When This Happens, Don’t Buy a Used Car

rev up your engines today I’m going to
show you five signs that tells you not to buy a used car that you’re looking at
now yes if you’ve been watching me anytime you know I’m a big proponent of
buying used cars cuz you could save a whole bunch of money new rule always
check the tailpipe with the car running you don’t want to see smoke coming out
your cars exhaust should be perfectly clear meaning that the engines running
fine now of course if you live up in the colder climates in the winter you’re
gonna see all kinds of smoke coming out of your exhaust but that’s something
different when you burn gasoline it’s hydrogen and carbon and Earth’s
atmosphere of nitrogen and oxygen and various things one of the byproducts is
water vapor well exhaust gas is hot so you got hot
water vapor it’s like steaming when it gets cold outside you’ll often see a
bunch of it coming out of your exhaust hey you’ll even see it coming out of
your own exhaust out of your mouth because we humans breathe out water
vapor that’s a higher temperature than the outside I’m not a weatherman but in
a certain dew point when it gets colder you’re gonna see steam coming out of
your mouth so if you live in a cold Nordic climate you’re looking at a used
car in the winter you’re gonna have to take it into a heated garage to check
down and out cuz they’re all gonna be smoking, now any smoke is bad but the
worst is the white smoke which is often a blowing head gasket which can be
tested or burning oil which will smoke white or even a car that’s using too
much fuel and too much gasoline it can make it smoke white if it’s really
leaking it has to be horrendously leaking then but if it’s leaking too
much a little and it’s running rich then you get black smoke coming out of the
back but you see it in that smoke unless you’re a mechanic like me and you can
see an obvious problem walk away from the car do not buy it don’t listen to a
seller saying oh yeah it burns a little bit of oil yada yada
even if you’re getting a car really cheap and they’ll say yeah you know the
head gaskets blown it needs a head gasket because maybe needs a head gasket or maybe it needs the whole engine could be the heads crack and you don’t want to mess with something like that unless you’re a mechanic and you’re buying a
car for three four five hundred bucks and you know you’re gonna put another
engine in it anyways for the normal person you see smoke coming out of that
tailpipe run away from that car and look for notice there are plenty of cars out
there that don’t smoke better for sale now the next sign is telling you not to
buy this used car it’s a car that doesn’t idle correctly you’re in Drive
you’re sitting there and it’s shaking too much because theoretically there can
be dozens of different things that cause that something as simple as a vacuum
line has come off something as complex as the engine just flat worn out and
it’s lost most of its compression and needs to be rebuilt for thousands and
thousands of dollars don’t ever listen to people that say oh it just not it’s
like that because it needs a tune-up you have no idea now if you’re a mechanic
or mechanically inclined let’s say it’s shaking you open the hood and you see a
vacuum line is falling off and you push the vacuum line back on and then it runs
perfectly fine well then go ahead and road test it maybe when you’re done pull
on back off and say ah I like the car but you know it doesn’t run right and I don’t want to pay a lot for it maybe you’ll get a better price for it that way but unless
you find something so obviously wrong that’s simple to check if a car isn’t an
idling right walk away from that there are just too many possible bad
scenarios for a bad idling cars lots of them out there that idle fine go pick one of
those instead of the one you’re looking at now the next time that you should
walk away from used car as if upon startup your clacking noises or noises
it doesn’t matter if they go away in a minute or two if they make any noise
like that block away engine should start up the only thing you should hear is the
starter spinning the engine you should start up smooth if they clack there’s
something worn and if they go bad those are rods knocking because the
creek bearings that the rods are bolted to are warm and when the bearings are
worn the rods go what’s called rod knocking once you start it up if the oil
pressure builds up that oil will fill the gap on the rods on the bearings the
bearings are still worn and one day it going or not and it will throw a rod
that’s the end of the engine now that’s a worst-case scenario but even ones that
are tickin away there’s a problem so you got a modern cars got hydraulic lifters
just started up in a tick tick tick tick tick and after a minute or two it goes
away generally means the lifters are worn but some modern cars have 32 of
these lifters the money it costs to replace 32 hydraulic lifters is gigantic
do not want to buy a car like that and waste your money but let’s say you’re
mechanically inclined like me at least I hope I am you hear weird noises on a
used car you got some time a few tools take the fan belts off if the noise goes
away then you know it’s something the fan belt drives like an alternator or a
water pump in my own past I bought cars like that got him dirt
cheap for like 500 bucks cuz the owners and they thought the engines were going
out but it was actually a water pump an alternator bearing you take the fan belt
off and a noise goes away and then you might think about buying the car but if
you’re not mechanically inclined you start it up you hear any noises walk
away you’re looking at a car like that and you turn off and check the oil and
the oil is really low and used to tell you oh you’re poor somewhere on the
noise goes away yeah clothes away then but the damage has already been done
years ago I had a customer bring me out Toyota
from he used car lot and it was one of these quality checked used cars
guaranteed by the dealer first thing I did was check the oil was down a quart
and a half of oil that means it burns oil the damage has already been done when they guy returned it back he said the the dealer said oh oh we forgot to do the
service in that car don’t worry we’ll do the servicing customer explained to him
hey Scotty says don’t buy it it doesn’t matter he changed the oil now the engine
