What to Look for Beneath the Hood of a Used Car Under Consideration

by | Sep 23, 2019 | Autos


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Women often prefer a mechanic go with them to choose a used car. Most dealerships will give prospective buyers a chance to have their mechanic go over the car. Mechanics work, though, so it might be wise to know what to look for beneath the hood of preowned vehicles in Schaumburg, IL. Look for these things.


The first thing is to take out the oil dipstick. If there’s no oil on the dipstick, ask the dealership to put oil in the car before purchasing it. If there is, it should be either deep brown or golden. Deep brown means the oil is used. Golden means it’s been changed. The transmission fluid should be tested with the engine warm and running. It should be red. Steering and brake fluids should come up to the level markers on the holding cups.

Most dealerships that sell preowned vehicles in Schaumburg, IL, will clean a car up before putting it on the lot for consideration. It’s okay for a little dirt or dust to be on the engine or other parts. However, there should be no oil on the engine parts or the pavement beneath the vehicle. These bespeak a problem for which the prospective buyer might not be equipped to pay.

Belts and Hoses

Belts should be sturdy and tight. Hoses should not be frayed or loose. They should be supple instead of hard as a rock. There should be a head gasket between the block and the cylinder heads. If there is oil or muck on or coming from the gasket, then it’s blown. Ask the dealership to replace it before purchasing the car.

Radiator and Battery

There should be no corrosion on the battery terminals. If there are water chambers on the battery, make sure they’re full. Have the battery tested for charge.

The radiator should be full of a green-yellow or orange tint. Have the radiator tested for leaks.

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