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How To Deal With Clogged Radiator Symptoms Of Your Car

Clogged Radiator

Have you ever experienced a kind of overheating effect in your car? This could be a symptom of the blocked radiator, which could lead to other hoards of troubles too. Let us see some of the symptoms of a blocked radiator here and also learn the simplest method to get rid of this trouble.

What Causes A Clogged Radiator?

Clogged RadiatorA Clogged Radiator is generally caused due to the old radiator fluid or a cooling system which hasn’t been serviced and flushed regularly. The fluid which sits for comparatively longer periods without the engine in use, or the one that has never been changed invites sediments and rust that blocks the radiator pipes and fins.

Symptoms Of Blocked Radiator:

When your radiator gets clogged, you could experience the following symptoms in your vehicle:

  • Overheating Effects : A clogged radiator would always lead to engine overheating. The water pump present is hardly able to circulate proper coolant inside the engine block and back to the radiator, because of blocked radiator tubes. Also, the heat cannot be effectively removed from the hot radiator fluid since it can’t flow through the clogged radiator tubes where the radiating of engine heat to the outside air takes place.
  • Poor Internal Heating : A clogged cooling system and heater core could lead to lack of heat inside the vehicle due to the inability of the hot engine coolant to pass through the heater core.
  • Leakages : The cooling fins of the radiator can develop corrosion due to contaminated radiator fluid, which leads to visible leaks of the coolant. These leakages get worse with time and are enough to damage the radiator permanently.
  • Water Pump Malfunction : Clogged radiator indicates that the engine coolant is old, contaminated and its lubrication and anti-corrosive properties are gone. The result can be damages to the water pump of the engine, which leads to improper circulation of engine coolant.
  • Leaking or damaged head gasket : A clogged radiator can result in engine overheating which in turn can cause serious engine damage such as a leaking or blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head which is a serious and expensive engine repair. The result will be excessive white smoke coming from the exhaust, excessive use of coolant, rapid engine overheating and rough running of engine.

How to Confirm Radiator Leakages?

In order confirm radiator leaks, look for any signs of steam produced when the engine is hot. A “sweet” musty odor you can smell is also an indication that radiator fluid is leaking. A leaking radiator may produce coolant “steams” from the core or a radiator tank-seam and you may also see visible drops or stains or your garage floor or driveway.

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What Are The Consequences Of Incapable Radiator?

A radiator that is not properly working may suffer a drastic decrease in its cooling abilities. And as this happens, the other components of the cooling system too could start deteriorating, which will have a severe impact on the engine’s performance and reliability.

Is a Clogged Radiator The Only Cause To Vehicle’s Overheating?

Clogged RadiatorNot always. Vehicular overheating could also be caused when the radiator fan doesn’t operate or the coolant level is low. The radiator cooling fan is extremely important especially in hot weather and stop-and-go driving since it is needed to draw air through the radiator to remove heat from it when the can is stopped or moving slowly. Electric fans can fail especially when it is on more often such as when the air/conditioning system is on. Without the fan, it is impossible to remove almost half of the waste heat of the engine. Radiator caps also need to work correctly with no leaks. The cap keeps the system under pressure and increases the boiling point of the coolant. A defective cap will cause overheating.

What Is The Cost Of Repairing The Radiator?

When replacing the radiator hose, it could cost you around $35 to $65 and this is a comparatively easy job. For a complete replacement of radiator, be ready to spend around $300 or more, and this also depends upon the kind of vehicle you possess.

Why a Pre-purchase Inspection is Significant?

Handling A Clogged Radiator:

A clogged or blocked radiator of your car could be redressed in a few easy steps which are as follows:

