'I'm a mechanic and people should do these five checks when buying a used car'

A mechanic has shared the top things car shoppers should look out for when buying a second-hand vehicle.

For some motorists, knowing what to look out for in a prospective new car is easy, thanks to their own knowledge of motors. But for many drivers, especially those who are buying one for the first time, the process can be quite complicated.

If you're not sure what things to look out for when buying a used car, it could end up costing you more in the long run. Luckily, a qualified motor expert has shared the "obvious" and "less obvious" things buyers should check for to ensure a fair purchase.

In TikTok video, Craig of Walsall Wood Tyre Fitters was asked for advice, which he broke down into five different sections. The clip, shared by @walsallwood_tyre, sees Craig begin: "So as with every used vehicle secondhand vehicle, start with the basics".

To begin, when looking at a possible car buy, drivers should check its coolant levels, specifically if they look off. He said: "Does it look like it's been topped up recently? If it has why has it been topped up recently? Is there a potential it's got a leak?"

Next, Craig says to look to the car's engine oil to make sure it's clean and properly coloured. This will depend on whether it's a petrol or diesel motor. "How black is it? How dirty is it? Is it petrol is it diesel?", he stated.

"Because diesel, we expect it to be black. [If] it's petrol we don't expect it to be black. Again we're going to take off the oil filler cap we're going to look for emulsification under there. We're going to see if there's any costly chemicals starting to build up on the bottom of the cap, suggesting that the oil is getting contaminated."

Next, it's time to move onto the car's tyres and breaks, as these will be able to signal how much wear and tear the vehicle has experienced. One thing Craig said to pay attention to can actually tell you a lot about how a vechile has been driven by its previous owner.

Craig continued: "In addition to that we want to look at tires and brakes which are quite easy and visual to see through the wheels.

"And one of the good things to look at with brakes especially if buying what you think might have been a boy racer's car. Is the actual colour of the brake discs around the edge."

Pointing to a car's brake discs, Craig explained one way of knowing if a used car has previously been driven "aggressively" is if these disc has developed an stronger than rust orange colour on its edges - which occurs "simply from the heat involved in the aggressive braking".

Lastly, "and most importantly", he said it's vital to check the car in question's service history. He concluded: "Has it ever had one? Because if not, you'll pay."

Join the Daily Record's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.