Tag Archives: cars

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 !

Why Your Car Fails To Start ?

Everyone who owns a car has experienced a no-start condition irrespective of the battery status. When your car denies your command, it can be quite depressing. Now you must be wondering why on the face of the Earth won’t your car start when you just got your batteries checked last week, and they were in top-notch condition.

Well, as a car owner you must know the science behind starting your car. Before you hear the sound of the turned-on engine, there are certain connections which have to be made in the ignition circuit. If any component of the ignition circuit goes malfunctioning, then you would face troubles starting your car engine and be late for work again.

Let’s see what could be the possible causes for your car to fail on you.

  • Faulty ignition switch:
why does your car fails to start car ignition
Why Your Car Fails To Start ? – If your ignition switch has gone malfunctioning, then this signal will fail to take place thus preventing your car from starting. Your car will not start even if your car battery works .

Imagine your ignition circuit with six components arranged linearly. The first component being the battery and the last one being the starter motor. Now the ignition switch forms the second component of this linear arrangement. It indicates the battery to start the engine. If your ignition switch has gone malfunctioning, then this signal will fail to take place thus preventing your car from starting.

  • Problem with the starter:

Still have the picture of the ignition circuit in your head? Ok, so the last component of the circuit was a starter motor. If your motor is flawed, you can expect a defective car. The starter basically takes the electric current from the battery to start the engine. Well if it can’t do that, it is no good to you. Consider replacing your starter or check if the connection isn’t too flimsy.

  • No supply of fuel:

Of course, everything requires energy to function. If your car isn’t getting its nutrients, then it is not going to run to its full potential. For the engine to start the fuel must be supplied smoothly into the ignition chamber. If you fail to do proper maintenance of your fuel pump filter, and other components which allow the fuel to be transmitted to the engine effortlessly then, your car might fail to start.

  • The spark is gone!
why does your car fails to start spark plug
Why Does Your Car Fails To Start ? -For your engine to start a spark has to be ignited via the spark plug.

Relationships are as good as dead when there is no spark. It’s the same with cars. For your engine to start a spark has to be ignited via the spark plug. If the spark plug has gone dysfunctional due to over-heating, dirt, or any other reason, then your car will not start.

  • Did you check the gas bar?
why does your car fails to start fuel low
Why Your Car Fails To Start ? – Check the fuel gauge and confirm that your car has fuel left in the tank.

 Well well, did you check if your car has any fuel at all before deciding to take your girlfriend on a date?

  • Is your anti-theft system on?

Sometimes when your anti-theft system is on you will be unable to turn the key after inserting it in the keyhole. You can try fidgeting the steering wheel and simultaneously turn the key.

  • Burnt Cable/wires:

Wires form an integral part of any electrical circuit. And for a circuit to come alive all the wires must be in working condition. Considering checking your ground wire, connecting cables, and other wires if your car doesn’t start.

So the next time your car fails to start even though your battery is in working condition , it could be because of the above-listed reasons.

Petrol Vs Diesel Cars in India 2016 – Which is better?

Petrol Vs Diesel Cars in India 2016 – Which is better?

Cars have become a common itinerary in the wish-list of the middle class population of today’s cities. But it is a common problem with the general mass on choosing between the petrol and diesel variants of a car. Getting opinions of the near and dear ones might seem confusing rather than enlightening, and so here is a guide to choosing your dream vehicle.

Before giving the titbits, there are certain considerations that have been taken into account.

  1. The inferences have been arrived at by considering the pocket of a normal middle class person in India, who plans to buy a car.
  2. The car models have been decided by the prevalence in Chennai city and its suburbs.
  3. The numeric values are based on the current trends in the Indian market (that is, considering May 2016)
Petrol Vs Diesel Cars in India 2016 – Which is best?
Petrol Vs Diesel Cars in India 2016 – Which is best?
Price of the car:

This would vary depending upon the buying capacity of the consumer. But for Chennai, or in general, India’s traffic, a 4-seater hatchback in the bracket of 5 to 7.5 lakhs would be the affordable choice for everyone. Moreover, the cost difference between the petrol and diesel variants which is about 60,000 to 1 lakh INR for the cars below 8 lakh levels tend to increase as we increase it beyond 10 lakhs. For ultra-modern, savvy cars that cost around 25 lakhs, the price difference is generally around 1.7 lakhs to 2.5 lakhs.

