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Buying a used car in Singapore 5 expensive problems to avoid

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If you want to forget all your other problems, wear shoes that are too tight. No, it’s not the best advice. What is true is that some expensive problems are easier to avoid than others. Take cars.

Myth Used cars are an expensive ticket to the repair workshop – you are better buying new.

Money saving truth If you get the right model and mileage, a used car can save 30% more than a comparable new car. If the model is no longer in production, you can bargain even harder.

In previous posts, the car team at Budget Direct Insurance advised on the best places to go when buying a used car in Singapore. You will also want peace of mind that you and your car will have a great future together.

Avoid these problems

Here’s a round up of the most common car problems, and how to spot them.

1. Gearbox

When you are test-driving a used car with an option to buy, look out for these tell tale signs of trouble ahead.

Warning signs when shifting gears…

1. Feels rough or jerky
2. Grinding or shaking
3. Slipping - staying at a lower speed when accelerating
4. Whining noises - unless you have your kids in the back
5. Delayed engagement - pause in time when switching gears
6. Leaking transmission fluid

2. Electrical

Like everything else, cars have more tech than ever, cue the electrical complaints.

Warning signs…

1. Car refuses to start - no lights = dead battery, lights but won’t start = alternator, clicking sound = starter
2. Damage, corrosion or leakage to the battery
3. Dashboard/headlights working but they dim when driving - alternator or voltage regulator
4. Brake lights don’t work when driving - check fuse

3. Clutch

As mileage increases, the clutch can start to slip or even burn out. The clutch cable is a simple component in the vehicle, however if it causes problems that are not fixed, it can make the car undrivable.

Warning signs…

1. Transmission slips out of gear - especially when accelerating
2. Jammed or stuck clutch pedal
3. Clutch pedal has little or no resistance

4. Turbo

One of the more expensive problems a car can develop.

Warning signs…

1. Check engine warning light on – even if it’s not the turbocharger, clearly this is not good!
2. The boost gauge is low or sluggish
3. Power loss
4. A blue/grey smoking exhaust – do not buy this car!
5. A loud whining noise – like a dentist’s drill

5. Brakes

Brake pads are a contact wear item and need regular attention. If they haven’t been properly maintained, you will notice one of a range of symptoms.

1. Noisy or squealing brakes – due to metal on metal contact.
2. Pulsing or thumping pedal – when pressure is applied to the brakes
3. Slow brake response
4. Poor handling

For more tips on buying a used car in Singapore, look out for future posts in this series.

Budget Direct Insurance
No-Nonsense, money saving cover for your car

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