Although it goes without saying that online salvage auto auctions open a floodgate of opportunities for buyers to buy their favorite vehicles at unbelievably low prices, it is important that you proceed with caution, even if you are buying a car with a clean title. As the cars in salvage yards are often there for weeks and even months, their electrical systems are usually the first to take a hit. To help ensure you make the right choice, in this article, we present a list of some of the most common electrical issues to check in salvage vehicles.
Dead or Drained Battery
When a car is not used for a long time, its battery begins to lose power. Moreover, the average lifespan of a battery is about 5 years, after which it has to be replaced. If the car you buy or consider buying has a dead battery, you might have to invest in a replacement. In some cases, however, a drained battery can come back to life after night-long charging.
The role of an alternator is to provide electric power to the various components of a car, and charge the battery while the engine is turning. If the output voltage produced by the alternator is too high, it can damage the components; whereas, if it’s too low, it won’t charge the battery, and will also cause operational issues such as poor cranking and dimmed headlights.
Broken or Cracked Wires
Another common issue you can find in salvage cars is broken or/and cracked wires. As the cars are stranded for extended periods under the sun, the outer covering of wires, which is generally made of PVC or a similar material, begins to crack. That said, tracing broken or cracked wiring is a painstaking process that is usually impossible without the right diagnostic equipment.
Faulty Spark Plugs
The role of spark plugs is igniting the mixture of fuel and air entering the engine’s chamber, and generally, they typically last for about 6,000 miles, after which they must be replaced. If the spark plugs are dirty or faulty, you will experience misfires or the engine won’t turn at all. In some cases, the “Check Engine” light might also come on due to faulty spark plugs. When buying a used electric car, check the vehicle’s ownership history and past accidents with a VIN lookup powered by ClearVin. Another option is to perform a license plate search to verify the vehicle background.
In addition to the aforementioned, make sure you check all other electrical components, such as fuses, relays, and bulbs. If you are still looking to buy a salvage vehicle, look no more, for you have come to the right place. Salvagebid gives you access to the largest auto auction inventory in North America, featuring a range of clean and salvage vehicles, across categories, makes and models. Register today to start bidding. If you have any questions about our salvage auto auctions, simply call: +1 (360) 347-1300, Monday to Friday, 6am – 4pm (PST) or email at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.