Why you should scan that used car before buying it
Be it the usual Tokunbo car (yes, it is still used) or Nigerian used (often dreaded, with good reason), scanning any used car for faults, which may or not have been cleared, is a sure way to avoid digging a hole in your pocket.
Taking a trusted mechanic along while making a car purchase is good, but having a scanner is probably even better. No mechanic can detect faulty oxygen sensors or any of the other dozens of sensors in a car. That it starts and runs at the point of purchase does not mean the throttle position sensor isn’t in need of attention and suddenly roughly idling or failing to accelerate properly.
A faulty car is best imagined and not experienced, as apart from possibly unending costs, particularly when one has the misfortune of a trial-and-error just in it for money mechanic, it could also leave the owner stranded at the most painful times.
Here are few things to note why you should consider taking a scanner on your next car purchase:
You decide if it is worth the trouble
The codes thrown up after scanning the car first serve a purpose; to help you determine if the vehicle would be worth the trouble of purchasing it. Depending on how many codes pop up, and more importantly, the severity of each fault code, it puts you as a buyer in a position to quickly determine if you want to proceed with the transaction or not. In the event the car remains appealing despite lighting up like a Christmas tree with fault codes, then, to the next point.
Factor in faults as you bargain
Having a good idea of what is wrong with the vehicle you are about to purchase and what putting it in good shape would cost, is perhaps the best bargaining tool to have.
It is also a good idea at this point, not to refer to ‘Ladipo’ prices, but what OEM replacements would cost and Amazon (at least personally) has been a good place to shop for parts and of course, get an idea of prices.
It should be noted that one fault code might have multiple parts likely to be faulty and responsible for it, and while you may not expect to buy all, you at least have this in your favour.
You are paying x-much for repairs, which affect the performance of the vehicle if not done, means you can negotiate for y-amount to be knocked off, or you walk away.
Know what is waiting for you, no surprises
It is hardly fun to wind up stuck on say, the third mainland bridge with your ‘new tokunbo’ on your first week driving it. However, scanning at the point of purchase and having a fairly good idea of whatever faults may be lurking means you’re never caught unawares.
Those fault codes are not to be simply wiped (no, hiding the problems don’t make them disappear), rather, fixed with parts or repairs that are required, otherwise, be prepared to pay the price of knowing what was wrong but failing to act.
Bonus point; failing to address a fault on time might lead to other, likely more costly damages.
Expose outright falsehood
Lastly, scanning that car before purchase helps to burst the bubble where a seller might have done a good job of concealing the litany of problems a vehicle might have.
It surely would be fun having technology give you the upper hand while making that car purchase, and more details on scanning to make the right choice will follow in subsequent articles.