Seven ways to avoid buying a car scrap

The magazine Consumer Reports publishes every year its annual survey of the best and worst of the new car industry to guide consumers towards a smart purchase and as part of the study also makes recommendations on used cars.

Five tips to save gas

After testing thousands of new and used cars, Consumer Reports experts produce guides that can guide a consumer to models that have a reliable history.

However, any vehicle can become a headache and eventually scrap a car if you have not been well cared for or has been the victim of constant accidents or flood damage.

To make a smart purchase, Consumer Reports recommends follow this guide to protect themselves and not buy other problems.

Collision Repair signals

Signals can be uneven body panels, a door, hood or trunk lid that does not close properly, excessive spray paint chrome, upholstered in rubber or fenders of the vehicle.

It should also detect the presence of body putty with a small magnet. If this is not well stuck to a metal panel, the car may have putty under the paint, which may indicate that it has repaired a dent.

We must take into account that many modern cars have plastic panels and / or alumino therefore, proof of the presence of excessive putty repair must be done manually and visual.

Beware of flood damage

Perhaps it is difficult to detect, but water can soak in the auto and cause continuing problems. Signs may include odor of mold or mildew, discolored carpeting or intermittent electrical problems.

Check the fluids

The stains in the engine compartment or under the vehicle after passing a parked time can be an indication of oil or liquid filtration.

Check the level and condition of engine oil and transmission fluid. The granular or gelatinous indicates that oil has not been changed regularly. The watery and sparkling color of chocolate milk oil burned can mean butt joints or severe damage to the engine block or cylinder head.

If metal particles in the oil are detected, this reflects large internal damage or wear on moving engine parts.

The transmission fluid should be bright red to a light reddish brown, but not dark brown, black or mustard, those colors or a strong smell of burning can indicate serious problems.

Smoke signals

If the exhaust pipe emits blue smoke after the car is heated, it is possible that the engine is burning oil, which is a clear sign that something is wrong with the engine.

Clouds of white smoke indicates that there is water in the combustion chamber, usually caused by burnt head gaskets, cylinder heads damaged cylinder or even a cracked engine block, which can lead to expensive repairs.

Depress the accelerator

If doing the driving test engine speed increases excessively after the car accelerates, it is a typical sign of an improperly adjusted or worn clutch automatic transmission or damaged.

We must also be aware of the knocking or pinging while accelerating as it may reflect an overheated engine.

Vehicle history

A vehicle history report from CarFax ( or ExperianAutomotive ( can alert you to possible fraud in mileage, disclose prior damage by fire, flood or accident, or indicate if they ever it has issued a certificate to repair or salvage vehicle.

However, these services do not collect all the necessary information, so a report stating that there are no problems does not guarantee that the car is free of them.

Mechanical inspection

Find a qualified electrician to make the car a thorough inspection and check whether there is any withdrawal related to the car and check the mechanical work was done.

With these recommendations, the chances of buying a used car full of problems are minimized, but we must always take into account that cars can always have more problems than new cars.

The safest cars 2012