  • While the engine of your car is cool enough, park it on a level platform. Take a bucket and place it under radiator drain petcock . Drain the radiator completely.
  • Get a bottle of some heavy duty radiator flush (such Gunk C2124). Removethe radiator fill cap and pour the radiator-flush into the radiator. Then fill the remainder using fresh water. Replace the cap back.
  • Switch on your vehicle and allow it to run for about 15 minutes so that the radiator-flush moves completely through the cooling system. You may need to run the engine longer depending on the severity of the contaminants and accumulation in the cooling system. Switch the engine off and allow it to cool before proceeding towards the next step.
  • Remove the radiator fill cap and open the drain petcock. Allow the radiator fluid pass into the bucket that is already present.
  • Get a water hose and put it inside the radiator fill cap to allow water inside vehicle’s cooling system. Wait until the escaping water is clear and smoothly draining. Through this, you could ensure that your radiator clog has been cleared.
  • Shut off the water and allow it to drain completely. Then fill the system with the appropriate antifreeze/ coolant and add water until the system is full.
  • When done, make sure the radiator is full and the overflow tank is at least half-full, then replace the radiator cap. Then start the engine and check for leaks. DO NOT attempt to drive the vehicle yet. It is EXTREMELY important that you ensure that all air is removed from the system before driving the car or the engine may overheat. To do this, let the engine idle for 15 to 30 minutes (do not drive). During this time, the coolant level in the radiator will drop significantly when a valve in the cooling system (thermostat) finally opens as the coolant and air circulates and air is bled from the system.These air pockets will flow into the radiator after the thermostat opens when the engine reaches a certain temperature, usually about 180°so it’s important that the air pockets are replaced with liquid coolant. You can check  that the thermostat has opened by feeling the upper radiator hose with the engine running (it will feel hot if the thermostat has opened). The next step can be a little tricky since it will require re-removal of the hot radiator cap so the coolant level can be topped off.  You will need a rag to grab the cap, or you can wait until the engine re-cools (recommended). Be careful because the coolant will be VERY HOT, so make sure you stand out of the way in case the cap comes off. Then re-fill the system until it is full(may require 1 or 2 quarts or more coolant), and replace the cap.

radiator leaksFollow these steps whenever you experience symptoms of the clogged radiator. Clogged radiator may cause overheating of the engine and also make the engine noisy. Prevent the damage soon, before it damages the engine completely.

If you are purchasing a used vehicle and suspect its radiator to be clogged, you could contact ‘Car Inspectors’ to get the vehicle checked completely and also get legible and comprehensive reports for the same.

Also, if you need to get on-site car repair services, contact ‘Car Inspectors’ to get both minor and major repairs completed in a cost-effective manner.


The Top Myths And Mistakes In Buying A Used Car

Some consider it good, while others may not find it a worthy option- the idea of buying used cars has different opinions altogether. Here is a list of the most common myths and mistakes that people might come across when they look to buy used vehicles:

Used Car Lemon Law Not Applicable In States:

There are a number of states that do not have any used car lemon laws, but this is only applicable for the new cars or vehicles still under warranty. And no matter what the seller’s offer as information about the conditions of the vehicle, it’s the liability of the buyer to check all the conditions themselves.

In such a case, you could opt to obtain a lemon car inspection service by some expert car inspectors to be sure of your act.

Automatic Warranty :

Do not expect to get an automatic warranty when you get the used car from a dealer. Some dealers may offer a limited-period warranty, but in this too you need to check the components and systems that are covered.

Most of the warranties do not cover mechanical or electrical systems of the vehicle.

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Odometer Frauds :

As per an estimate, almost 25% of the used vehicles suffer odometer discrepancies. This indicates that the vehicles have had their odometers tampered with to display altered miles and deceive the buyer on their purchase.

The common people may not get to know this, but when you consult car inspectors for the overall inspection of the vehicle, they would help in indicating such a fraud.

Certified Vehicles :

In reality, you cannot determine a standard for quality or inspection, when the vehicles are titled ‘certified’ of ‘certified pre-owned (CPO)’.

Certified vehicles vary a great deal from dealer to dealer. In order to mitigate a particular ‘certification’ or know better about it, you would always need to contact the expert car inspection services for assistance.

Vehicle History Reports :

Even though a particular vehicle has a clean history report, the reports do not signify any existent mechanical or electrical problems in the vehicle, the quality of repairs offered previously and any accidental damages that it suffered and weren’t reported to the DMV.

All this could be determined only when you consult the experienced servicemen known as car inspectors. Any form of repairs, abuse or accidental damages could be caught and this determines the real value of a car.

What is Lemon Law for Used Cars in California

Websites That Offer Used Car Values :

Though you might consider the websites which offer the value of a car based on its make, model, year, mechanical damages and distance covered etc, these are not always available for every year, make and model of vehicle.

And as all these myths and mistakes are highly prevalent, it’s better to consult the experts before buying a used car. Call the best car inspectors of your region and avoid committing any such mistake which proves to be a costly affair in the future.


Can I Get My Modified Car Inspected By Car Inspectors?

Being stylish has got no limits. Just a bit more investment and you could appear a lot different than the rest of the world around you. Isn’t it such a cool idea ?

