Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09.06.2010, 18:49
Parsifal's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: zurich
Posts: 52
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 18 Times in 10 Posts
Parsifal has earned some respectParsifal has earned some respect
Used car inspection??

I've been looking through a couple of used car lots in the Zurich area and I'm kinda stuck. Anybody know of a good mechanic that would agree to go with me and inspect the car? My car-selecting skills stop shortly after looking for obvious oil leaks, brand new engine seats or suspicious smoke.
Should I be as worried about buying a lemon as I'd be in the US? I remember the usual scummy things would be to buy a "salvage" car or something that had been wrecked and patched together. Don't know if that sort of crap goes on here too since people and businesses here seem to be a lot more honest in general.
Or.... I'm interested in a Fiat Stilo 2.4 Abarth or similar type car if anybody knows of a good one
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09.06.2010, 18:52
Carlos R's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Roundn'about Basel
Posts: 7,092
Groaned at 102 Times in 91 Posts
Thanked 9,661 Times in 4,067 Posts
Carlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

Get it done officially by the TCS.

http://www.tcs.ch/main/fr/home/auto_...ions_test.html

That's the link for the French version. But basically you take the car to the test centre cough up 240 CHF (for non-members) or 120 CHF (for members) and they test the car for you.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09.06.2010, 18:58
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,900
Groaned at 97 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 1,932 Times in 921 Posts
Anthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

most cars on the lot have been checked. And def ask for it when you buy and they will give you a new one...

completely different market then the USA where (in some STATES)you have no inspection at all.....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09.06.2010, 19:31
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Frankfurt (Ex-Zurich)
Posts: 875
Groaned at 95 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 584 Times in 331 Posts
FrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of many
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
most cars on the lot have been checked.
They have been checked by MFK, which only states that the car in its current state is safe for traffic. MFK does not check if the car was involved in an accident before, it does not check if the mileag was manipulated, and it does not give you a price estimate.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09.06.2010, 21:06
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 101
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts
alefsin has no particular reputation at present
Re: Used car inspection??

Only buy a used car if it comes with a warranty. Besides peace of mind for you, probably it can be argued that reputable dealers would not risk to give a 1 or 2 years warranty on a car without first inspecting it themselves.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09.06.2010, 23:23
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Frankfurt (Ex-Zurich)
Posts: 875
Groaned at 95 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 584 Times in 331 Posts
FrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of many
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
Only buy a used car if it comes with a warranty. Besides peace of mind for you, probably it can be argued that reputable dealers would not risk to give a 1 or 2 years warranty on a car without first inspecting it themselves.
They don't give you warranty, what they do is they sell you (hidden in the car's price) an insurance against defects, a so called Garantieversicherung (warranty insurance).
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10.06.2010, 11:14
Parsifal's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: zurich
Posts: 52
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 18 Times in 10 Posts
Parsifal has earned some respectParsifal has earned some respect
Re: Used car inspection??

Yes, its usually an external warranty rolled into the price of the car. One guy even told me it was optional. For 500CHF on top of the price you can roll out of the lot with a one-year policy. I have no idea if this is more or less the going rate for an after-market warranty you could get anywhere else.
Few car lots offer warranties, mainly the big ones where they sell used cars at almost new car prices...
Would the every-day auto shops run a diagnostic check on a car? The TCS has banker's hours (M-F with Fridays only until 16:45)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10.06.2010, 11:19
Parsifal's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: zurich
Posts: 52
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 18 Times in 10 Posts
Parsifal has earned some respectParsifal has earned some respect
Re: Used car inspection??

By the way, I can't believe I'm getting much better advice from foreigners here. My Swiss co-workers have been as useless as tits on a boar on this and most other questions I've had...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10.06.2010, 11:46
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 9,797
Groaned at 340 Times in 276 Posts
Thanked 17,405 Times in 6,654 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

Normally I would volunteer to help - but my weekends are tied up at the moment.

