be required.
Ever heard of the penny tire test? It’s a simple way to determine if tires are too worn. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you’re in trouble. Replacing tires is no cheap ordeal, so consider this when looking at a used car’s tire tread.
Can you confirm that the tire’s brake pads aren’t worn and they’ll work correctly on the streets? A professional will need to help you ascertain the wear and tear on the brakes to determine if they’re safe.
Can I Do a Check Myself?
When browsing pre-owned cars in Albuquerque, you might be tempted to perform a VHC on available cars without the help of professionals. This is fine if you have fairly extensive knowledge of cars and can do the checks appropriately.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who doesn’t know much about cars, you can save yourself countless headaches by hiring a professional to help you conduct a legitimate inspection. They’ll notice things about the body, glass, frame, and insides of the car that you can’t.
When it comes to assessing Albuquerque pre-owned vehicles, never be embarrassed to seek out a professional to thoroughly examine it. When dealing with older vehicles, it’s always smart to learn as much as you can about the car’s condition.
Work with an inspector who knows cars inside and out so that you can feel confident in the vehicle you purchase.
Always, always conduct as many vehicle checks as you can before purchasing. It doesn’t hurt anyone, but it can save you from buying a vehicle that will cause you pain.
Need help finding a used car in Albuquerque, NM that you can trust? Turn to NM Auto Press. We’ll narrow down your search and provide you with options that fit your budget and needs.