And when people look to get stylish, it all reflects from their very appearances. From clothes to accessories and lots of other things. And a similar trend is to get a modified vehicle, which appears a lot different than the other normal ones and has distinct performances too.

The Real-World Truth:

The real problem occurs when these car-owners wish to sell their vehicles. For instance, if they reside in Los Angeles, the used car inspection services of the region might readily be contacted and most of the professional car inspection services would never hesitate to assist you in this.

However, as per the car inspectors, the modifications which the people get for their vehicles are not normally met with respect by the other people. Why? People are generally of the notion that modifying vehicles (internally or externally) would decrease its overall reliability and performance.

And considering this, the resale value of a modified vehicle would be a lot less than the investment needed to get the sleek, restored condition it once had.

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The Common Aftermarket Modifications:

In order to obtain trendy appearance and “higher” performance, the car-owners may get different kinds of modifications such as:

  • Tinted Windows
  • Special Lights (inside and outside) and running lights
  • Underbody spoilers
  • Unusual paints on the outer surface
  • Extra engine upgrades, including internal engine modifications, custom intake and exhaust systems and power add-ons ranging from turbo-charging to nitrous oxide cylinders.

If you consult the car inspectors of Los Angeles or any other region for inspection of any such vehicles, expect them to ask the seller about each and every bit of detail about the modification.

And as an outcome, look forward to know that most of the people of the region are never interested in buying such modified vehicles for their daily needs.

Exceptions aside, if you find an interested customer, anticipate getting a much less value for the same, no matter how many bucks you burned for that so-called-spectacular appearance.

Besides this, the car inspectors are more interested to find appropriate documents and titles for the vehicle. If you keep all the documents, including the details of the modifications properly maintained, you could expect to receive positive reviews from the vehicle inspectors.

The Bottom Line:

Yes, you could always summon the most qualified car inspectors and get inspection services for your modified vehicles too.

However, you need to remember that modifying your vehicle makes it an extraordinary one which will require special attention and service and is not generally considered appropriate by most regular people for their daily traveling needs.

What is Lemon Law for Used Cars in California


5 Things That Decrease Your Car’s Resale Value

No matter what may be the type of used car you wish to purchase, consulting car inspection services in Los Angeles or any other region is a necessary requirement. Why? Because more than anything else, it will provide you the information that can tell whether or not you have a reliable vehicle that lasts long to serve its intended purpose.

When you consult the used car inspection services in Los Angeles etc, they would offer you certain advice on how to keep your vehicles in a healthy state. And there are a few elements that decrease the resale value of your car, which are as follows:

Negligent Maintenance and Records:

Car inspectors would catch it from the very first view, whether a car is kept properly maintained or not. For instance, some elements such as regular fluid change, belt change and filter change etc. have a significant effect in ensuring the life of an engine.

Noisy engines would not only offer a negative remark about its condition but also decrease its resale value considerably.

Unusual Modifications:

If you opt for some modifications such as unusual lightings, underbody spoilers, paint jobs, aftermarket engine jobs such as nitrous oxide and turbo-charging etc, all these upgrades could lead to a decrease in the gas mileage, durability and reliability of the vehicle.

And most of the used car buyers do not look for these special effects, but only that the vehicle will perform well in even the toughest conditions.

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Odometer Readings:

If you are used to driving your car for each and every purpose, this could hurt your chances of getting better deals when you sell it to somebody else. This is because the buyers and car inspectors look for odometer readings and evaluate the vehicle wear according to it.

As a solution, you could just share rides with your friend, take a bike sometimes, or just walk to cover the small distances.

Filthy or Stinking Cars:

 used car inspection services in Los AngelesYou could never hide an unkempt vehicle from car inspectors, and the inspectors usuallytake pictures of such vehicles to offer it to the next buyer. Also, if your car possesses undesirable smells, this too leads to a considerable decrease in its resale value.

If you are a reseller, ensure that your car does not contain any such elements.

Dents and Scratches:

No matter how tiny these elements tend to be, they do not remain hidden from the car inspectors. And expert inspection servicemen would ensure to note all such minute details to determine the real value of the vehicle.

Therefore, whenever you buy a used car, ensure to consult the expert car inspectors for assistance. And if you are a potential seller, follow their advice and keep track of the above few points to get a better resale value.

What is Lemon Law for Used Cars in California


Performing Car Inspection Yourself vs. With The Help Of Car Inspectors

car inspection in Los Angeles

You might consider buying a used car to be offensive to most people but in reality, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to obtain a useful vehicle. People dread getting used cars because of the after-effects they face with them.

