What should I check when buying a used BMW?
Buying a used car in Canada can be a tricky process. This is even truer if you buy a luxury brand like BMW. This guide’ll help you understand the different things to check when buying a used BMW.
Things to check before buying a used BMW
The car’s history is an essential element to check. This includes not only the number of previous owners but also maintenance details. Multiple owners can indicate possible neglect or poor maintenance of the car. Check whether the car has been regularly serviced according to BMW’s recommendations. A valuable tool for this in Canada is the CarFax service, which provides a detailed report on the vehicle’s history.
Bodywork and signs of corrosion
Due to the Canadian climate, corrosion can be a significant problem, especially for older cars. Look for signs of rust, especially around the wheel arches, rocker panels and trunk. Dents, scratches or signs of poor repairs could indicate past accidents or neglected maintenance.
Tires and rims
Tires and rims are often overlooked when buying a used car but can provide clues to its overall condition. Unevenly worn tires could indicate an alignment or suspension problem, leading to significant repair costs in the future. Damaged rims could indicate that the car has hit curbs or gone through numerous potholes, affecting alignment and suspension.
Brake and suspension condition
Brakes and suspension are essential to the car’s safety. Check brake pads and discs for wear or damage. Suspensions should be firm but not too rigid and should not make a suspicious noise when stressed.
Lights and wipers
Make sure all lights are working correctly. This includes parking lights, headlights, indicators and taillights. Windshield wipers must work efficiently to ensure good visibility, especially in Canada’s often-changing weather conditions.
Checks to be carried out during the test drive
Handling and vehicle behaviour
During the test drive, pay close attention to how the car handles. A used BMW should offer precise, responsive handling. If the car feels floaty or imprecise, this could indicate a problem with the steering or suspension.
Gearbox and clutch
The gearbox is a crucial component in a BMW. Whether buying a manual or an automatic, make sure the gearbox operates smoothly. In the case of a manual car, the clutch should have no sticking points and engage smoothly. A noisy gearbox or slipping clutch could indicate heavy wear or poor maintenance.
The engine and possible noises
The heart of any BMW is its engine. During your test drive, listen carefully to the sound of the engine. Clattering, hissing or rumbling noises could indicate serious problems. In addition, check that the engine runs smoothly at all engine speeds without jerking or variations in power.
The air-conditioning system
The air-conditioning system is essential in the Canadian climate, where temperatures vary considerably between summer and winter. Ensure the system can deliver both hot and cold air quickly and efficiently.
Documents to check with a used BMW
The registration certificate
The registration certificate (in Canada) must match the vehicle and be in the seller’s name. The chassis number listed on the registration certificate must correspond to that of the car.
Certificat de non-gage
In Canada, the vehicle history report provided by the SAAQ ensures that the car can be sold freely without any liens or other financial obligations.
Service invoices provide proof of regular vehicle maintenance. They can also indicate which parts have been replaced, when, and whether the car has always been maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
In conclusion, buying a pre-owned BMW in Canada means taking the time to scrutinize every aspect of the vehicle. Feel free to call in a professional for a pre-purchase inspection if you have the slightest doubt. BM Service Exclusif offers a pre-purchase inspection service to help you make the best possible choice. Make an appointment with us today to ensure your peace of mind when purchasing a pre-owned BMW.