The MOT exemption is a realistic matter for us enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the scheme has created a new problem. From the sector of 'professional hobbyists', vague private individuals with retention of benefits, 'free boys', traders without passion or scruples, cars are offered - and sold for serious money - that were no more than scrapers for the APK-free era . How are they sold? They are made 'ready for sale'.
In old car dealers' terms, they are being painted bold. Therefore, be very careful with cars offered via the Internet by private individuals or professionals. When visiting Marktplaats and the like, click on 'see other advertisements from this provider'. If the text says' from enthusiast 'or' for enthusiast 'and the range of' other advertisements consists of another twenty classics, then we have a wolf in sheepskin again. Therefore, never buy a classic without good technical guidance. And because a bad purchase can also involve significant purchase amounts, a purchase inspection by a well-known company, a club expert or an appraiser is more than worth it. But we can get the first impressions ourselves.
What to watch out for?
A lot can become clear when approaching the car. Are the flanks tight and smooth? Are the seams of the panels acceptably parallel? Is the paint not too shiny? Do rubbers around windows and the like have a spray mist under the greasy silicone gloss? Are chrome parts just taped off while spraying? Are there dust inclusions or silicone craters in the paint? Do the tires have tread and are they regularly worn? You can see if the car is worth further viewing just while walking to the car.
By bending down once you can determine how old the tires are. On the sidewall of the tire is the American DOT (Department of Transportation) designation along with the production date. From 01-01-1990 to 31-12-1999 these were 3 digits, for example 082 = 8th week 1992. From 01-01-2000 these are 4 digits, for example 3401 = 34th week 2001. Tires older than 6 years should be monitored for signs of aging. The presence of good radial tires instead of authentic diagonal tires may have been a conscious choice. Radial tires generally provide significantly better driving and braking behavior.
We recommend tires to replace the 6 year, regardless of the number of kilometers driven. Of course, replace the tire earlier when the tread depth (minimum 1,6 mm) no longer meets the requirement and the tire has external damage and / or separation (internal cord layer damage).
Once squatted we can read more information. For example, are the pedal rubbers smooth or suspicious 'ZGAN'? A look under the dashboard can also be enlightening. If there is a mess of wires and pinch plugs there, everything might work. But it is not a serious approach. Look under the floor mats and under the mat in the trunk. Always look in the spare wheel box and also a look under the battery can learn a lot. Don't let a nice black layer reassure you immediately. That also applies to the underside of the car. Even more warnings for 'black': engine compartments and boot spaces that have been blown off matte black usually prove that the car has at least had a different color and was only sprayed outside. It does not mean anything, but it is an indication.
Puncture carefully where parts of the board connect. Kit and filler are not immediately known in the automotive industry as responsible construction materials. But in the open field they are very popular for their fast optical result.
If the purchase still seems interesting, it is time to crawl under the car and do what no APK judge can do: prick. With a sharp screwdriver. Knocking can also be enlightening for that firm piercing. Even if it is provided with a confidence-inspiring layer of black, doubled plate, aluminum, polyester or cardboard still sound very different from honest sheet metal work. Assume the misery is greater the duller the sound.
Look - how silly it seems - once under the car for a moment to the drain plugs. Do they look like they were ever loose? Also pay attention to oil sweat spots along the gaskets. They can indicate that the car is awake again and kissed for years of dreamless sleep. A clean oil filter says nothing. After a pat with a greasy cloth, such a part always looks new.
In that context, also take a look under the hood. First feel with the back of the hand whether the engine is cold or warm. A hot block can conceal starting problems or technical problems - such as a cloud of smoke during the first start. Check the environment with a critical eye. Dirt is dirty and can be honest. But an engine room that is clearly cleaned with a cleaner and a high-pressure spray? A matt black sprayed engine compartment? Disassemble the air filter briefly. Mice nests can be an indication that little care has been taken in maintenance. Just as little as dark black, muddy oil on the dipstick (s) does. On the other hand: just as many comments can be made about oil that is suspiciously clean. A ride of forty kilometers can make that color completely dark when the weather is bad. At least: if the new oil is simply poured into an old, internally contaminated block.
If the car has reasonably passed that superficial inspection, then it is almost time for the final touchstone before a purchase inspection or purchase is actually made. Perhaps the test with the magnet? No! That magnet can still be useful to reveal fair plasters. But since there is just putty in the States - they call it "bondo" - for sale that is enriched with iron powder? A layer thickness meter that cannot be fooled by it is better, but unfortunately also considerably more expensive. The prices start around € 175. But maybe the local car repair company has just one to borrow. Try that magnet or layer thickness tester around the headlights, for the A pillar, left and right of the B pillar and further on at all other points below the waist line of the car. He can often be reached with a little more effort, but the lower part of the air intake for the windscreen is also regularly a place where sealant and polyester have taken the place of fair steel.
When the route has gone so far and love has not cooled yet, an extensive test drive can be considered. But before the time comes, we first carefully examine the papers that come with the car. Do the numbers mentioned match the numbers entered? How long has the car been in the seller's name? Or even: does the specified cylinder capacity match the number plate with the block that protrudes under the hood?
After the test drive the car is allowed on the bridge for a final judgment.
For an interested person, this process can stop after the first glance. The story of the supplier who offered a BMW 2002 in top condition is legendary. When the customer arrived there was a scraped copy from the 3 series. The salesman beamed with joy: “Yes, I had put it on the Internet first. But nobody came up with that. But now that you are there, are you just taking him for five meier? ”Not so.
If the whole story has worked out as desired so far, then it is time for a test drive. A test drive can tell much more than many people think. But about that later.