While we do not have to worry about rust as much in the Houston area as many of our Northern neighbors do, rust is still a car killer. Not just from an aesthetic standpoint, but many mechanical functions can be greatly impacted by rust. If the vehicle you are purchasing came from a Northern state you need to be particularly diligent about looking for rust issues. Of course, our technicians are always happy to help you look over a used vehicle and having a professional Pre-purchase inspection can save you money and give you a strong negotiating position. Some vehicle’s from the salty and icy states are still a safe purchase, especially if they have been properly cared for. – That Car Lady, Lynn Beckwith

The following article was written by guest blogger Diane on behalf of Krown. They offer the highest quality rust protection service available. Krown rust proofing helps save you money, while providing peace of mind, knowing you have a safer, better looking vehicle.

Woman collecting keys to new carImportant Areas to Check For Rust When Buying A Used Car

You should wisely inspect a used car carefully before and after you test drive it, to ascertain the car’s condition. You need to try to validate answers the seller gave you before you arrived to see the car. Remember that a used car’s current condition and the way it was cared for are even more important now, as it’s not the same as it was off the assembly line and shining on the dealership floor. You’re also looking for smaller problems that may help you reduce the price, or larger problems that may signal a bad purchase.

In general, you should wear clothing you don’t mind getting dirty. Make sure to also bring the following tools:

Flashlight
Flat refrigerator magnet
Rust Can’t Hide in Daylight

“Rust bubbles” around the door hinge opening progress to full-scale rust spots and holes that are hard to see at night.

Despite advances in manufacturing, rust is still the No. 1 enemy of used cars; however, it is an enemy you can seek out and expose. Rust is generally more damaging to a car’s appearance and value than to its ability to run, but rust protection can help stop it from spreading and continuing to depreciate the vehicles value.

Start at the Bottom

Before getting under the vehicle, make sure it is on a level surface and proper safety precautions have been taken. Begin your examination underneath the used car by looking at the undercarriage. Use your flashlight to completely inspect the floor pans metal forming the floors and the frame rails that run around the perimeter of the car’s underbelly for any sign of rust. Also note any differences in the condition of different sections. One perfect or recently painted section in an otherwise moderately rusty car is a loud warning that part of it was extensively repaired recently. Did the seller disclose the car’s history?

While you’re under the vehicle, look up into the wheel wells for rust. Notice at the same time if the car seems to be dripping any fluids, and look for rust and signs of wear on the muffler and exhaust pipes. These can be expensive to replace on a car you just bought.

Standing back up beside the doors, check the door panels carefully. The bottom of the door panel can completely rust away without being seen outside the car and covered with carpet to hide its deterioration from casual view inside, but is the beginning of the death knoll to the automobile’s body.

Windshield Mounting

Examine the front and rear windshields carefully. The struts and supports in this area are subject to deteriorating rust that is difficult and expensive to repair and very unsightly as rust and rusted holes appear around the window frames.

The flat thin magnets should stick to the metal of the vehicle at each panel, and if not, it means that panel is no longer metal but made of repair artistry that won’t hold up for the life of the rest of the car. This is not indicative of rust necessarily, but does indicate plastic or other product has replaced the car’s original metal panel.

Car Floor, Trunk Floor Must Be Checked

Pull up the carpeting on the floor and inside the trunk to determine if rust has eaten into that supporting metal. People have learned the most egregious way that their used car purchase had suffered inside leaks that totally eroded the floor beneath their feet away.

Avoid Flood Area Autos

Disastrous flooding in recent years has resulted in some vehicles ending up on the scrap heap at a much younger age than ever experienced before. However, it has also resulted in fraudulent paper work and the deleting of required history information on the flooded cars. A flooded automobile may not show actual rust for several months or a year after having been flood damaged. The laws governing auto registration, titling and reporting of accidents or flooding of each vehicle are clear. Nonetheless, there are unscrupulous individuals who will criminally alter the history of a damaged car to sell it to an unsuspecting buyer, and transport flood damaged vehicles away from the flood areas to unload them. Demand to see the historical record of a used car and if it is not given to you, walk away, no matter how much you really wanted a Lexus at that price.

There are bargains in automobiles to be found, and you should not avoid used cars with a strong history and excellent condition. You must, however, do your own sleuth work and determine that the car is truly the best transportation for you and your money.