Buying A Used Vehicle: The Bride Behind The Veil
Owning a car in this era is no more a luxury but a necessity. Considering the current transportation needs and setting of our urban cities, families mostly live outskirts of the central business centres hence the need for a mode of transport. The unreliable nature of our public transport system backs up the argument of an individual or families getting their own car.
Also, due to economic issues about 5 – 10% of the country’s populace can afford a new car from an auto dealership or buy it here in Ghana (from KANTANKA AUTOMOBILE) or import it from an auto dealer abroad. Therefore, they tend to buy a used vehicle from abroad or here in Ghana.
Unfortunately, most indigenes have little or no idea about how a vehicle works and even don’t know that cars use engine oil. They buy these cars without doing thorough checks and end up with extra cost due to repairs and regret later.
So, what is it with this bride behind the veil that most people regret after the “marriage”. One of if not the most important part of a car is the engine.An engine is the heart of a vehicle and likewise, a person with a weak or bad heart will have a short lifespan. In buying a used car, check the condition of the engine. If not mechanically savvy, seek the help of a trusted auto technician. Do a physical inspection of it and demand for a test drive from the seller. During test drives, pay detailed attention to the sound of the engine, the smell and emissions from the exhaust tube or pipe. The level of emissions will give you a fair idea about the state of the engine.
Next stop; know the year in which the car was manufactured. This will give you a fair idea of the kind of technology used in manufacturing the vehicle. It will help you know the availability of its spare parts and other accessories on the Ghanaian market. In December 2016, land rover stopped the production of one of their trusted models, the land rover defender. In this case, within 5 years, production of spare parts will be limited to just schedule maintenance parts because most of these vehicles will be out of warranty and some also will be out the European territory.
It is very important to also check for the mileage the vehicle. This is the distance the vehicle has travelled during its lifespan. This is a bit different from the year the vehicle was manufactured. You can get a car manufactured 5 years ago but have run only 50km and vice versa. The longer the car has run, the more wear and tear in the engine even if it is well maintained.
One should also be on the lookout for accident and flood vehicles. For flood vehicles, check out for rust under the seats of the car and bolts and nuts fastening various parts together. For accident vehicles, the airbag light will display on the dashboard with other symbols. Also, you will see the inside of the fenders been welded when well inspected. These kinds of vehicles will give you problem after problem which will result in changing an entire engine and transmission.
Another thing that people fail to check is the type of fuel and lubricants the vehicle uses and its availability on the Ghanaian market. In Europe and America, the sulphur content of the fuel has been regularized to a maximum of 50 ppm ( parts per million) but in our West African sub-region, its 3000ppm which results in the deteriorating of the vehicle’s engine and produce higher exhaust emissions. Also know whether the car is petrol, diesel, gas or hybrid powered vehicle. You should also check out for lubricants such as power steering, brake fluids, transmission fluids, engines oils and others. All these lubricants have specifications especially for the vehicle and using any other will have an effect on the drivability and efficiency of the vehicle. So, you need to check for their availability before you go in for them.
The safety features of the vehicle should be well examined. These features include the braking system, horns, lightening system, seat belts and airbag. With these features not working properly, it puts your life in danger as a driver and pedestrians as well. There should be no compromise and nothing should be taken for granted.
Last but not the least, the technical expertise to work on your vehicle when you have a problem. Getting the right technicians who have the up to date knowledge on your vehicle and with the correct setup, tools and equipment to work on the vehicle and whether there is an auto dealership in the jurisdiction to assist you when you have technical difficulties. I always feel sadden when people spend money and buy a car then send it to the wayside mechanics who have little or no idea about the current technology and don’t have the diagnosis equipment to work on it. They rather end up generating more problems than they initially came to meet. They end up frustrating the car owner the more.
So, spending that chunk of money to purchase a vehicle in this current economic condition is like pulling a hair from your nostril and shouldn’t end up in regret. Do your thorough check before you commit to the bride behind the veil.