Category Archives: Used

Used Car Purchase – Check Points


Cars have become part and parcel of day to day sustenance but buying one is not a takeaway for everyone. Not all are gifted to get a brand new eye-candy to boast off, and some may have to settle with second-hand products. But why should one feel bad about getting a used car if it looks good, runs well and satisfies the needs? Here are a few pointers to check on before deciding on purchasing a used car.

Preliminary considerations:

The type of car, the purse amount and the type of usage must be taken into account before deciding to go for a car.

  • The type of car would essentially mean the number of people most likely to travel in it
  • The type of usage would mean long or short drives and the type of terrain the car would be subjected to while being driven.

Once the model is fixed up in mind, second-hand purchases become quite easy because there would be a single-minded set of questions to be asked to various people regarding that model only. Always ask two or three authorised dealers before fixing on an estimate.

Open the bonnet:


used car purchase - open the bonnet
Used Car Purchase – Check Points : Open the car the bonnet and check for issues.

Cars appearing like this from behind might have problems in the front like this.

used car purchase - the vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car
Used Car Purchase – The vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car

So it is always better to have a compartmentalised view of the car before deciding to go for it.

Used Car Purchase – Always check the condition of the engine

The heart of the vehicle should be checked thoroughly, mostly with the help of a mechanic or a person with adequate hands-on experience with automobiles. The flywheels would get rusty after prolonged usage. Checking the engine also means investigating every small component associated with it right from the bearings to the valves.

The belt drives associated with the engines are also mandatory checkpoints. These belts are usually toothed and hence any deformation in the tooth would mean the car has been used too much. The degree of elasticity of the belt would also transform to the quality and quantity of usage. When the belt is slightly pulled and released, the vibratory oscillations should not be more than 1 to 1.5 centimetres.

Usage and distance:

This is one important perspective while buying a second-hand car. If a car is assumed to run for about 30 kilometres a day, it would mean 30 * 365 = 10,950, which can be translated to approximately 11,000 kilometres a year. So if a car (if it is not a taxi) has run more than 75,000 kilometres (which roughly equals 7 years of usage), there are high chances that that particular model has become obsolete. So think twice before buying these kinds of models, because used cars would require a lot of maintenance (at least initially) and hence the spares should be readily available.

Appearance and body:


used car purchase - appearence and body condition of the car india
Used Car Purchase – Make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

The car must be examined visually and also by touch. There are certain minor bumps and dents which might not be visible to the naked eye but on sliding the hands over the exterior of the car, one might be able to sense the minor glitches.

The paint and coating also matters; if the car looks old after a sneak peek into the bonnet but it has been painted, there might be recent accidents and paints would mean effective cover-ups. So make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

used car purchase - check points - tyre condition
Used Car Purchase – Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement.

Tyres, which literally set the wheels in motion, are potential sources of implied information. The distances shown in the odometer of the vehicle can be duped but the tyres would show up variations. Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement. Even if the odometer is being reset (in the case of a digital one) or tampered (in the case of a mechanical type), the tyres can act as good measures of guesstimating the approximate run.

For detailed information, the owner’s service log may be examined to check the history of services. This would give a clear-cut picture of how many services the car has undergone, which would eventually decide if one can buy it or not.

Driving condition:

This is where the steering and ABC (acceleration, brake and clutch) of the vehicles come into play significantly. The gears should be shifted by keeping the clutch partially pressed (this condition is called as half-clutch position); this would indicate the smoothness of the transmission system. While shifting, if the gear lever becomes rigid, or if it is harder for shifting, then it means the transmission needs to be looked into.

Also, the vehicle shouldn’t give a rugged feel while driving. Unnecessary wobbles and a roaring noise (typically like that of a note sustained in a bass guitar) at speed ranges of 50 to 70 kilometres per hour would imply the car might cause several problems like engine failure in the near future.

The differentials of the car can be put to test by performing slight turns. If the opposite pairs of tyres (right in the case of a left turn, and left for a right turn) tend to be a bit draggy during the turn, the car might very well be towards its finals stages.

Power steerings are not susceptible to failure very easily; they usually give warning signs before they fail permanently. The initial warning signals would be a freakish screech heard every time the steering is turned to beyond 50 to 60 degrees. This is a minor stage which can be overcome by replacing the steering fluid.

Another way to know the steering effectiveness is to serve it using a single hand. If there is a difficulty in taking a 60-degree turn within 10 meters at 20 km/hr, it is a warning sign that the steering might give in.

Legal documents:

Once the deal is settled, make sure to get all the required papers like RC book, insurance documents and other ownership transfer details from the owner so as to avoid any legal disputes and issues.

Cost and quality are two factors separated by a thin line, especially in the case of used car purchase. Be informed, look close and don’t fall for word magic. Think for a second to buy a second-hand car. Vrooom !