has already been worn you changed the oil now hey it’s clean but the damage is
earlier and done it’s burning oil now situation of complete stupidity because
if they would have changed the oil on filter before they brought it to me I
wouldn’t have notice that the oil was low cuz it wouldn’t have been low and it
would have been clean no you know you’re gonna do checks like that when you’re
buying a used car anyways and if you don’t find a used car and it’s really
low on oil don’t buy it it’s got a problem now the next sign that you
should walk away from a used car is take it for a drive if it doesn’t shift perfectly
smooth in reverse and forward in the city and
on the highway walk away from it there are just too many expensive repairs on
modern transmissions when they don’t shift right you don’t want to get
involved in it if you’re ready on a car yeah then you got to figure okay am I
going to put thousands into the transmission or am I gonna get rid of
the car you don’t want to buy one that already has a transmission problem and
like I say first back it up reverse gears off in the first gear to go out in
a car if it clunks or it slips or hear something I see all the time you start
up a cold engine you put it in reverse it doesn’t go anywhere then you shift it
to drive it goes forward a little then you shift it reverse and then it backs
up that means the transmissions starting to go out do not buy that car and like I
said when you’re Road testing it driving the city to see how it shifts from zero
to 30 up down around and take it on a highway and if at all possible
find a nice hill or ramp that you can go higher speed and accelerate up when
transmissions start to go on a lot of times at highway speeds when they get a
full log going up a hill they’ll start to show problems and it’s a dust you’ll
walk away from it and another good transmission test is take it on a
highway put it on cruise control for five ten minutes see how that works if
it starts getting hurt the jerky on the cruise control a lot of times that’s the
sign of the transmission starting to go out then you just walk away you don’t
even think about buying them now the fifth and last sign that you shouldn’t
buy a particular used car has to do with the use of a stand tall get yourself a
scan tool if you’re serious about buying a used car but costs if you’re going to
save money buying a used car even if you’re gonna have a mechanic check out
the car the mechanics are gonna charge $100 or more to check the car out
thoroughly you can get good scan tools for a lot less than that for what you’re
gonna be using them for you can get a handled one you get one of these dongles
that plugs in and you use your cell phone to read codes but you want to have
one because everything is computerized these days
and it doesn’t matter if the car you can add the check engine light isn’t on I’ve
had lots of customers over the last 52 years bring me cars with the check
engine light wasn’t on and as soon as I plugged in a scan tool it had all kinds
of codes the previous seller that either pulled the bulb out for the check
engine light so didn’t light up or in the mater once they took the dash out
then they popped a little LED with an icepick
so wouldn’t light up anymore and then put the dash back on and since you can
get a scan tool for as little as twenty dollars used a dongle one for anywhere
from a good one from sixty to one hundred and eighty dollars or a handheld
one I’ve seen sixty dollar ones that were perfectly good you really want to
have one of those when you’re checking out a used car because if you have a
used car that’s gonna fail do you really want to take it to a mechanic and pay him
100 bucks you can buy scan tool for a lot less than that and do the first
check you don’t want to have the mechanic checking out a bunch of
clunkers maybe he won’t care you may get 100 bucks a pop but you’re paying 100
bucks a pop you want to eliminate any other crappers before you have your
mechanic look at it and there’s nothing that can beat a scan tool of course
don’t read any called problems if the car has and if it has honey okay don’t
buy the car that’s my advice a lot of times the guys will reset it so won’t
have any codes yet in that case when you plug one of these in you go to the obd
check as you can see here well scroll it down well we want to state obd check and
we’ll turn that on and what does it say mill status is off monitors are okay
monitors incomplete are zero that means they’re all completed and they’re all
okay now if you do that and you find that
there’s a bunch of readiness that aren’t ready yet to say not ready that means
that someone has recently reset the computer and he’s probably something
wrong with a car buy it then because I there’s a problem they’re trying to hide
or if they didn’t reset it it means that it has a problem because it will not say
that system is ready I’ve seen cars that had not ready for 800 miles that meant
that particular part of the car had a problem now try as they may if
somebody’s trying to cheat you with one of these it’s virtually impossible if
you plug in one of these machines and it says no communication with PCM that’s a
bar control module don’t buy the car because if it adds a problem either in
the computer in the wiring or any other sensors and you plug one of these in and
it will not communicate with the car that means it’s got electrical problems
that you don’t want get involved in your mechanic like me
and even net I’d shy away from a car like that cuz I have no idea what’s
wrong until I fix it could be as simple as crank sensor went out it cost me $30
in parts would be as complex as it needs a new computer that could cost two
thousand dollars so you hook one of these up and it says no communication
walk don’t run away from that used car now there are lots of good used cars out
there that all I ever bought my whole life but there’s a lot of bad ones do so
you want to do these five checks before you buy a car I’m giving away a scan
tool so somebody can check how to use car good their chance to win place a
clean non-offensive comment on the youtube comments below to get a nice
scan tool so they can check out a used car before they throw their money down,
so if you never want to miss another one of my new car repair videos, remember to
ring that Bell

