What you need to know before buying a car

Dear Editor, 

Re: Corrupt practice in Vehicle Industry 

There is an old saying Trust a Nurse, but never a second hand car.

Here is my advice when buying a car. 

1. Check the logbook service record, all entries will tell you the previous owner of the Car. If no logbook, walk away 

2. Most cars arrived in Samoa with high kilometres. It is important to change the timing belt or chain rails on the vehicle with 75,000-100,000km. If the belt and tensioner is not changed, they can suddenly collapse and destroy your engine. 

If the belt has been changed, there will be a sticker in the engine compartment rocker cover firewall with date etc

Please don’t try to change the timing belt on your own unless you know the procedure, a trained technician knows, one tooth out and you are in big trouble. 

3. Don’t look too much at the car’s appearance eg. paint or colour except rust etc. You don’t drive your car by appearance or look. Check frontend tie rod ends slack in steering box, ball joints for slack.

Diff in put shaft. Jack the car up, grab tyre on top and bottom, try to move it towards you if there is movements etc mean bearings, ball joints need replacement 

4. The kilometres or mileage are not always correct, some dealers wind the odometer back or replace instrument cluster with lower km or mileage from damaged same model cars. 

In Australia to mind back odometers, carries a prison sentence

5. Check engine for oil leaks and remove oil filler cap with the engine running

If smoking means internal leaks rings or value guide seals. Test drive car on steep hill go up, then down, if blue smoke comes from your exhaust that means your engine needs building 

Check automatic slowly back up on a steep hill in reverse if slipping. Walk away, unless the dealer fixes the problem 

6. It pays to get an Independent Mechanic with knowledge to check the car for you before buying it. Also don’t believe in a months warranty, it means nothing. A dealer who claims that the car is good, will not hesitate to give you a 12months guarantee unless you buy a car as is where is condition. 

I hope my advise will help.

Yours sincerely 


Josef Baukes 

Member MVTC 36435 NSW

Australia Fair Trading Office 


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