Should i or shouldn't buy one? I really want one to dd. But not sure if it will last at least 3 years. High mileage as in 100k + let me know your thoughts and opinions. Thanks!
Very nice summary of quick checks you can do. I will add one more thing. Get a code scanner, learn how to use it before you go, try it out on a couple cars.I was a buyer for used cars recently.....I went to Auctions and inspected them. The FIRST thing I do is pop the hood and remove the oil filler cap.....and turn it upside down. The bottom of the oil cap will tell you the cars history.
IF there is any white Mayonnaise looking stuff.....put the cap back on and walk away. That is water in the oil. Also...look for a buildup of "crust" ...this indicates the oil changes were infrequent and or poor oil was used. The bottom of the cap should be clean and oily.
Next...look into the radiator overflow bottle to make sure it is pure antifreeze. Any oily stuff in there is oil in the water. Either condition indicates a blown head gasket. Walk away if it fails these tests.
Next......sit in car and start the engine......put left foot on brake (or pull E brake if manual) and carefully apply power (power brake) in both drive and reverse. Listen for clunks or excessive noise or play when shifting from drive to reverse. A slow engagement indicates possible transmission problems. Clunks indicates excessive wear and or drive line problems. If it passes these tests......road test the car!!! Insist that a scanner be done to look for any codes. Most parts stores will do this for free. Drive the car at all speeds including highway. Listen and feel for any issues. Look through the wheels and look at how thick the brake pads are. Look at the rotors for grooves or damage. If unsure of yourself, taker it to a mechanic and pay for an inspection. Look under the car for leaks.
If it passes these tests and you buy the car.....change ALL of the fluids in the car as soon as you can. Start with the engine oil first and move on. Good luck and keep us posted......Gene.
Thank you Sir.....great advanced info for sureVery nice summary of quick checks you can do. I will add one more thing. Get a code scanner, learn how to use it before you go, try it out on a couple cars.
And the important part, get one that can and learn how to do it. "Readyness Check" or whatever it is called where the car reports all tests are complete. If you have a code for say low evap leak, or something O2 related, and you clear the code, it could take a day or 2 of driving before tests complete and it re-triggers. So there is a way on a lot of code readers to see if all tests are complete. If so, then you can assume that it really has no detected faults. If all tests aren't complete, there could be a pending fault that was just cleared before car was put up for sale.
I have a "Scangauge II" and it is kind of funky, but it will let you know which tests are complete and which are still pending.
I would check if engine is cold, for reference, start it, let it run till it is hot enough for heater to work, check for leaks. Also if you have time, start it, shut it off, start it, many times.
Depreciation is the biggest expense of owning a car. Thus buying a less expensive car to begin lowers the depreciation cost.Should i or shouldn't buy one? I really want one to dd. But not sure if it will last at least 3 years. High mileage as in 100k + let me know your thoughts and opinions. Thanks!
Been around cars for over 40 years. I've never come upon the crust condition you mentioned but would agree that is not a healthy sign.
As for the "mayo" sign, that is not a Florida thing but a more northerly thing. Where there is plenty of humidity and cooler temperatures.
I've seen the "mayo" sign a few times once or twice even with my Boxster and Turbo. (Porsche techs I talked to about this said it was not that rare to see.) This is a less humid -- on average -- and slightly cooler -- though it can reach 100F+ some days -- climate.
Neither engine manifested any other signs of head gasket, head or block cracks, porosity, etc., and I put 300K+ miles on the Boxster and 150K+ miles on the Turbo and the engines were trouble free.
Absent any sign of oil in the coolant I'd not be too worried about a bit of brownish mayo under the cap. Water in oil is a natural byproduct of combustion. Getting it out is a bit of work. The engine and engine oil has to get hot and remain hot so the water boils and then as vapor avoids contact with any cooler engine surfaces and can leave vai the engine crankcase ventilation system.
The other way is of course to drain the oil and replace it with fresh oil.
Early in my Boxster ownership in just a few months of winter driving (4K miles) in the KC MO -- relatively high humidty yet cool temperatures (at least in the winter) area an oil analysis -- I was just curious -- found 7% water content in 9+ quarts of oil. Long story short what was going on was the oil was just not getting hot enough the engine just not getting hot enough that the water in the oil would boil out and remain as vapor long enough to leave via the crankcase ventilation system. The water in the oil did cause me to ignore the factory 15K mile oil change interval and instead change the oil every 5K miles.
But it is up the prospective car buyer how he wants to treat any sign of anything abnormal (even if it can be normal) when checking out a car. If he chooses to err on the side of caution that's his decision.
If you alone have seen "thousands" of crusty caps then this would be the case with all techs. The problem would be so bad the 'net would be full of questions/reports/discussions about this.Being "around" cars for 40 years is not a qualification unto itself. An 80 year old driver can be "around" cars for 65 years and know very little technically or real world.
I have seen literally thousands of crusty sludged dry caps. I would have to assume that your experience is owning nicer, newer vehicles and not working or making a living on general population high mileage vehicles. I have done both.
Your statement of mayo under the cap is a Northern thing, not Southern. If that was the case......why have I seen hundreds or thousands in Florida? I might see 15 or 20 in one day of inspection at Auction.
If combustion actually put water in the oil, then there is a leak or a piston ring problem. A normal engine that does not have an internal leak will NOT accumulate water in the oil.....as long as it reaches operating temperature.
When I got out of the Service, I bought a Semi and drove 48 states In all weather conditions....even being "snowed in" in Bangor Maine and Chicago. I have idled all night to stay warm...and the Big diesel never got over 140 degrees. never a drop of water in the oil.
I will agree that an engine that never reaches operating temperature and then shut off will accumulate water. But 7%!!!!!
Holy COW! Almost 10% of the oil being water? Since oil and water don't mix.....that was a REAL mess. I have never heard personally of such a thing. Acceptable moisture levels in oil are rated in PPM (parts per MILLION)! Not percent of motor oil volume!
If you had 7% water in you motor....you set a record brother! lol Something was seriously wrong with that motor.
Only the grace of God kept that thing running! That would explain why a brown goo on the oil cap would not worry you. I would run like a GIRL WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE! And I don't have any hair!