The money you spend to purchase your car only represents a portion of the cash outlay necessary to keep your vehicle running properly. You’ll also need to allocate part of your budget to periodic repairs and replacement parts. Both are inevitable.
Check your transmission from the side view and underneath for oil leaks. Get close and make sure that there are no tell tale signs of leakage, just in case it has been cleaned up but not fixed.
Direct injection – A quicker, more efficient way of getting fuel into the engine. Direct injection process removes the step of mixing the fuel with air prior to injection.
Does it smoke? With the engine running, take the oil fill cap off the valve cover. If smoke comes out, the rings or valves are shot and you need to leave now. It will be an expensive repair and perhaps a complete engine rebuild.
The Tanabe Hyper Medallion, the discontinued Tanabe G-Power Medallion and the GReddy (SP) Street Performance seem to be the quietest. At anything less than full throttle, they are no louder than stock. But at full throttle they seem to “wake up” a bit.
And engine oil has another thing working against it. The Federal Government and the Clean Air Act. As part of making cars run clean, lately a lot of manufacturers have been putting the catalytic converter recycling (an exhaust part that runs really hot, about 1600 degrees, and cleans you exhaust) close to oil pans. The object of this is to reduce the amount of time the engine takes to warm up. It’s this warm up time when the cars emissions are the worst, and the government is trying to narrow the gap. This is pretty rough on oil. Under this heat, the more impurities there are in the oil the more it cokes (solidifies) till there is a big ball of sludge blocking your oil pickup. When the oil light comes on it’s pretty much game over.
Next inspect the interior. Ask for the keys so you can check the accessories. Make sure everything on the interior works. Check the headlights, turn signals, horn, and radio and take note of anything that needs to be fixed. Roll all the windows up and down. Start it up and check the gauges. Turn on the heater and air conditioner.
Consider your vehicle an investment. You’ll need to replace parts as they fail. The key is to stay on top of regular maintenance items (i.e. check fluid levels, change the oil, replace filters, etc.) and have problems fixed quickly. By doing so, you’ll prevent small problems from turning into large repair bills.