The 8 most common faults with used cars

It is important to keep potential issues in mind when it comes to buying a new car, as this will enable you to be better prepared. Some of the problems you may experience include:

  1. Worn out tyres 

Tyres wear down over time, if there is little tread this is a sign of worn-out tyres. Tyre and safety experts believe the 1.6mm legal minimum is insufficient to guarantee safety – most recommend a minimum tread depth of 3mm for tyre replacement.

Tyres should be replaced every six years, so be sure to check this before making a purchase. 

The 8 most common faults with used cars
  1. Suspension issues 

Issues with suspension can be expensive to fix, make sure on the test drive to look out for any vibrations when driving, or if the car seems to move from side to side, the car may feel unstable. If it does, there is likely a problem with the suspension this is due to faulty or broken springs and dampers.

  1. Previous damages

The insurance companies write-off the car when it has been in an accident, and the damage makes it unsafe to get back on the road, or the repair cost is more than the current value of the car in the market. A car history check will let you know if the car has been written off or had any accidents which is a good indicator of how well the car has been taken care of.

  1. Faulty engine 

Engines are expensive, therefore when purchasing a vehicle having a working engine is important. If the engine is smoking, making strange noises, or leaking oil, this is a sign that there may be an issue. A car with a faulty engine will likely have a shorter lifespan, so it’s important to be aware of this before making a purchase. 

  1. Flat batteries  

A battery older than 3-6 years or one that has travelled over 50,000 miles is in need for a replacement. Other causes include alternator failure of problems within the charging system. A battery may go flat if the car headlights are left on for prolonged periods of time while the car is stationary, or if the car has not been turned on for a while.

  1. Worn break pads

Brakes will wear down with time, so you must maintain them and ensure any issues are addressed as quickly as possible. The most obvious sign of this happening would be a light on the dashboard that states “break pads worn” It will show on the car’s display board to indicate that at least one set of pads is almost worn out and needs a replacement. However, not all cars come with brake pad sensors. So, you must make sure the pads are inspected and checked by a professional. When on a test drive a good way to inspect the condition of the brakes is to see how far or hard you have to press down for the vehicle to stop.

  1. Electrical issues 

This can be with headlights, speakers or the dashboard – When inspecting a car you are interested in remember to check the speakers in the car are working and check the headlights are all working. 

To minimize risk, you can do a full car check to see if the vehicle has passed its latest MOT by entering registration number at This will provide access to a detailed, comprehensive car history report allowing you make a purchase decision with a complete piece of mind. 

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