Auto Repair Shops Reveal the Biggest Used Car Red Flags

Auto Repair Shops Reveal the Biggest Used Car Red Flags

With COVID-19 hitting the economy so hard, some Asheville drivers are a bit hesitant to buy a brand-new car. Opting to purchase a used vehicle can save you thousands of dollars. However, you need to avoid buying a lemon. When shopping for a secondhand vehicle, auto repair shops warn you to watch out for these five red flags.

Discolored Motor Oil

Before even taking a test drive, auto repair shops advise used car shoppers to pull the oil dipstick. The color of the motor oil can reveal a lot about the vehicle. While it’s perfectly normal for motor oil to have a dark brown color, a black appearance indicates big trouble. The owner clearly didn’t make routine maintenance a big priority.

Milky motor oil is even more alarming. This is a result of antifreeze from the cooling system mixing with the oil. There’s a good chance that a blown gasket is the culprit.

Smoke

Far too many people fail to notice smoke coming from a used car’s tailpipe. You can prevent a major headache by having an auto repair shop inspect the vehicle beforehand. Bluish smoke is especially common, which stems from oil leaking into the exhaust manifold. On the other hand, black smoke is caused by a fuel problem.

White smoke is the worst of all. It’s only a matter of time before the vehicle needs to be towed. A damaged cylinder head could be the culprit, thus requiring a complete engine rebuild.

Worn Timing Belt

Some used vehicles are designed with a rubber timing belt. This belt’s job is to keep the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft turning at the same time. If the timing belt suddenly breaks, catastrophic engine damage may occur.

The bad news is that many car shoppers have no knowledge of a vehicle’s timing belt. This is yet another reason why a pre-purchase inspection is so critical. An auto repair shop can give you a rough estimate of the timing belt’s life expectancy.

Bad Wheel Alignment

Never buy a used car that has a bad wheel alignment. Aside from causing premature tire wear, a bad wheel alignment could indicate a previous accident. A bent frame can be extremely difficult to straighten. Because the damage is underneath the vehicle, it’s easy to go unnoticed.

If the vehicle tends to veer to one side, this is a surefire sign of a bad wheel alignment. An uneven steering wheel also points to an obvious problem.

Engine Runs Rough

Ideally, an engine should run smoothly with no hiccups. When test driving a pre-owned vehicle, take note of rough idling. It’ll definitely need to be examined by an auto repair shop.

Rough idling is often caused by old spark plugs. As the electrodes start to wear down, the spark plugs can no longer fire properly. A vacuum leak can also cause the engine to run rough. Although the parts to fix a vacuum leak usually aren’t expensive, tracking down the leak can be difficult for the average backyard mechanic.

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020

This is a great time to be a car enthusiast. Several exciting new vehicles of 2020 have emerged. Here’s a look at the five coolest vehicles of the year.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette

For good reason, the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette has triggered a great deal of excitement. Chevy has taken this American sports car’s performance capabilities to the next level. Its redesigned LT1 V8 engine cranks out a thrilling 495 horsepower. Even the entry-level trim is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in a blistering 3.1 seconds. Because the new Corvette’s engine is now positioned behind the passenger area, it has a near-perfect weight balance. Handling is better than ever.

Many people are drawn to the new Corvette’s drop-dead gorgeous styling. It has an exotic look that instantly turns heads. Meanwhile, a more luxurious interior makes the Corvette an even better car for long-distance traveling. For these reasons the latest Chevy Corvette is #1 on our top five new vehicles of 2020.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

#2 on our top five new vehicles of 2020, without a doubt the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. This is the most powerful Mustang to ever come from the factory! The all-new 2020 Shelby GT500 comes ready to hit the track.

Under the hood sits a supercharged V8 engine, which cranks out a jaw-dropping 760 horsepower! Although you can’t get the Mustang Shelby GT500 with a manual transmission, its seven-speed automatic is remarkably quick and precise. When accelerating from a stop, you can hit 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds.

While the new Mustang Shelby GT500 is a beastly performance machine, it’s still comfortable enough to drive on a daily basis. Plenty of premium amenities are available, including heated and cooled seats.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator is the ultimate pickup truck for serious adventure-seekers, earning this Jeep seat #3 on our top five new vehicles of 2020. Although the all-new Gladiator is based on the popular Jeep Wrangler SUV, a versatile bed and higher towing capacity help set it apart. Motivating the Gladiator is a Pentastar V6 engine with 285 horsepower. Every trim also comes standard with a capable 4WD system and rugged skid plates.

Asheville drivers will love the Gladiator’s removable roof. Life in the summer will be especially fun. A spacious backseat and active safety technologies also make this trail-ready pickup truck a more than worthy family vehicle. Of course, everyone on the street will notice the Gladiator’s iconic Jeep styling.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Folks in the market for a new midsize sedan should take a serious look at the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata, sitting at #4 of our top five new vehicles of 2020. Its sleek exterior styling makes a bold statement. A gaping front grille and cool LED headlights help this car to truly stand out.

Hyundai also engineered the Sonata to offer a more pleasing driving experience. A wider stance and sportier suspension tuning enable the sedan to take curves like never before. Drivers also enjoy the responsiveness of the new turbocharged engine, which kicks out competitive 180 horsepower. There’s a lot of new technology available for the Sonata. While a Blind-Spot View Monitor makes lane changes safer, Remote Smart Parking Assist enables the Sonata to park itself without you even being behind the wheel.

2020 Nissan Sentra

Many automotive reviewers are touting the 2020 Nissan Sentra as the best compact sedan on the market. And we agree! That’s why this stylish & efficient sedan slid straight into seat #5 on our top five new vehicles of 2020 list. Its upscale appearance will win over a lot of people. Many of the Sentra’s styling cues were taken directly from the latest Nissan Altima. Larger 18-inch alloy wheels and a contrasting black roof give the SR trim an extra wow factor.

Although the Sentra isn’t a sports car, it does benefit from much-improved handling. Furthermore, every trim now comes standard with an advanced safety package.

Top Five New Vehicles of 2020
Photo Courtesy of Nissan USA
Cox Auto Service