But again, getting a used car could be a mighty healthy deal, provided that you mind some considerations. For instance, if you wish to buy a used car in Los Angeles, vehicle inspection in an appropriate manner is absolutely necessary.

Getting this, you could ensure to receive a vehicle that promises to be long-lasting and doesn’t need frequent visits to the servicemen.

And for getting a used car inspected, there are two prominent methods:

  • Do It Yourself
  • Get the services of car inspectors

Should You Do It Yourself ?
Los Angeles, vehicle inspection

Inspecting a used car yourself is not generally considered a wise idea unless you happen to be an expert. Why? Because the process involves a lot of critical elements that you cannot overlook while examining the functions of the vehicle.

Besides, car inspection doesn’t merely mean viewing the outer conditions of the car or taking a test drive. In fact, it’s the inner critical elements of the vehicle that matter a great deal.

And expecting a layman to know all these critical elements is really an unlikelysituation.

Therefore, inspecting a used vehicle yourself is not such a great idea, unless you are fully acquainted with what the most necessary elements are in relation to the process.

The Alternative:

The best way to get a used car inspected is with the help of certified and experienced vehicle inspectors. For instance, if you wish to get car inspection in Los Angeles, the best you could do is search the internet and look for the best local car inspection services.

And although you might consider this awaste of time, the fact is that calling the Car Inspectors has a great many benefits which are as follows :

  • Car inspectors know exactly the parts which get deteriorated with time. And due to this, they would ensure to check the functioning of these parts to estimate their remaining life.
  • These professionals take a detailed view of the vehicle. Apart from handwritten elements, they also take various necessary pictures and videos of the moving parts etc. which means that you get acomplete idea of the same.
  • Car inspectors, like you do, would also take a good test-drive of the vehicle and would decipher the conditions according to what the vehicle offers.
  • They also check the auxiliary parts such as anti-lock brakes, stability systems, stereo, phone, navigation etc. and offer reports on these also.
  • And most importantly, they offer a detailed report of the vehicle as a digital and hardcopy(if desired) as well, which will provide you with complete information of the condition of concerned vehicle.

Therefore, contacting car inspectors is a far better option to get a vehicle inspected, than doing it by yourself. Even though you may think it’s an unworthy expenditure,it could assist you a great deal in prohibiting any future regrets.


Things To Look For In A Used Car Inspection

Buying a used car might be a bit difficult for many people. They remain doubtful on the quality of the car they’re planning to buy.

There are many sellers out in the market that make enticing offers to buyers. Many times, they hide the dark history of the car and sell the car to someone who ultimately regrets his or her decision. However, buying from a reputed seller won’t cause any such issues. One good option is to opt for a professional vehicle inspection in Los Angeles. There are many firms that provide reliable and genuine reports on a car’s overall quality.

Before you go for professional car inspection in Los Angeles, you can enter into Do-It-Yourself mode and check it yourself. Let’s look at the various elements that need to be covered in a used car inspection:

  1. Body and Paint – The paint and finish of the car should be even and shouldn’t show any signs of dents, scratches, cracks, chips, overspray or rust.
  2. Belts – Next thing to do is to open the hood of the car and check for wear and damage to hoses and belts. Make sure they contain no cracks, swelling or fraying and the radiator hose isn’t soft or deteriorated.
  3. Tires – The whole weight of the car lies on the tires. Therefore, they should be in good condition. A good mechanic would easily check the tread and condition of the tires in no time.
  4. Engine – The most crucial part of the inspection. Check for any signs of corrosion, noise, engine oil, roughness etc. If you notice anything questionable, ask the mechanic for a detailed check-up.
  5. Frame – According to experts, a car with damage to the frame should always be avoided. Inspect the trunk and quarter panels for welding, patch panels or fiberglass. These repairs can be easily covered, which is why it is suggested to take the car to your mechanic and not the seller’s.
  6. Air conditioning – Make sure the air conditioner gives appropriate cooling without making any irregular noises.

For best results, it is strongly recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced expert of used vehicle inspection in Los Angeles.


Why a Pre-purchase Inspection is Significant?

Finding a used car that can perfectly match your needs and budget is a hard job. Though there is no dearth of used cars in the market, the point here is getting the one that is just perfect against the price you pay for it. According to used car experts at Car Inspectors in Los Angeles, pre-purchase inspection is one essential thing that must be done before buying a used car.

