CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car: Exterior Inspection

This the second part of an ongoing series on how to buy a used car. In the first part, we discussed pre-inspection.

Skyline R32 Exterior

Inspect Paint and Body Alignment

Visually inspect the exterior of the car for any body dings and/or paint damage. Check the alignment of the bumpers, doors, hood, trunk, tail lights, and headlights to see if the gaps are consistent all around. Misaligned panels may show history of an accident. You may knock on misaligned sheetmetal to check for signs of body filler being used. See if the sound is consistent with the rest of the body.

Watch Out For Rust

Look for signs of rust, especially if the owner’s residence is located near the ocean. Saltwater causes rust, and even one-year-old vehicles are no exception. Also check the plastic rubber moldings and seals.

Check Everything That Moves

As you go around, operate anything that moves. The doors should shut snugly, windows should open and close fully, the hood, trunk, and gas door/cap should open and close without problems. Again, inconsistencies may show signs of a previous accident. Check the rubber weatherstrips as well. Damage may cause leaks into the cabin.


Make sure all lights function. Park lights, signal lights, hazards, headlight high and low beams, brakelights, reverse lights, and plate number illuminators. If there are additional accessories such as fog lights and retracting radio antennas, make sure to check on these as well.

Check Underneath

Be prepared to get down and dirty. Inspect the underside with a flashlight. CHeck the tires’ tread depth and check for uneven wear. Check the steering and axle rubber boots if they’re torn or damaged. While you’re under, it will be good if you can check for signs of oil leaking under the engine. Areas with caked-on dirt such as muffler and chassis frames may hide rust underneath. Poke at them with a pen. If it doesn’t puncture, it should be good.

The Suspension

When you get up, check the suspension by vigorously shaking the vehicle on all corners to simulate the vehicle going through rough road conditions. Squeaks indicate the suspension bushings need replacement. And if the suspension feels too soft or soggy, and bounces more than ounce, the shocks/dampers need replacement.

Take Notes

Take note of the tires installed at the time of inspection. If you decide to come back and purchase the vehicle, unethical sellers may replace these with older pieces.

CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car is an ongoing series. On the next series, we’ll discuss Engine Inspection.

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CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car: Pre-Inspection

Transformers Used Car Scene
Let’s face it. You wouldn’t always be buying a brand-new car. At some point in your life, you will have to settle for a used car. Whether it be that R34 Skyline or Hachi Roku you always wanted, or that old-school classic you wanted to restore, or you just can’t afford a brand-new car just yet, you will end up buying yourself a used car.

Bring a Friend

When inspecting a used car before purchase, it always help to tag along a mechanic or specialist if you are not that well versed with automobiles. The tip you’ll spend on the mechanic will be well worth the investment and will go a long way if you become the next owner of the used vehicle you’re looking to purchase.

And even if you are knowledgeable about cars, it would never hurt to bring along a buddy who can inspect the vehicle with you. You may not see everything when you’re alone.

Remember: A car will probably be the second most expensive purchase you’re ever going to make in your life, besides a house.

Do Your Homework

It will always be a good idea to do some research on the vehicle you’re looking to purchase. Knowing the factory specifications will come in handy once you’re doing your inspection. At the very least, find out what engine it came with, and whether it’s a front or rear-whee-drive vehicle.

Begin Cold

When you begin your inspection, it’s best to start with a cold vehicle. It will make it easier to look around, and will give you the chance to start it and get it heated up yourself.

CustomPinoyRides’ Guide to Buying a Used Car is an ongoing series. On the next series, we’ll discuss Exterior Inspection.

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Pinoy Mechanic Marlou Acedera wins the Castrol Power 1 ASEAN Mechanic Contest

Marlou Acedera is a simple mechanic who works in a local motorcycle dealership in Metro Manila. But now, he is known as the region’s top mechanic, having bested opponents across Southeast Asia in the recent Castrol Power 1 ASEAN Mechanic Contest.

The contest involved two rounds involving motorcycle engine assembly, checking the electricals, and troubleshooting and repair of a motorcycle of motorcycle problems within a certain timeframe. And Marlou has come out triumphant over opponents from Thailand, Indoniesa, and Vietnam, where the population of motorcycles are up to ten times more than that of the Philippines.