100 Replies to “When This Happens, Don’t Buy a Used Car”

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  2. Would any seller allow prospective buyer to take the alternator belt off to check if noise stops? I somehow do not think so! "Only after you buy that car!" – "Thanks but no, thanks!" Therefore, any noise = walk away, it seems.

  3. Scotty,
    My battery went dead in the parking lot when I was picking up some groceries.
    A friend gave me a ride to pick up a new battery and when he dropped me off
    at my car I was in a hurry to replace it because he was wanting to make sure I
    got home OK. I put the top post battery in backwards because my mind was
    somewhere else. I realized almost emeditly what I had I had done when the
    horn started blowing when I attached the battery cables. My car is a 2009
    Hyundai Accent and I am very grateful the only damage I did was blowing
    the main 135 amp fuse in the engine compartment and the fuse combo for
    the Radio and clock under the dash board. I don't make a lot of money and
    learned how to fix my car watching a YouTube video. I appreciate the effort
    people including yourself make to educate and inform us in ways to save us
    money and make good choices.

  4. Hey Scotty, when are you going to write your autobiography. Uncommon common sense especially when it comes to buying used cars and depreciation. Love your vids but you need to take it to the next level, the world needs you right now.

  5. Great video as always. These videos has taught me do much. I would love to meet this guy since we both live in Texas

  6. I was looking at a 2010 Ford Taurus and watched this video prior to checking it. It failed the exhaust test off the bat. Was blowing black smoke out, #1 bad sign. Not to mention it had corroded battery terminals and the oil needed changing. I also used a my Blue Driver scan took and it showed that it had ignition issues. Dealer tried to say that was normal. Not to mention it had over 150,000 miles on it. I expected this on a car that old. I have worked n my own vehicles most of my life as I'm 57. I think I irritated the salesman as I knew a lot about cars. Thank you for this very educational video.

