Red Flags to Watch Out for When Buying a Salvage Car from Auto Wreckers

Posted on: 13 April 2015

Many car restoration enthusiasts love buying cars from auto wreckers then restoring them to running condition. However, many end up taking on a task that is too complex for them since the car had problems they could not detect as they bought the car. Such people end up spending excessively and some regret the decision they took to buy that particular car. This article discusses some red flags you should look out for when buying a salvage car.

Rusty or Milky Coolant

Engine coolant should be orange or green in color. If you notice that the car you want from an auto wrecker has coolant that looks milky or rusty, take that as a sign that the radiator has a problem. The most likely cause of that abnormal color is pinpoint leaks so you will need to budget for radiator repairs.

A Musty Smell

Open the car door and sniff inside it. If you sense a musty or moldy odor, take that as an indicator that the car may have sustained water damage or water is leaking somewhere (such as from the water used to clean the windshield). As you negotiate the final price for such a car, know that you will have some water damage to put right so be as conservative as possible when valuing the car. For instance, if the asking price is $2000, offer to pay no more than $1200 so that the cost of repairs does not inflate the final cost of the car beyond what you had planned to spend.

A Car That Isn't Level on the Ground

Take a close look at the car when you are standing a few meters from it. If you see that it is not level, chances are high that it has suspension problems that you will have to fix. Try lifting the car close to the top of each wheel. If it rebounds with a clanking sound, it may have problems with the suspension joints or wheel bearings. You may need to hire a mechanic to estimate how much damage the suspension has so that you can decide if the cost of restoring that car will be within your budget.

Use the red flags above as a starting point to determine what the fair price for a salvage car from car wreckers is. It is better for you to take on a salvage job when you know all the details instead of jumping in blindly and you end up spending a fortune that you had not planned to spend.

For more information, check out companies such as Q.A.H. Auto Spares.