During this inspection, an expert mechanic will identify any existing issues and highlight potential issues that could degradein the future, and will examine to make sure any previous damage has been correctly repaired.

What is covered under a used car inspection in Los Angeles?

A mechanic will check for various things during the inspection. Preferably, he will get a Vehicle History Report that will alert himabout the vehicle’s damage history andhe will do needed research of the points requiring extra-comprehensive attention before he starts the job. By lettingthe mechanic know where to look will help him define that any damage in the vehicle’s past to ensure it has been carefully and properly repaired.

Though a lot can be checked by taking a detailed look at the car, a thorough check encompasses engine and mechanical systems check, electrical check, leakages, rusted parts and more.

The intensity of the problems defines whether you should go for the chosen car or not. For example, if the problem is severe, the mechanic would directly say a “no” to the vehicle. In case of minor issues, you can check for the best price by negotiating at the final stage.

Always remember that a wise decision is backed by well-thought-out research and great presence of mind.


What is Lemon Law for Used Cars in California?

What is Lemon Law for Used Cars in California

Lemon Law Facts Sheet

For those who purchased a vehicle including a used, pre-owned or certified vehicle which is still covered by the manufacturer’s original warranty but is experiencing recurring problems even after repeated service attempts by the dealer, then you may have legal protection through the statutes contained in the California Lemon Law for Used Cars.
Almost any used vehicle which came with the original manufacturer’s warranty when purchased or leased is covered under the California Lemon Law for Used Cars or the Federal Used Car Lemon Law. This includes SUVs, cars or trucks including pre-owned, certified or used vehicles.

The Lemon Law for Used Cars covers a variety of vehicle situations. These include demonstrator (demo) Vehicles, vehicles that were certified and given an extended warranty which goes beyond the period covered by the original warranty issued by the manufacturer, plus vehicles repurchased by the manufacturer under the lemon law for used cars and then resold with a new manufacturer’s warranty. Compensation to the owner’s or lessee’s of defective vehicles that fulfill the requirements of the Lemon Law for Used Cars include buy-back refunds for what was paid for the vehicle, vehicle replacement or cash compensation.

The California Lemon Law for used cars covers the following vehicles:

• Any vehicle which came with a written warranty when sold.

• Vehicles used primarily for the purpose of serving personal, family or household needs.

• Vehicles used for business which have a gross weight below 10,000 pounds as long as the business has only 5 or fewer vehicles.

• Consumers who purchase vehicles which were re-purchased by the manufacturer and includes a warranty issued by the manufacturer which covers any defects reported by the original owner.

Duration of Manufacturer’s Liability

The California Lemon Law for Used Cars holds the manufacturer responsible for defects during the entire length of the manufacturer’s warranty. However, if the vehicle was certified or it included a manufacturer’s extended warranty when purchased, then the manufacturer’s length of liability will extend for the duration of said warranty. As an example, if an un-repairable defect developed 2 years after the vehicle was purchased and is covered by a 3 year warranty, then the manufacturer is obligated to repurchase or replace the vehicle, or provide monetary compensation to the owner. Settlement amounts and rewards are based on whether the vehicle’s defects meet the requirements stipulated in the California Lemon Law for Used Cars and whether the manufacturer was provided enough attempts to repair the issues in question.
The time limit to file a California Lemon Law lawsuit for breach of warranty is 4 years.

The Manufacturer’s Responsibility to Repair Your Vehicle

Car manufacturers and its dealers are provided with a reasonable number of attempts to repair vehicles under warranty per the requirements detailed in the California Lemon Law for Used Cars. If the vehicle still hasn’t been repaired after the stipulated number of attempts, the manufacturer is required to buy back the vehicle or compensate the owner. However, a reasonable amount of attempts to repair the vehicle’s issues may be exceeded under the following conditions:

• If the same issue or defect still hasn’t been repaired after 4 or more repair attempts.
• Some of the attempts to complete the repair (1 or 2), were to correct a serious safety issue such as brake failure.
• If the same problem repeats after 2 or more repair attempts and serious injury or death are possible if the vehicle continues to be driven with the defect.
• If the manufacturer, its associated dealers or agents have spent 30 days or more repairing the vehicle for any number of defects, problems or issues.

Situations where the California Lemon Law for Used Cars will not apply:

Warranty requirements including maintenance standards and proper use of the vehicle were not adhered to.
The issues or defects of the vehicle being considered for a Lemon Law case were caused by abuse or neglect by the owner.