Marlou brings home a cash prize of $1,000.00, and won the opportunity to be part of the San Carlo HOnda Gresini Team Pit Crew in the Malaysian Leg of the MotoGP series.

Congratulations to Marlou Acedera!

Marlou Acedera wins Castrol Power 1 ASEAN Mechanic Contest
Marlou Acedera (Front Row, Rightmost)

Source: Top Gear Philippines

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Top Gear: Series 14, Episode 6

Watch Top Gear: Series 14, Episode 6 (Aired 27-Dec-2009)

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Fifth Gear: Evo 6 vs Evo 9 – Who will win?

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Subaru Impreza STi plus Tank equals KEN BLOCK’S TRAX STI CAR

What do you get when you mix a Tank and a Subrau Impreza STI? You get Ken Block’s TRAX STI Car.

It’s Christmas season, and in other parts of the world, we have snow, snow, and more snow. So watch Ken drive the car in typical gusto you will only see in Icelandic glacier going monster 4x4s.

Ken Block's TRAX STI Car
If there’s such a thing as a “monster truck”, then this is a “monster car”. This ride can go places no rally car can.

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How To Dress Up Your Car for Christmas

Christmas Car Decoration Hummer H2
I don’t know about you but in my opinion, I think this guy was still able to make it look like a head-turner without being crappy. I think it’s a decent job. Just make sure to remove it when the holidays are over. That’s just my opinon. What do you think?

Christmas Car Decoration Ugly
Now this is just an epic failure. Even if they did turn this into a parade float, it’s still ugly. I wouldn’t want anyone I know be part of this car’s ensemble if that were the case. Wouldn’t you agree with me?

Christmas Car Decoration Rice
Bring back the Fast and the Furious days where there were underbody lights and interior lights galore, that is, if you can handle the humiliation. It’s just too ricey nowadays.

I think the H2 managed to do the best job at decorating his ride for Christmas. What do you think?

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Drag Race: Nissan GT-R V-Spec vs Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake. Watch to see who will win!

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Hummer H2 Street Tuning Options

Chrome Hummer H2 Street Tuning
Here are some street tuning options for your Hummer H2. If you’re looking for options on how to dress-up your baby, go ahead and play the video so you’d see what other people are doing.

Here are my thoughts on some of the rides featured on the video:

  • I absolutely dislike the lowrider H2. I think it is a disgrace to the design. Plus they had to spend a ton of useless money on extensive body trimming and suspension modifications just to get the Hummer to sit that low.
  • I think front Lambo doors are cool. But if you do the same with the back, you have to be really careful not to close the front door while the rear door is open. Plus there’s the risk of the driver getting injured when the rear passenger operates the door.
  • The double-bumpered red H2 is just trying too hard to get the front end to look right, it ended up looking like a complete mistake.
  • I like the idea when they showed the H2 with the Escalade front end. I think it was unique.
  • The matte black H2 after the “Escaladed H2″ would’ve looked better if it was lifted and fitted with large mud terrain tires.
  • My personal favorites, aesthetics-wise, are: the Green H2 shown immediately after the ugly lowrider H2, and the Silver one shown immediately after the Green H2.

What’s your favorite?

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Tengku Djan wins the 2009 Formula Drift Malaysia

Formula Drift Malaysia 2009
Malaysia’s Tengku Djan bags the win on the 2009 Formula Drift Malaysia in his very own home ground. This is his third podium finsih, and his second championship win this year, after winning the 2009 Formula Drift Singapore in July.

The Malaysian local and Nissan 180SX driver, who is now truly known to possess world-class drifting skills, managed to edge past runner-up Thailand’s Sak Nana Kiki in his Nissan S15 Silvia, and third-placer Mike Whiddet in his Quad Rotor Mazda RX-7. Mike is the winner of the 2009 Formula Drift Thailand, is a Formula Drift and D1GP pro, and D1NZ Champion.

Here’s the video of Tengku’s final tandem match against Thailand’s Sak Nana Kiki. Nissan versus Nissan. 180SX versus S15 Silvia. Enjoy!

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