Price: Have a good look through Autoscout - you'll be able to get a good idea of whether a car is priced well or not.

Condition: If the car has a new MFK these is a good chance that all the important mechanical bits work. However that doesn't mean the air con, the stereo, the head gasket and the gearbox won't let go within a week. The service history and receipts will tell you as much about a car as anything.

Length of Sale: How long has the car been on Autoscout - does it get relisted?

I have had very positive experiences of buying from mechanics who also sell cars - compared to car dealers. I can recommend a couple - but neither are in Zurich.

1) Take the car along a badly surfaced road - listen out for clunks. This may also happen on full lock. Problem can be ball joints, CVs

2) Check tyre wear - if uneven it can be down to badly inflated tyres, enthusiastic driving, wheel alignment - or damage to the suspension eg bent wishbone

3) Braking - do the brakes squeal (often down to non-standard pads) - does the car brake evenly? or pull to one side? What is the wear like on the discs? Is there a big lip from the disc face to the edge?

4) Cambelt (Zahnriemen) - dig about in the service book - find out when it should be done? and when it was last done? While you are at when was the last service done? And what sort of service? And what else was replaced? Most mechanics will write ERZ Wasser pumpe - which would mean replaced the water pump.

5) Model specific problems - get onto google - and look up the car for problems. Parkers.co.uk HonestJohn and owner forums should help.

6) Coolant problems - look at the radiator - does it have a lot of stone chips or blown fins - look in the coolant expansion tank - is there a white gunk?

7) Listen and look - when you start the car up does it sound right? do the panels look right? does the paint finish look right - look along the panels not at them. Does the engine pull smoothly in all gears? At low revs? Does the clutch slip? Are there strange smells?

Last edited by dodgyken; 10.06.2010 at 11:59.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank dodgyken for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 10.06.2010, 12:02
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 6,139
Groaned at 309 Times in 249 Posts
Thanked 9,479 Times in 3,857 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

I went with a mate who was recently looking for a 2nd hand car, some of the tat on dealers forecourts was amazing, obviously clocked cars, badly hidden damage, one mazda even appeared to have had a new chassis, these where all on dealer forecourts. He ended up buying privatly in the end, I was seriously shocked by the 'quality' of some of the cars we looked over.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10.06.2010, 12:25
BasP72's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Adliswil (close to Zurich)
Posts: 1,450
Groaned at 48 Times in 21 Posts
Thanked 1,097 Times in 546 Posts
BasP72 has a reputation beyond reputeBasP72 has a reputation beyond reputeBasP72 has a reputation beyond reputeBasP72 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
By the way, I can't believe I'm getting much better advice from foreigners here. My Swiss co-workers have been as useless as tits on a boar on this and most other questions I've had...
probably 'cause they themselves buy only new cars ?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10.06.2010, 13:10
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Frankfurt (Ex-Zurich)
Posts: 875
Groaned at 95 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 584 Times in 331 Posts
FrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of many
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
Normally I would volunteer to help - but my weekends are tied up at the moment.

Price: Have a good look through Autoscout - you'll be able to get a good idea of whether a car is priced well or not.

Condition: If the car has a new MFK these is a good chance that all the important mechanical bits work. However that doesn't mean the air con, the stereo, the head gasket and the gearbox won't let go within a week. The service history and receipts will tell you as much about a car as anything.

Length of Sale: How long has the car been on Autoscout - does it get relisted?

I have had very positive experiences of buying from mechanics who also sell cars - compared to car dealers. I can recommend a couple - but neither are in Zurich.

1) Take the car along a badly surfaced road - listen out for clunks. This may also happen on full lock. Problem can be ball joints, CVs

2) Check tyre wear - if uneven it can be down to badly inflated tyres, enthusiastic driving, wheel alignment - or damage to the suspension eg bent wishbone

3) Braking - do the brakes squeal (often down to non-standard pads) - does the car brake evenly? or pull to one side? What is the wear like on the discs? Is there a big lip from the disc face to the edge?

