Buying a used car in Pakistan? Beware of these 6 red flags!

Pakistan's top auto-blog highlights what you should be careful about!

How to buy a used car efficiently?

Purchasing a second-hand vehicle has become the new norm in Pakistan. However, buying a used car doesn’t mean that you have to settle for less. It’s very important to be informed and has done some research to educate buyers on how to shop for second-hand cars (carefully).

According to, here are six shortcomings/faults to steer clear of when buying a used car:

  1. Exhaust Smoke:

Some sellers might confuse you between steam and smoke; hence, you should know the difference between the two. In winter, a car emits smoke before reaching its operating temperature. This is called steam and is a normal phenomenon. Whereas the phenomenon explained below refers to exhaust smoke, which is not normal. There are three types of exhaust smoke:

  • White smoke

This type of smoke is seen when the car continues to emit white smoke, even after reaching its normal temperature. Usually, this means that the coolant is entering the combustion chamber of the vehicle, possibly due to a crack in the cylinder block, damage in the cylinder head, or an issue in the head gasket. White smoke is also caused when a head gasket is burnt or has de-shaped due to the engine heat. The water from the water jackets starts to enter the combustion chamber, which causes white smoke.

  • Blue smoke 

This type of smoke indicates that the engine oil is burning inside the combustion chamber. It may be due to the piston rings, which do not make a proper seal with cylinder walls, or due to the absence of appropriate seals, leading to more consumption of oil inside the engine.

  • Black smoke

This type of smoke suggests that there is improper burning of the mixture inside the engine. This problem might arise because of a dirty air filter, faulty intake valve, or weak spark plug. It should be noted that black smoke emitting from diesel cars is caused by defective electronic nozzles and can be very costly to fix as these cars have electronic pumps and nozzles priced above Rs. 2 lacs.

Therefore, if a car is emitting any smoke, don’t buy it.

  1. Oil Leakage: 

If you spot any fuel leakages in a used car, don’t buy it. Make sure you check the top cover of the engine, seals, electric connections, and underbody of the vehicle for any sign of leaked fluids. If the seller presents you the car after a wash, drive the car for 5 – 10 minutes with the engine running at operating temperatures to ensure there are no leakages.

Check for these red flags before buying a second-hand car.
  1. Condition of Engine Oil: 

A car’s proper status can be uncovered by looking at the condition of its engine oil. Take the used car for a road test and check the engine oil state after the drive. If the color of the engine oil is coffee-colored, the vehicle is not a worthy purchase. The dark color means that a coolant has been mixed in the oil to mask an engine issue. Don’t forget to remove the engine oil cap to check any kind of sludge inside it too.

  1. Rust on Body: 

Rusting makes the car’s body weak, which can pose many dangers over time. Remember to check the vehicle’s pillars, body penal, radiator support, and rear boot for any kind of rust on the car’s body, so your future is secure.

  1. OBD Codes:

Always check the OBD Codes before buying a used car and make sure these are past codes and are now inactive. Mostly, there are two types of codes in a vehicle:

  • History Codes 

You don’t resolve these codes; for example, you removed the warning light wire instead of resolving the issue.

  • Permanent Codes 

These codes exist in the car at the time of selling. Hence, you should evaluate the seriousness of these codes through OBD. 

In short, you should buy the vehicle without codes.

  1. Abnormal Noises From Engine:

If a used car’s engine makes strange voices, don’t buy the car. These noises mean that the car’s engine is in poor condition and can lead to severe future accidents. Make sure you drive the vehicle for a few minutes to check for abnormal noises from the engine before you purchase a second-hand car. 

If the words were too hard to understand, watch the following video by to learn how to buy worthy second-hand cars:

What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.

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