Signs Your Car is About to Die

Hello, my name is Roy. For many years, I drove a 1976 Ford estate car around Sydney. The car had belonged to my grandpa. It was passed down to me when I had just passed my driving test at the age of 18. That was in 1986 and the car was already in a pretty bad condition then. Fast forward to 2006 and I was now aged 38 and still driving the same car around. Sometimes the car wouldn't start, white smoke came out of the exhaust and the gearbox made a terrible sound. I did my best to patch it up, but eventually, I had to scrap the car and buy a new one. I decided to start a blog to encourage others to service their cars.

Pre-Purchase Inspection Tips for Used 4WD Vehicles


Buying a used four-wheel-drive car can be a challenging task. 4WD vehicles are often subjected to off-road conditions which may cause a lot of wear. In this excerpt, you will learn how to conduct a pre-purchase inspection when buying a used 4WD.


Unlike a new vehicle, used cars may not have a spotless exterior. As such, expect minor scratches or dents as a result of countless off-road expeditions. What you should look out for are signs of accident damage and filler on the vehicle's body. Uneven body lines, distorted reflection and misaligned panels are all signs of accident repair. Remember that serious accidents compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle. A bent frame could delay airbag deployment, causing severe injuries during a crash.


If you notice a blue-grey smoke after a cold start, the engine could be failing. Engine misfires and oil leaks are also signs of a bad engine. If the vehicle is turbocharged, you need to observe more caution during the inspection. Presence of oil in the downpipe could be an indication of turbo damage. Take the vehicle for a test drive. An overheating engine, a check engine light that comes on and off, drastic loss of power and whining sounds as you drive are all signs of a dying engine. 

Suspension and drivetrain. 

Squeaks as you drive off-road, a rough ride and uneven tire wear are all symptoms of a failing suspension. In severe cases, the vehicle could have uneven ride height and nose dive during sharp braking. Preferably, the car you buy should have relatively new tires. In such a way, you do not have to change the tires as soon as you buy the car. Test the performance of the 4WD system by taking the vehicle to slippery or rocky terrains. The gears should engage freely, and you should feel the vehicle's torque at low gears.

Aftermarket modifications.

4WD vehicles may have a variety of modifications, including lift kits to increase ground clearance and traction aids to ensure momentum when the car is stuck. The engine may also be tuned or chipped to enhance the vehicle's power. Other modifications may include winches, camping aids and larger tires. If you do not have sufficient knowledge of 4WD vehicles, ask your mechanic to inspect the modifications. Although they make the car look fierce in off-road conditions, they could expose you to accidents if conducted by unqualified professionals.

When conducting a pre-purchase inspection for a used 4WD, inspect the exterior, engine, suspension, drivetrain and aftermarket modifications.


26 March 2019