As a Consumer, what should You do if You suspect that Your Vehicle may qualify under the California Lemon Law for Used Cars?

• Contact your vehicle’s manufacturer and notify them of the defects and problems you have been experiencing with your vehicle.
• Learn of your rights and responsibilities by first contacting a California Lemon Law attorney. Since most California Lemon Law for Used Cars attorneys work on a contingency basis as they file and research your claim against the manufacturer, you will not have to pay any fees to have an attorney represent you.
• Have copies of all repair orders available as these documents provide evidence for your case and clearly indicate your vehicle’s problem(s) and repairs.
• If a state-certified arbitration program is maintained by your vehicle’s manufacturer, contact a California Lemon Law attorney before submitting the warranty dispute to the arbitration program. This is necessary in order to avoid a poor outcome from the arbitration which will more than likely affect the chances of you receiving appropriate compensation for your claim.

You may also be legally protected if you suspect that you have been deceived by a dealership who claimed to have made repairs to your vehicle prior to your purchasing it or its actual condition at the time it was purchased or leased. Some certified vehicles may also not have not been properly certified according to certification criteria set forth in the California Lemon Law for Used Cars. Therefore if your certified vehicle is defective or experiencing problems, contact an experienced Auto Fraud or California Lemon Law Attorney so they can review all of your documents and give you an accurate assessment of your rights under the Lemon Law for Used Cars.


Valuable Tips To Clear Emissions Test During Car Inspection

Owning a vehicle entails some mandatory procedures to be followed. Emission check is one of these. It ensures that your vehicle emits less pollutants and is a healthy one for the environment.
If you are a resident of Los Angeles, you could know the exact status of the California emission requirements from your car by calling some efficient car inspection services of Los Angeles. And if this is such a case, you would also wish your car to clear the emission test, wouldn’t you?
Here we have brought a few techniques that can help your vehicle clear their emissions tests and make it environmentally-responsible:

Get Customary Tune-Ups:

Regular maintenance of your vehicle includes processes such as oil changes, fuel and air filter changes, and assessing the condition of parts in the fuel and ignition system such as gas caps and spark plugs. By replacing these serviceable parts, you can greatly improve your engine’s running efficiency and your chances of passing the emissions test.

Make Use Of Fuel Cleaners:

You may never come to know of the gunk stuck in your engine valves, until it encounters some trouble. To avoid this, you could use a fuel cleaner to prevent deposits in the engine valves and avoid any mishaps. Using a fuel-system cleaner/ conditioner can also help by cleaning a dirty fuel system and carbon deposits which may have built up in the engine.

And mind it! Putting it in just before getting your car inspected is not adequate, since it needs a bit of time to clear the junk of the vehicle’s system. Usually, adding a full bottle of the cleaner to a full tank of gas is recommended so that more thorough cleaning over a longer period on time is possible.

And these are not only necessary before calling Los Angeles’ used car inspection services. The regular tune-ups, use of a good fuel-system cleaner and preventative maintenance would also offer advantages such as:
• Smoother running of your vehicle
• Better gas mileage
• Reduction of costly repairs down the road

Also, you could check the warranty of your vehicle to get regular maintenance scheduled at a lower cost.

Verify The Obligatory Emission Components:

As per your vehicular specifications, a visual inspection in terms of emission control components etc. is required in many states such as California. For instance, if Car Inspectors determines that your catalytic converter is defective either by visual inspection or by a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) being present in your car’s computer, you could then get a working catalytic converter in your car. This way it will be able to pass its ‘drive clean emission test’ and will emerge a success (after it first gets inspected by the Car Inspectors, of course).

Is Your Engine Light Working Adequately?

Vehicles are often outfitted with a “Check Engine” light. Look for this light in your vehicle and check whether it works properly. You can check it by turning the ignition key or push the start button to the “on” position without starting your engine. This position is also known as KOEO or “Key On, Engine Off”. In this position, ALL of the dashboard warning lights and indicators should be illuminated. If the Check Engine lamp isn’t on with the key in this position, it either went out or was tampered with. In either case, your vehicle will fail its emissions test since this lamp must work correctly in order to pass.

Car inspectors look for such a light and would not deem a vehicle fit if the Check Engine light is found to be on.

Be Cautious:

Watch for any alarming signals in your car such as:
• Dashboard’s warning lights
• Fluid leaks
• Evaporation emissions (smell of fuel)
• Engine or transmission jerks or jumps
• Drop in fuel efficiency
• Other foul odors
• Difficulty in engine starting or rough running

All these could be a signal that your car requires attention and even more, when you are due for a car inspection service.

