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Up Your Used Car Value By Stopping Rust Part 1
Rust is rust. It's unsightly, it speaks of neglect and inevitable decay. And no one likes it. Certainly not on cars, whether used cars or new. After all, we want our cars looking shiny and brand-new, just as it was when it left the car dealer lot.
When it comes to buying used cars, no one wants to buy a rust bucket. Rust radically depreciates your used car's resale value. So, whether want to buy used car or a new one, the trick is keeping rust from taking root in your car.
Three basic steps are:
KEEP IT FROM STARTING
ATTEND TO IT ONCE IT HAS STARTED
Most people shopping around at the used car dealer lot fail to detect rust simply because they don't know where to spot it. Of course, you can't expect the dealer to be upfront about rust in their used cars for sale. One needs to understand then how rust usually starts and where it is most likely to emerge.
How Rust Starts
Rust usually begins through the chips and nicks your car receives from the pebbles and stones that hit it during daily driving. With a small nick exposing bare metal in an unnoticeable location, it is just a matter of time until rust forms.
Left unchecked long enough, this tiny nick will eat its way through to the other side. When this happens you have problems because once a rust hole starts, it cannot be stopped. It can only be slowed down.
Where to Look For Rust
The most likely areas to check for rust are in and around the wheel wells, and on the fenders immediately behind the tyres. These are the war zones where your tyres will kick up stones and chip the paint. The front of your car can also catch flying stones from other cars, making this a problem area as well.
The next time you're looking at used cars for sale, use a torch to look underneath the car, and behind the front and rear tyres on both sides. Of course, before you do this make sure the car is parked on a level surface in park/gear and the emergency brake on. If it is on a slope, put blocks under the wheels for added safety. Shine your light on the inside of the fenders and wheel wells.
Another word to the wise for those who buy used car
Avoid cars with fresh paint. Think about it: no one paints a car just because the colour has faded a little. It was painted because either it was in an accident or it had a rust problem or worse yet - both! A crash repairer can hide a lot of sin with paint and body filler
Other rust-prone places to check when buying a used car are the exterior flooring under the driver's and passenger's seats, the interior flooring underneath the carpeting/matting, under the carpeting/matting in the boot, and around the engine compartment. Use your torch, your eyes, and your fingers!
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