You’re probably here because you may have gone through an experience or fall victim to unethical practice by an auto shop or know someone who has. This article was written specifically on what to look out for when buying a used (tokunbo) car. It is also intended for car owners on what to observe when a repair on rectifying a warning light is done on your car. I don’t want you to get me wrong, many mechanics and car dealers are honest and do their work professionally but the few dishonest ones (bad eggs) have spoilt the good ones.
How The Car Works
Let’s start by learning how your car works? I am not saying you should go to an auto mechanic school. Let me ask this question, have you ever read your car owner’s manual or do you have possession of it?
The vehicles of today are filled with complex electronic control units (ECUs) or systems that can indicate if the system is failing or a component in the system has failed. It takes a trained automotive diagnostic technician to diagnose and correct the electrical or electronic problems that are turning on the warning light on the dashboard.
Warning Light Fraud
Some mechanics after several failed attempts and trials in diagnosing and correcting the warning light in a vehicle would result in a dubious means by blocking the warning light. Similarly, car dealers who are culprits in this unethical practice, usually get the service of a mechanic to help them block the warning light. Most times, it is the airbag light that is blocked to give the impression that the vehicle being sold is not an accident vehicle. Meanwhile, only body repairs and few airbag components are changed while the ones that cannot be detected visually are left. This is because the cars without a warning light, are sold higher than the ones with warning light. The warning light blocking is done by removing the instrument cluster or speedometer and block the warning light with black tape or completely removing the internal bulb that illuminates the warning light.
How To Know If Your Warning Light is Blocked
When the ignition of the car is turned on, all the major lights come on for a few seconds but as soon as you start the car and the engine starts running all the lights go off. If you notice any light that didn’t come on in the initial start with the ignition on, just know the light has been blocked.
Vehicle Mileage Reduction Fraud
Another malpractice that is common with car dealers, is the odometer rollback or reduction. This is done to reduce the mileage of the vehicle to give a false impression that the vehicle is worth higher than its actual worth.
How To Check To Know If Your Car Odometer is Rolled Back
With the analogue speedometer, it is much easier to tamper with the odometer reading by using a screw to manually roll back the readings but with the digital odometer, the technique is much different. However, whichever type is the speedometer or instrument cluster, it is often hard to detect if it has been tampered with. The following check and observation can help out to detect an odometer reduction.
- Analyse the year of the vehicle the current mileage. An average vehicle in North America where these vehicles are used, covered approximately 12, 000 miles per year. So if the mileage is significantly less than 12, 000 mile per year there may be a cause for concern.
- Check the wear pattern of the brake and acceleration pedal. If an extreme wear is noticed on the pedal, is an indication of an high mileage on the car.
- Inspect the tire condition with the mind that an average tires last for about 24, 000 miles. If the mileage is less than 20, 000 miles and the original tires is not what is in the vehicle, suspect odometer tampering.
- Request for the original papers of the vehicle or repair history of the vehicle. If this is provided, the original mileage of the vehicle would be found and this can be compare with what is currently on the vehicle.
Have a Mechanic Inspect The Vehicle
You may get a mechanic to inspect the car if you suspect the odometer has been tampered or you feel something is wrong or want to confirm the condition of the car in line with the warning lights. You can request we come to perform a Pre-purchase Inspection for the vehicle, which Utile Auto Services will be glad to do for you.
Please leave a comment if you have the experience to share with us. Thank you.
This article is a publication by Utile Auto Services…. Utile (Auto) Service is a one-stop shop for solutions to all automobile concerns. We offer a comprehensive solution for any brand of Ford, MKX, Lincoln and America vehicles. We are specialist technicians trained by Ford Motor Company, USA. We can be reached on +234 704 383 4086. We offer services ranging from home service, office service and doorstep service to customer at their convenience.