Emissions failure is one of the most prominent reasons why vehicles fail inspection tests. You could use the tips above to get an efficient and cleaner vehicle so that it is both safe for the environment and even fit to clear the inspection tests, when required.


Car inspection software

Checking Computer Systems When Doing Pre-Purchase Inspections
Checking the computer systems on today’s vehicles before making a purchase cannot be overemphasized. Almost every system in today’s state-of-the art vehicles has some type of electronic or computer controls to control its operation. Some of these systems are for entertainment or convenience only such as phone and BLUETOOTH systems, Satellite, radio and climate-control systems and ensure that the driver has a very comfortable and enjoyable ride. Other systems however are much more critical to the functioning of the vehicle. Problems caused by a computer controlled brake system, ABS, suspension or engine control system, or engine or suspension system can cause the vehicle to be unsafe if not working correctly.

Car Inspectors’ Diagnostic Software
Pre-Purchase vehicle inspections performed by Car Inspectors includes check of all vehicle-specific computerized and electronic systems including (but not limited to):
• Engine Control systems
• Transmission and Drivetrain Management
• Antilock Brakes Systems (ABS)
• Traction Control
• Steering and Suspension Control
• HVAC and Climate control
• Control Area Network (CAN) Systems
• Camera systems including Back-Up Camera
• Security Systems
• Radio, Sound and Entertainment Systems
• Navigation Systems
• Phone and Bluetooth
• Body Control Module Systems
• SYNC Systems
• Parking Assist Systems
• Plus many others

 

Car Inspectors uses PC-based electronic diagnostic programs and equipment which checks each of these systems thoroughly to make sure that the vehicle you’re purchasing will not have any kind of computerized or electronic problems.  The software used by Car Inspectors is able to check all vehicle-specific systems for all vehicle models through 2017 and can read thousands of system-specific Trouble Codes. Car Inspectors is also able to determine the difficulty and cost of repairing any problems, faults and errors found and report them on the inspection checklist and include the cost of repair on the written estimate at the time of the inspection.

Cost Savings of Finding Electrical Problems

The importance of having the electrical, electronic and computer systems of your vehicle checked out cannot be overemphasized. Many times, the vehicle you’re about to buy may appear to operate normally with no symptoms or warning lamps on the dash telling you otherwise. However, if a trouble code was recently cleared by the seller to turn off a warning lamp temporarily (such as the “Check Engine” light for example) and you buy the vehicle, a fault in the Powertrain Management System will eventually re-set the fault and turn the light back on. The result will be that you may be unable to pass SMOG inspection in the state where you want to drive the vehicle. This also means you will be unable to register or have it licensed. The repair of the problem may also cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This is especially true with electronic and computer system failures which are usually much more difficult to isolate, diagnose and repair than simple mechanical problems. Also, many times electronic and computerized problems are intermittent. This means that the car may seem to be okay during the 1-2 hours it is inspected by the technician, but after several hours of driving, an electronic component, computer or a loose or poorly connected wire may vibrate, move or get hot. Cold or wet-weather can also cause intermittent problems with electronic systems which otherwise seem to operate normally. The result may be a system that starts performing poorly or shuts down completely. Car Inspectors by checking any trouble codes which are stored in the computer’s memory is able to determine whether a problem is present at the time of inspection or intermittent, and report the potential of it becoming a serious (and expensive) problem later. The buyer can then make an educated decision of whether to go ahead with the purchase or look elsewhere for a vehicle which doesn’t have possible high-cost electronic problems which will have to be diagnosed and repaired later.

 

Steve Storey / ASE Master Technician / Car Inspectors


Things to check while doing a used car pre-purchase inspection yourself


Are you planning to invest in a used car due to budget crunch and want to make your decision a fruitful one? Though there are hundreds of things that one should look into while undergoing any such situation, doing a pre-purchase inspection holds the key to the best results. A full-fledged inspection is of great importance at this stage as it will ensure that you put your money in the right direction to get a car that would deliver you peace of mind and not excessive visits to a car mechanic.

Let’s look at various aspects that you should consider while doing a pre purchase inspection of the used car yourself.

1. Overall condition of the body

The first & foremost thing to check is the overall condition of the body. This activity would include: examination of the car’s passenger doors, boot door, hood, checks for dents, rust, and scratches. If you notice uneven gaps between the fender and the door, it simply means that the body was repaired or parts were manufactured locally in a garage. The result may be that it may easily dismantle even in case of a small accident. Another important thing is the aesthetical elements of the car such as color and texture of the paint. This is because no one would be interestedin buying a car that looks worn out from the outside.

