man speaking with cars (l) man buying car as other man hands him keys (c) man showing strings when he pulls out oil cap (r)

Nattakorn_Maneerat/Shutterstock VartB/Shutterstock @jackofallbeards/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Rose

‘Befriend a knowledgeable mechanic’: Expert reveals one trick to always look for when buying a used car—and demonstrates on Jeep he thought was a deal

‘Dang I could’ve used that advice $5k ago.’


Braden Bjella


Buying a car—especially a used vehicle—isn’t always easy. Car dealers can try to confuse customers, buyers may be unsure of which car is appropriate for them to buy, and when it comes time to actually close the deal, there’s a considerable amount of negotiation that must be done in terms that may be unfamiliar to the buyer.

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Furthermore, there may be technical issues with the vehicle that a prospective buyer might not know about. One of those possible issues was recently exposed by TikTok user @jackofallbeards.

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In a video with over 1.1 million views, the TikToker shows a Jeep that initially appears to be running okay, only to have a substantial issue lurking underneath the hood.

“This is a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, 159,000 miles. You’re gonna see a lot of vehicles like this on the market right now,” he explains. “It’s not the vehicle in specific, but something that it has that—I want y’all to look out for oil on the dipstick. Near perfect, super clean. That itself is not a red flag.”

He then pulls off the oil cap. After slowly removing it, it becomes clear that something is amiss. The cap pulls off slowly, as though there’s a sticky liquid inside that’s trying to pull it back onto the threading of the oil cap.

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“You see how it strings? That means they put some super thick stuff in here,” he details. “If you ever see the oil get stringing off the oil cap like that, run away.”

The TikToker then demonstrates that, while the car may sound alright starting up, issues become apparent as soon as one revs the engine.

“She needs a motor,” he states.

@jackofallbeards Cant stress this enough…. Do your research and befriend a knowledgeable and HONEST mechanic! #carbuyingtips #carsales #dealershiplife #junk #certifiedshitbox #iykyk ♬ original sound – Jackofallbeards
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In a follow-up video, the TikToker claims that using oil of the wrong viscosity can hurt an engine. In this case, the TikToker speculates that the previous owner used a thicker oil to solve a knock in the engine. While this may have temporarily appeared to have fixed the problem, the underlying issue remained—and now, the car requires an expensive fix.

@jackofallbeards Replying to @marysactive I can do more videos like this in the future, if need be. #carbuyingtips #carsales #dealershiplife #certifiedshitbox #iykyk ♬ original sound – Jackofallbeards
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Commenters were quick to thank the TikToker for this tip, with some even offering some advice of their own.

“Extra tip: never test drive with music on full blast, listen to what noises the car makes the when turning on, driving, when accelerating & how smooth the ride is,” said a user.

“Trust me, it’s the vehicle. I got a 2016 cherokee and this car is a money pit. I’ve basically replaced everything but the body by 140k miles,” added another.

“Uggggg I mean thank you but dang I could’ve used that advice $5k ago,” stated a third.

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The Daily Dot reached out to the TikToker via TikTok direct message.

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