To-do list after buying a used car


Posted by: Odoala Chukwuemeka

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Below is the list of everything you should check and/or change after you had bought a used vehicle. Make sure you follow so as not to regret later!

What you need to do right after buying a used vehicle is very straightforward: Change the engine oil, refill the gearbox oil, brake fluid, fill the coolant tank, check the battery and inspect the tires. Read further details below for Naijauto explanation!

1. Change engine oil

You should check the engine oil quality right after you have driven the car home with a probe. If the color of the probe is yellow or maybe a little brownish, it is still in good condition and you do not need to change the oil. If it is any other color, probably darkish and with many tiny particles, you should opt for new oil.

The life of a car engine is directly related to whether or not you replace the oil periodically. Car owners are often advised to change engine oil every 5,000 km. However, the life of the engine oil is now significantly higher. And if you want to start the car more easily in cold weather, to prolong engine life or cut fuel consumption, you can switch to synthetic oil.


The quality of the engine oil will affect the life of your engine.

2. Replace the brake fluid

Regular brake fluid has a glycol-based desiccant. When the brake fluid is watery, you need to remove the water in the brake fluid as soon as possible because it will reduce the heat resistance ability of the brake and also corrode it. If the water is heated, the overall boiling temperature of the brake fluid will be reduced, causing the brake clamp to become hot, directly affecting the braking performance and safety.

When you buy an old car, the brake fluid is probably very old. So, you need to change it immediately. Technicians recommend that the owner replace the brake fluid periodically every 3 years to avoid brake corrosion and excessive accumulated moisture.

>>> Are you looking for Hyundai car spare parts? Check List of Hyundai spare parts dealers & markets in Nigeria


Remember to change your brake fluid every 3 years

3. Replace the gearbox oil

Use a probe to check the quality of the gearbox oil. The gearbox should be full of lubricating oil. If any kind of burning odor appears, it indicates that the operating temperature is currently too high, this may cause the gear to fail much quicker than usual. So you should change gear oil regularly. If necessary, add a small amount of gear oil coolant to protect the expensive components in the drive system.

4. Check the coolant tank

One of the major causes of engine failure is overheating. When the engine is running, it generates a large amount of heat. If the engine overheats, it will damage the washers as well as other parts to a point they can not be repaired.


Remember to refill the tank to prevent overheating

Therefore, coolant plays a very important role in extending the life of the engine. At present, cooling systems often incorporate many heterogeneous metals. This causes the cooling water to turn into an electrolyte and it corrodes expensive parts of the engine. You should go to a local auto service to refill the engine coolant and quickly replace the pipe that you think is damaged during the rinsing process soon after buying a car. Then, you should continue to refill and change it every 3 years.

>>> When buying used cars, make sure you stay away from flooded ones. Read How to avoid buying Tokunbo cars damaged by flood - 6 simple tips

5. Check the battery 

When buying a used car, you should pay attention to the date of manufacture of the battery. Since most sellers of old cars always try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay for the soon-not-to-be their vehicle, they'll likely neglect the battery even if it's broken. If you found the battery in its fourth year from the date of manufacture, you have to replace it.


Sellers of old cars normally don't change the battery before selling it to you

6. Tire inspection

Check the tire carefully after buying a used car. You should check for tire, tensile, wear, tear and cracks. Cracks can be very different in size, from as small as a strand of hair to some large enough to fit a whole penny in. If the tire has lost its elasticity, then it is probably used for about 5 years. This is when you should change tires.

Also, compare the uniformity between the two tires. In the old car, the common condition is the tire is not the same. To save fuel and safety for yourself, replace a new tire.

>>> Always check for useful car buying tips as well as handy maintenance advice!

Odoala Chukwuemeka

Odoala Chukwuemeka


Odoala Chukwuemeka is an automobile content writer at He loves every machine that moves and hence has a deep passion for cars and the technological marvel behind them. He's also driven and inspired to create informative articles detailing the nitty gritty on several car models in Nigeria. His other hobbies include poetry, photography and Shotokan Karate.

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