Can you buy used tyres for your car or bike?

Can you buy used tyres for your car or bike?

For any vehicle owner, one of the most frequently occurring problems is the one that are related to the tyres of the automobiles. Be it two wheelers or their big brothers, this tyre wear and the eventual replacement becomes a periodic issue to be addressed. Since this happens at prescribed intervals (until and unless the vehicle meets with a calamitous accident), the rhetorical question of whether to buy a used tyre or a new one comes into existence every time there is a slight non-repairable loss to the bottom-most foundation of the vehicle. Here is a guide that would help you decide better.

Some of the most important factors that come into play while choosing the vital decision are the distance travelled, the tread depth, the tyre dimensions, the price range, and finally, the brand.

Can you buy used tyres for your car and bike
Can you buy used tyres for your car and bike
The distance:

The common running distance for a car tyre is anywhere between 60,000 kilometers and 1,60,000 kilometers. The maximum limit is a bit far-fetched and is feasible only under ideal conditions of temperatures at around 30 degree Celsius and the road terrains being very flat and uniform with less curves and potholes.

While choosing a used tyre for a car, it is always a good practice to go for those that have run a distance close to the lower limit (that is, 60,000 to 75,000 kilometers, or roughly between 40,000 and 45,000 miles). However, this is a difficult criteria to find out because the number of punctures fixed and mended cannot be ascertained straightaway by looking at a used tyre.

Coming to bikes, the distance range is from 12,000 to 20,000 kilometers. So the safety limit of buying would be between the lower limit and upwards until 15,000 kilometers (No tyre owner can be expected to sell it before at least the minimum prescribed distance has already been covered)

In some of the recent tyre models, the year of make is inscribed at the side of surface. This might be a great indicator to estimate the distance traveled, keeping in mind the average distance the tyre would have covered every day. Common day-to-day travels can be estimated to be around 30 to 40 kilometers for ease of calculation.

Though all these are great guesstimates, they are based on mathematical gambles which may or may not work out. So the other factors must be duly taken into account, too.

The price bracket:

First of all, it is common knowledge that the used tyres come at a very lower price relatively in comparison with the new ones, especially for the four wheelers. The general advice would be to go for the used tyre purchase if the deal can sealed at the price that is one-third of the actual price of the new one. Even this 1/3rd ratio is feasible only for tyres that are close to their lower limit distance of travel.

For tyres which are found to have run more than 50 kilometers a day, it is not advisable to go for the old ones, especially if the tyres have covered greater part of their lifetime within the local driving limits; this is because while driving within the localized region (for example, amidst city traffic or a congested region), the tyres might have to take a lot of turns, and they would also be forced to excessive fatigue due to comparatively more braking, which produces a lot of heat due to the frictional contact between the road and tyre.

So considering the cost being spent, it is okay to go for a used tyre for about 30% of its original cost, if its driven distance is near the lower limit. Else, it would be sane to opt for a new tyre.

The tread depth:

If the tread depth is increased by 2 mm from its usual level, the used tyre is not deemed fit to be used in another vehicle for use as such. The one rupee coin test is always an easy and simple method to find out the wear and tear of the tyre.

Can You Buy Used Tyres ? Used Tyre buying guide
Can You Buy Used Tyres ? – Used Tyre buying guide

Even if the tread depth is within the range, any deviation from its usual pattern (the pattern is based on whether the tyre has symmetrical or asymmetrical tread) makes the tyre still unfit for reuse. Retreading is an option that can be considered here but this technique would be possible again only if the tyre fulfils the distance and cost criteria as mentioned in the earlier sections.

Tyre dimensions:

There are unaware mistakes that tend to happen because of the slight negligence of the buyers of used tyre who fail to take note of the minute difference in the outer dimensions of the tyre. This might lead to either oversizing or downsizing. Both of them have their own pros and cons associated with it. Go for them only if you know about Oversized and undersized tyres

To sum up, the purchase of tyres depends upon the longevity expected from the purchaser and the type of vehicle that is under consideration. It is also dependent on the type of usage and the turfs in which the vehicle would be driven.

Tip: If only one of the tyres need to be replaced, try to fit the used tyre in the rear wheel in case of a two-wheeler. If the front tyre gets damaged and is in the hour of change, use the undamaged rear tyre for the front and fit the used one in the rear axle.

For four wheelers, since the Indian regulations instruct the drivers to “Keep Left”, it would be safe to go for the used tyre to be fit in the right rear side as the first choice. This is because during the turns (both left and right), there will always be more pressures relatively on the left pairs of the tyres. So the right side that has less pressure exertion is a good choice. It is also necessary to note that the rear pairs have comparatively lower pressure ranges. So the right rear is the first and best choice for replacement.