  7. This is so helpful. Lost our family van to an accident. Family of 7, i'm in school full-time searching for a used fairly new Quest. Ground zero learning DIY car stuff.

  8. I knew about the removing of the dash light bulb. Additionally I know of guys just jamming some paper or put some electrical tape on the little "check engine" window from inside, so the light doesn't go through. Good tips 🙂

  9. Love your car wisdom! The first video I watched from you saved me a load of cash and headaches regarding mass air flow sensor cleaning and now this video as I am in the process of buying a new or used car!

  10. Hi Scotty I really love the videos you post on YouTube a lot of them help me out a lot I like to work on my own vehicle cuz I don't trust a lot of mechanics you seem to be a legit mechanic and that is why I watch your videos a lot thanks for all the advice

  11. I used to think quite often that I'll need to find a better car soon, since the 2000 Sentra XE 1.8 I got four years ago kept needing more and more repairs. But it always seemed like maybe I only have to invest in just one more thing, and then it will keep going for a long time. So my mechanic looked it up, and it cost me an average of $100 per month for the first four years I've had it, to keep this car on the road. The last few things I needed were spark plugs, coils, and the ECM computer. Since then, it's doing great. I also did the normal oil changes and coolant flushes, so I'm praying it won't need any more repairs for a long time to come–at least four years with nothing but regular maintenance.

    Back when I started looking for a car to replace my rusty old Tracer, from the rust belt, I wanted something Japanese, and I knew that I didn't want a Nissan that was newer than the 2000-2006 generation. But I had to go with what was my third choice. In my area, I just couldn't find a Corolla, Matrix, or Civic that was in decent shape, and that was in my price range. So I settled for a rust free Sentra that came from California, after looking in a 100 mile radius for two years. And it does still look pretty good.

  12. Thanks for this video. Straight-forward advice along with explanations for each reason. I appreciate the education!

  13. I remember watching your videos when you had like 10k subscribers. Glad to see the millions of subscribers now. Thank Scotty for your advice.

  14. Im going to be buying a used car soon and could really use that scan tool. I dont have anyone to help me so if I had it that would be helpful. I love your videos. You are very honest and informative. I wish all mechanics were more like you. You really are a rare breed Scotty!!

  15. My son’s Infiniti G35 is already giving him lots of problems, so a scan tool would be nice to give him as a Christmas present ?

  16. I live in the Houston area & I’m definitely having you check my next car before I purchase! Thanks for all your helpful tips Scotty, I love your videos ?!

  17. Wish I found this video before I bought my first car, full of problems weeks after buying it and dealers warranty’s just run out 🙁 good video as always.

  18. I'm retiring in the next year or so and expect not to buy as many new cars and expensive things. I've been thinking about resuming DIY activities, and trying my hand at home auto repair/restoration. My '99 Subaru Forster, my '05 Toyota Highlander, '87 Isuzu Trooper all likely to be my first "victims". Lol . I bet I'll need a scanner!

  19. Scotty im so glad i found you , i just wish i new you sooner i bought some horrible cars mainly dodge and Chrysler even my mom bought a chrysler gold duster it spent most of the time broken down im so glad i have a honda odyssey its a 07 but it runs good now i know what to look for the next car ive been looking at a highlander but its a little pricy but i understand its gonna last so before i make the purchase im gonna check with you to get your opinion thanks i love all of your videos so far ive learned so much.

  20. Scotty can we upload a video i went to a local mechanic to change my blizzak tires to my regular Pirelli tires and my tire was switched on me first i have to go to original place i bought the tires to verify which me and my friend did it does not match the reciet number and he was telling me i need . a alignment i knew i did but not that bad it does not have the same wear of my almost new tires and like i said it dosnt match the serial number on the reciet like my other 3 tires and i only used the tires last winter i need advice how do i stop getting ripped off sign sick of it .oh i want to record his excuse for ripping me off it took almost 2 hours to switch my tires that should have been a sign right there .how do i find someone that wont rip me off

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