Finding Flaws with Cars At Auction

WoodieThose that are on the hunt for a new vehicle may find exactly what they are looking for at an auction and at just a fraction of the price. This does not mean that serious mistakes do not happen though, and new owners may walk away with more than they bargained for. This is why everyone should understand the basics when it comes to hunting down flaws before a pink slip is signed.

Honestly Estimating Mechanical Know-How
While high-end classic auctions are going to have a variety of tools and services available to prospective buyers, not all auctions are like this. Those that are on the market for a new vehicle should honestly assess their own skills as well as their willingness to oversee more comprehensive repairs and replacements. Keywords such as “a rough idle” or “mileage not guaranteed” means that something more severe is taking place under the hood.

Make a Visual Checklist
Both government and public auctions tend to only allow visual inspections, and this means one must become adept at finding small signs that larger issues are taking place. For the body, this should include issues such as ripples on the panels, overspray, or uneven paint splashes that could indicate an accident. A closer look at the tires is another great place to get a good feel of the state of the vehicle and how much it was cared for. Worn or completely bald rims could mean that the vehicle was either left out in the elements or used to the point of being nearly inoperable. Buyers should also search under the vehicle for puddles or drips, note their color, and then attempt to get a good idea of any serious cracks or leaks. Searching out the VIN and matching it to other locations could also show what parts have been replaced.

Compare the Car’s Value to the Bidding
In the end, there could always be some minor or major flaw hidden in a vehicle, but taking a cue from others may be a last sign that something odd is going on. If the bidding shoots well above or well below the estimated value of the vehicle, prospective owners should rethink what they could have missed that others have caught. This is especially true if bidding starts especially low, and the overall feel of the auction floor is apathetic. With a higher listed value, this generally means something much more than a lack of interest and others may have picked up on any number of aesthetic or mechanical issues.

Bring A Second Pair of Eyes
Even experienced mechanics will bring a friend or coworker along when they head to these auctions because there is simply too much to miss. In the end, a thorough hands-on inspection may not turn up some damage, and a second pair of eyes could be all that is needed to catch a flaw before it is too late and the money has exchanged hands.

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