4) Cambelt (Zahnriemen) - dig about in the service book - find out when it should be done? and when it was last done? While you are at when was the last service done? And what sort of service? And what else was replaced? Most mechanics will write ERZ Wasser pumpe - which would mean replaced the water pump.

5) Model specific problems - get onto google - and look up the car for problems. Parkers.co.uk HonestJohn and owner forums should help.

6) Coolant problems - look at the radiator - does it have a lot of stone chips or blown fins - look in the coolant expansion tank - is there a white gunk?

7) Listen and look - when you start the car up does it sound right? do the panels look right? does the paint finish look right - look along the panels not at them. Does the engine pull smoothly in all gears? At low revs? Does the clutch slip? Are there strange smells?
to add to the list:

-if you are after a specific model, google if there are specific issues with that model (like broken turbos and toothed belts on early Volkswagen TDI)

-google for the service handbook of that type. Make sure that all obligatory replacements (toothed belt again!) have been made.

-have the seller put the car on the car lift and check for these issues, and for loose parts in the suspension, oil leaks and oxidation.

-check if the clearance (Spaltmass) between the body panels are even. If they are not (on german and Japanese cars), the car has had a crash before. Or the car is italian.

-Look at the inside of the car: does the wear of the steering wheel, the gas pedal and the driver's seat match with the mileage?

-if you are looking at a car not older than 1.5 years: make sure that it has not been a rental car before-or ask for a discount.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10.06.2010, 13:22
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,900
Groaned at 97 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 1,932 Times in 921 Posts
Anthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

and look for any damages in the paint, even in the inside of the doors. Just found out mind must have had a little accident as the spraypaint is now wearing off.

Another good tip is to have someone with who is not buying at the moment, they often have a more neutral look at it as they do not have the excitement of buying a new car and overlooking things
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10.06.2010, 13:40
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Frankfurt (Ex-Zurich)
Posts: 875
Groaned at 95 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 584 Times in 331 Posts
FrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of manyFrankS has earned the respect of many
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
and look for any damages in the paint, even in the inside of the doors. Just found out mind must have had a little accident as the spraypaint is now wearing off.
to avoid such problems, ask the seller to measure the Lackschichtdicke (thickness of the paint) on each body panel (in your presence, and on points that you indicate). If ha says he doesn't have a Schichtdickenmesser, don't believe him. If the thickness is uneven between the panels, or especially thick at some point (take the roof as reference), there's something wrong with the paint that needs to be explained by the seller.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10.06.2010, 13:42
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 2,900
Groaned at 97 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 1,932 Times in 921 Posts
Anthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond reputeAnthony1406 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
to avoid such problems, ask the seller to measure the Lackschichtdicke (thickness of the paint) on each body panel (in your presence, and on points that you indicate). If ha says he doesn't have a Schichtdickenmesser, don't believe him. If the thickness is uneven between the panels, or especially thick at some point (take the roof as reference), there's something wrong with the paint that needs to be explained by the seller.

I wish I would have seen this tread before....but mine seems only cosmetic damage from repainting the door dings....(I hope)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10.06.2010, 17:54
Parsifal's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: zurich
Posts: 52
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 18 Times in 10 Posts
Parsifal has earned some respectParsifal has earned some respect
Re: Used car inspection??

