Your favorite Audi is up for sale, and you can’t wait to grab the offer, and get behind the steering wheel of this beauty. However, before you strike the deal, make sure you evaluate the used car properly.
Audi Emerges as the Winner!
The Audi A4 topped the list of the DEKRA Used Car Report 2012 as the car with the least fault rate. The car defended the title of ‘Best of All Classes’, as it proved to be the best across all mileage ranges.
The soaring prices of newly launched models have pushed customers into the used-car market. With a variety of models available, and the ease of financing, a lot of car buyers are going in for pre-owned cars. These cars are either sold by dealers, or directly by the owners. The biggest hurdle in buying a pre-owned car is the fear of being cheated. So, you really need to be careful while buying used cars. Before buying a high-end luxury used car, like an Audi, it is necessary to evaluate two basic points.
Which Model Do You Want?
There are a lot of models that Audi has launched since the company was set up. You need to decide which model suits your needs. It is easier for you to find the exact model that suits your want if you have a fixed budget.
What is the Source of Buying?
Once you have evaluated the exact model, you need to search for the correct source to buy the car. The Internet, used car dealers, brokers, newspaper ads, referrals, etc., are the various buying sources.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Audi
Once you are through with these questions, and have finally selected the right model and the source, the next step would be to thoroughly examine the car. Here are the areas that you need to pay special attention to.
❑ The exterior of a car can speak volumes about its condition. Many car owners and used car dealers repaint the body panels to cover up any scratches or damages. The best way to know if the car is repainted is to open the car door and look for overspray.
❑ Next, you should examine the headlights and fog lights. First, obviously, check if the headlights and fog lights are working. Second, check if the headlights are xenon. To check this, look for the headlight washer right below the headlights. Xenon lights need them by default. The next in line are the tail lights. Examine these lights for cracks or scratches, and make sure all bulbs are working. Press the rear fog light switch, and check that only one bulb turns on. Also, check if the license plate light is working properly.
❑ No, you do not have to examine the ‘actual’ engine, but you can always check related things. First, check the engine oil. The car owner would have changed the engine oil, and he/she is bound to have the receipts. Check that the oil used was in the list of oils approved by Audi. You can find this information on their website.
❑ Second, open the hood, and check the power steering fluid, which should be green in color, the coolant, which should be pink or purple in color, and the brake fluid, which should be milky in color. If these are any other colors, it is probably because the owner did not use Audi-approved liquids.
❑ Engine chipping is another area that needs to be checked properly. It is very normal for car owners to chip their engines to enhance the car’s performance. Though this method increases the engine’s performance, if anything goes wrong after chipping, Audi does not take any responsibility for the damage. Thus, while buying a used Audi, make sure that the engine has been chipped properly, if it has been chipped at all.
❑ Examine the seat covers and car mats for any damages. The owner would have probably changed them, depending on the use and how old the car is. Look for any scratches or damages to the dashboard, cup holders, and speaker tray (the one that has your speakers mounted on it). Obviously, if you find damages, point it out to the seller, so he can either get them fixed, or adjust the asking price of the car.
❑ You would also need to check the audio system thoroughly. Audi cars fall in the luxury bracket, and usually have high-end music systems. If the owner has not made any after-market changes to the audio system, then the car should be equipped with a Bang & Olufsen Sound System. Check if all the features of the sound system are working properly. Turn on the system, and increase the volume to a high level. If you are able to hear a crackling sound, it means that the speakers have been changed, or need repair. Bring it to the notice of the seller.
❑ The sun/moon roof of the car should also be checked for any defects. Press the appropriate buttons, and check its operation at every stage. It should slide smoothly without making any noise.
❑ Cruise control is a highlighted feature of most high-end cars. Thus, it becomes very necessary to check these. Audi uses Adaptive Cruise Control, which maintains a constant set distance from the vehicle ahead. The display on the dashboard should show the default spacing interval between your car and the one in front of you when you turn on the ignition.
❑ The heated steering wheel should also be checked, if the model you are planning to buy has one. All you need to do is to turn on the driver’s heated seat, and then feel the steering wheel after about a minute. If the steering wheel remains cold, then it might need repair or replacement. Similarly, check if the seats are heated by turning on all the heating options.
❑ Checking for error codes is a must, at least for the engine, HVAC, and transmission. This can be done using specific software. You can contact someone from the company, or on the Audiworld website, to check the same.
❑ If your model has a first-aid kit, chances are the owner may have used it. However, you can always ask him/her to replace it for you. Audi keeps the first-aid kit in the rear armrest.
❑ Keys! I know you won’t forget checking this, but what you can forget is the valet and plastic key. Be sure to collect them from the owner.
❑ Apart from the ones mentioned above are, here are some more features that you need to check before signing the dotted line.
❖ Bluetooth Car Phone
❖ Anti-theft Alarm
❖ Drive Select (check for the three modes-comfort, auto, or dynamic)
❖ Lane Assist
❖ Driver Seat Memory Function
❖ Light and Rain Sensors
❖ Multimedia Interface (MMI)
The best way to judge a car is to drive it. While test driving the car, make sure to pay attention to the transmission. It should be smooth. Keep an eye on all the assistance sensors. If the car has tiptronic, check the same by switching it on and off. You do need to carry out the regular braking, honking, and steering tests.
Don’t Forget These
Even though you are buying a luxurious beauty, it is necessary to carry out a few regular tests before finally deciding to buy the car.
❖ Examine the tires for any signs of wear and tear. Also, check if the tires match in size and brand.
❖ Drive the car on a bumpy road to check for metallic sounds. If you can hear such sounds, then the car’s suspension has a problem.
❖ Get under the car to check if there is any oil leak.
❖ Open and shut all the doors to check if they are functioning properly.
❖ Check the working of the indicators, headlights, and brake lights.
❖ Look beneath the car mats for any signs of rust.
❖ Check the working of the air conditioner and heater.
❖ Open and close the glove box to check whether it operates smoothly.
❖ Check the trunk for any damages.
❖ Get all the documentation and papers related to the car.
Audi Certified Program
Audi has a pre-owned certification program, wherein they examine old and used cars for any damages. The car is made to pass through 300+ inspection checks, and if the car passes these checks, it gets an Audi Pre-owned Certification. As these cars are checked by the company, there are less chances of any problems in the car. They also provide financing options for such cars. You can buy these from any Audi dealer.
Audi being a luxurious and high-end brand, it is necessary for you to thoroughly check the car for any damages before purchasing it. It is always advisable to have a car mechanic along when you are inspecting the car.