One of the biggest costs in karting is rebuilding an engine. Used karts are often sold at a time when the engine needs major work. Do not believe anyone that says, “The engine has low hours on it”. Verify it for yourself. Ask the seller for the contact details of their engine builder and then call them. Engine builders are a friendly bunch of people and want your future business.
Reputable kart resellers do not jeopardize their credibility by offloading karts that need a lot of attention. Used karts sold through shops are more likely to have straight chassis and engines with genuine hours. Dealers offer a big advantage in that they provide ongoing free information. This information will help you obtain the most value out of the sport and quicker lap times. On the other hand, a person selling their kart through the classifieds are not interested in repeat business. Watch out for those seemingly cheap deals. You could end up with more trouble than you bargained for. A supposed bargain kart purchased privately could end up costing substantially more than one from a shop once all the hidden costs are added in.
Is the frame bent? An expert may be needed here. Things to look out for are
- Is the front wheel alignment the same on both sides?
- Is the caster and camber the same on both sides?
- Lift the rear of the kart and then put it down slowly whilst looking at the bottom of the tyres. Do they both touch the ground at the same time? Do the same with the front?