2. Check the suspension

A car’s ride is meant to be high on control and comfort and a suspension system in good condition makes this possible. So, while deciding over the purchase of a used car, make sure the suspension system of the car is well maintained so that you don’t feel jerks or excessive swaying on bumpy roads. If not sure, you can ask a mechanic to do the job on your behalf. The primary purpose behind this objective is to be clear about the suspension system of the car.

3. Do check the air conditioning system

For hotter regions, air conditioning is a must. Check for the air conditioning system of the car you’re interested in. Many times buyers don’t get the AC serviced on time and this results in an improperly cooling AC system. So, get it checked out so you can enjoy a cooler car diving experienced with your family.

4. Tires

Even a bicycle runs on tires. A vehicle will give better fuel economy and hassle-free ride if its tires are in good condition. Tires need replacement after a certain distance covered by them, so don’t hesitate in asking the seller when was the last time he changed the tires. Many times tires are the cause behind car accidents; so always look for a car with good tires.

5. Electrical and electronic systems

If you wish to enjoy a safer and enjoyable ride in your newly bought used car, the role of its electrical systems is paramount. From powering the audio system to lighting up the cabin, there is a complex system of electric wires, switches and components in any car. So, get it thoroughly inspected to avoid the chances of an inoperative system or even worse, a short circuit or fire.


Importance of jacking up vehicles

Hello , this is Steve Storey again with some more valuable information about the car-inspection process. One of the most important aspects of a complete and thorough pre-purchase inspection is to ensure that the vehicle is raised during the inspection. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. This is because the majority of damage and wear to the most critical car components happens below eye-level in the nether-regions of the vehicle. These areas include (to name a few):

  • Frame
  • Floorpan
  • Suspension
  • Driveline
  • Steering
  • Fuel tank and Fuel system
  • Critical hoses and lines
  • Electrical harnesses

To begin with, these areas are constantly being exposed to flying rocks and debris, water, salt, “road trash” including screws, nails,  tire carcasses,  and broken car parts, not to mention  SOLID obstacles which can cause much more serious damage such as curbs, train-tracks and potholes. So the likelihood of there being corrosion , wear and damage to these areas is much greater than the upper easily-seen areas of the vehicle which are for the most-part are less critical to the vehicle’s functionality and are subjected to much less serious hazards. The vehicle’s upper areas include the body, glass, lights, bumpers, trim, trunk, and engine compartment. Other than the wear of engine components and accessories located under the hood, these areas will typically only experience  “weather wear” and minor accidents including parking lot “bump and grind” so wear or damage to these parts will not cancel the ability for the car to still work and provide reliable transportation. Besides this, a vehicle which has been poorly maintained will exhibit excessive wear with symptoms of fluid leaks, cracked and rotten rubber suspension chassis components and loose and worn steering, suspension and linkage joints- all of which can only be adequately observed and evaluated when there is ample visual access to all of the vehicle’s underside components.

Here at Car Inspectors,  we go the extra mile and raise the front of the vehicle a minimum of 10″ using a floor-jack, ramps or a full-size lift whenever one is available at the vehicle’s location. In this way, all of the critical components of the undercarriage can be observed and photographed. Without performing this necessary function when doing a pre-purchase, diagnostic or any other type of vehicle inspection, it will be impossible to ascertain the actual condition of the vehicle.


“Vehicle Pre-Purchase inspection checklist”

One of the most important aspects of a complete and thorough pre-purchase car inspection comes in actually two parts. The first is to have a checklist available which will cover ALL main systems of the vehicle. The list may also need to include subsystems of certain systems. An example would be a category called “steering and suspension” where the mechanical condition of the steering and suspension components should include parts such as control arms, ball joints, bushings, springs, struts, shocks, wheels and tires. However, an important subsystem of the steering and suspension system would include the hydraulic system which includes the rack and pinion or steering box, pump, resevoir and hydraulic lines. It’s important that the checklist considers the hydraulic part of the steering system separately since a defect in this area can include a variety of symptoms such as leaks, noises, contaminated fluid, steering easier in one direction than the other to name a few.   The same goes for any kind of airbag or air-suspension system . In this case, the compressor, airbags, air reservoir, lines and associated controls should have its own section on the checklist also.


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