Diesel variants usually cost more than the petrol ones because of the former’s enhanced efficiency aspects.

Distance traveled per day:

The daily sojourn comes into consideration here along with a few other extra trips that one would make periodically in his/her car. The routine travails imply the distance covered by an office-goer from home, from the taxi depot to the designated stand in case of a taxi, etc. The other trips include weekend visits to picnic spots and unexpected emergency situations.

Cost of petrol vs diesel per litre :

Before the government deregularization came into existence, the price of diesel used to be as much as 16 to 20 rupees lesser than that of petrol in the subcontinent. But now, the margin has come down to a maximum of 13 to 15 bucks. This is one important aspect that needs to be considered along with the general price bracket of the car.

Mileage of the car:

The ideal mileage specified would have certain condition attached to them.The mileage specified cannot be achieved at any point during city drives, where intense traffic is the common scenario throughout the day. Mileage would also depend on the quantity of load that the car needs to carry other than the kerb weight (the weight of the car with no load) and the other external factors like optimum usage, smooth driving and efficient, serviced components. Increase your car mileage by following these 8 simple tips.

Petrol vs Diesel Cars In India Case study:

Since an aam aadmi would opt for the price range between 5 lakh and 7.5 lakh INR, let us assume 6 lakhs to be the cost of a car X. Considering Chennai city, a person would normally travel around 40 kilometres on an average (the to and from distance between Adyar and Tambaram, approximately) to his workplace and back.

(All the quantities detailed below are arrived after considering most of the cars in the price range, and they may not be exactly specific or accurate, as they do not point out to any particular brand or model)

Cost of petrol = INR 62 per litre

Cost of diesel = INR 53 per litre

Mileage of the petrol variant = 20 kmpl

Mileage of the diesel variant = 24 kmpl

This would mean that for a person travelling 40 kilometers daily, 2 liters of petrol or 1.7 liters of diesel are required.

Cost for petrol per day = 62 * 2 = INR 124

Cost of diesel per day = 53 * 1.7 = INR 90

This would mean that the daily savings by driving a diesel vehicle is around 35 bucks for the above mentioned case.

Now let us take into account that this person has to travel to his workplace for 25 days in a month, 35 * 25 = 875 bucks a month.

(Note that no extra travel is taken into account in this case)

If there are going to be some other travels as discussed at the beginning, let us take this as around 200 kilometers for a month. So if 35 bucks is the savings for 40 kilometers, it is 175 rupees for 200 kms.

So overall price saving due to diesel vehicle = 875 + 175 = INR 1,050 per month

For a year, this is 1,050 *12 = INR 12,600

Now consider the extra buck you have to pay when you are buying the diesel variant, say INR 80,000.

Payback period = 80000/12600 = 6.35 years

Petrol Vs Diesel Car Payback EMI in India
Petrol Vs Diesel Car Payback EMI

This would approximately mean 6 years and 4 months. If the car is purchased in loans or EMIs, the interest amounts need to be added up which would add a year more. So for a common man (who would buy the car only through installments or loans), it would around 7 ½ years to repay the initial costs, provided the above mentioned conditions are satisfied.

This would get reduced if the person travels around 60 to 70 kilometers per day in the diesel variant (the payback period would come down by almost two years). But there are other factors that are needed to be addressed in petrol and diesel cars .

The NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) is more in diesel vehicles than that of petrol generally. And hence the maintenance cost is high for the diesel car owners. So for long-term benefits (say 7 to 10 years), diesel vehicles can be deemed fit. But if you are looking at it in the point of view of around 3 to 5 years, petrol variant would sound a good choice.