Monday, April 14, 2008

Keeping Water Out of Your Used Cars – (Part Two)

Perhaps you drove through high water, or you may even have had an accident at the car wash, there is a chance then that you may have damaged your vehicle. Don't put off inspecting your car till tomorrow. Water that gets left inside your car doesn't just evaporate without first causing damage.

How to Protect Your Used Car in Australia

Your main concern about water invading your used car is contamination and rust.

1. Check carpets and upholstery. Check also door and trim panels for dampness. If they are wet, then your used car will need professional attention. Simply air-drying the carpet is not enough; you will be soon notice that mildew and nasty odours will have come out.

2. Check seat brackets, motor, and modules. Be sure they're free of rust and properly operating.

3. Pull the engine oil and transmission fluid dipsticks and differential plug. If the fluid appears milky or diluted, is no longer its original colour, or is light brown in colour, then it is likely the pans contain water. Have your car repaired immediately. Driving the car with water present may damage the internal parts and require extensive overhaul or car repairs. Some new synthetic differential fluids are deliberately milky but are not water-contaminated though, so when in doubt let a professional make the evaluation.

4. Check the air filter for water. If it is wet, replace the air filter and change the oil.

5. Check the undercarriage, bumpers, radiator area, and frame for mud, grass, dirt, debris, and rust. If any of these are present, have your used car washed and cleaned as soon as possible. Any mechanical repairs can be checked out by digiads.com.au and OzFreeOnline.com, where you can search online to find the right establishment and the people with expertise to take your used car back to its perfect condition.

6. Have the brake system checked by a professional. Water-logged brake systems are especially dangerous on slippery roads.

7. Check the exterior lights for moisture and water. Replace headlights and bulbs that contain water.
8. Finally, listen for abnormal noises while the engine is running. Make a note of where the noise is coming from and take the vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. Pay particular attention to the alternator, serpentine belt, starter, power steering unit, air conditioner, and wheel bearings. Check the suspension joints and lubricate as necessary. Many used car models are lubricated at the factory for life; however, these joints should be checked for rust as well.

By being car care aware and following these simple guidelines, you can help minimize the potential for damage to your used car. You see, water doesn't necessarily have to be your car's worst enemy.

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