Regensdorf is a place where I found a lot of apparently good deals linked from the autoscout, comparis, etc. pages. They seem to make their profit more from exporting cars (all of the owners are middle-eastern) than selling them at the lot. They're certainly not aimed for anybody to come in and browse, they just look more like a huge car depot. Has anybody ever seen these places? Schlieren also has a few of them.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 15.06.2010, 09:30
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: AG
Posts: 5,399
Groaned at 149 Times in 107 Posts
Thanked 6,119 Times in 2,897 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
Regensdorf is a place where I found a lot of apparently good deals linked from the autoscout, comparis, etc. pages. They seem to make their profit more from exporting cars (all of the owners are middle-eastern) than selling them at the lot. They're certainly not aimed for anybody to come in and browse, they just look more like a huge car depot. Has anybody ever seen these places? Schlieren also has a few of them.
I've seen them but wouldn't buy from them. I bought a second hand car from a large dealer. I did the research on the model and could see on auto scout where others were being sold at what price. The dealer had sold the car new to the previous owner, was accident free and had been well maintained. That owner bought a new car hence the reason the one I bought was for sale. It came with a guarantee. I would only buy a used car from a dealer, but that's me.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 15.06.2010, 10:39
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 9,797
Groaned at 340 Times in 276 Posts
Thanked 17,405 Times in 6,654 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
Regensdorf is a place where I found a lot of apparently good deals linked from the autoscout, comparis, etc. pages. They seem to make their profit more from exporting cars (all of the owners are middle-eastern) than selling them at the lot. They're certainly not aimed for anybody to come in and browse, they just look more like a huge car depot. Has anybody ever seen these places? Schlieren also has a few of them.
You will struggle to find a good car there - and if you do you'll have to do all the paperwork/running around/registration/MFK yourself. Unless you are absolutely sure you are getting a bargain - I would steer clear.

I see the Swiss market as:

Main Dealer - New - popular - bought on lease from main dealers. Big Swiss companies will have a fleet policy that private individuals can use to get a discount.

Main Dealer - Used - typically 4 years old and younger. Ex-lease. Part exchanged for another car at the dealership. Usually found at main dealers.

Car Supermarket - pile em high - sell em cheap places. (Auto Discount Uster) - good deals of new or newish cars - average specification - bugger all service - and you are best advised going with cash.

A.N.Other Car Dealer - traditional car dealer. Cars around 4-10 years old. Some very good - some tired. Good examples near Zurich are F+G and Gfenn - both in Dubendorf. Service can be good or poor depending on who you speak to. Cars should come with a fresh MFK.

Car Depots - more often used for exporting cars - with odd bargain. Avoid unless you absolutely know what you are looking for

Mechanics - A lot of mechanics will also sell a few cars. They are often in very good mechanical condition (because the mechanic has done the work). If not they'll advise on the costs.

And finally notes on what to buy.
High mileage immaculate condition cars aren't liked in Switzerland. If you buy one, no matter how good it is, you'll struggle to sell for a good price. I got stung on this when my wife insisted I sell a car - I didn't want to - but she thought she knew best - as it transpired - she didn't.

Cars in colour combinations you might like - the market won't like!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 28.02.2015, 22:18
Nippy's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Basel
Posts: 54
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Nippy has no particular reputation at present
Re: Used car inspection??

hey,
I'm looking at a 2nd hand car from a private seller, high'ish mileage and I ain't no mechanic plus it's my first buy in ch. Anyone know a garage who would give the car a once over for me? Would a dealership do it?
Secondly which documents should I get with the car - tax book, service history, manuals. Anything else needed for registration in a different canton?
What's the timelines on MFK, 2011 car, when is it due?

Finally, if I do buy I need to rock up to the police station to get new plates in my name, show tax book and insurance?

Thanks for the help guys
Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 28.02.2015, 22:49
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 18,101
Groaned at 924 Times in 720 Posts
Thanked 19,642 Times in 9,451 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Used car inspection??

Quote:
View Post
which documents should I get with the car - tax book, service history, manuals.
Just the grey registration card.

Tom
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Importing car from UK, customs/inspection question moops Transportation/driving 34 31.05.2010 10:12
Swiss Technical Inspection & Registration for a "Classic Car" okgood Transportation/driving 8 29.03.2010 20:45
Periodic Car Inspection: How Often? esto Transportation/driving 4 24.12.2009 10:43
Car Inspection: Seasonal Tires? esto Transportation/driving 7 26.10.2009 19:22
car inspection when importing comery Transportation/driving 6 24.05.2009 00:08


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:19.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0