If you are going to buy a second hand car, you must make it as risk-free as possible. This means you should perform a very careful inspection and a proper test-drive. For those who want to buy used cars, it is very important for you to be well informed about the parts to inspect, the sounds to listen to, and things to observe while test-driving used cars. Here are 4 must-read tips from carVertical that can help you to buy a used car that can serve you well for years to come.
Set a Standard before Searching for a Used Car
Anyone buying a used car should set their own standards of performance. One effective way to do this is to visit a local car rental company. Look for the type of car you want to buy (hopefully it is not a very old model) and rent it for a short period. Drive it on some of the roads you plan to test drive the car you want to purchase. This will give you a good idea about how the car should function. You can also ask a mechanic to give you a list.
Carry Out a Thorough Inspection
Next, prepare to perform a very thorough inspection of the car. Make a checklist that covers all major aspects of the car. For example, the tires, brakes, steering, interior, seat, CD player, sound system, bodywork and other items under the hood. You can use a rating system on a scale of 1 (for poor) to 5 (for excellent). In addition to the rating, you should leave space for comments, e.g. “Car Seat is neat but it is difficult to adjust.”
After preparing your checklist, it is time to visit a car dealer. Look out for car dealers that will offer you a “24 hour car”. This means that you are allowed to take the car home and test it for a day. But even before you take the car for a test drive, you should carry out a proper inspection:
Use VIN to check the car’s history online by using myfreevin.com website.
- Inspect the tires; check for uneven wear and use a gauge to measure the thread.
- Check under the car for leaking fluids before purchasing a used car
- Open the hood while the engine is on to try and hear any hisses, ticks or
- Let the salesman sit in the car and operate the brake lights, headlamps and the turn signals.
Do a Personal Test Drive
Prepare to drive for at least 10 miles so you can properly assess as many criteria as possible. After testing the sound system, air conditioner and heater fan, put them off so you can hear all the sounds and noises coming from the car. Listen to the engine as you change speeds, do you notice any strange sounds?
Check for problems with the steering and suspension bushings. This usually shows up in form of notches that occur when you turn the steering wheel. You should also use a free parking lot to test the strength of the driving shaft. Most all-wheel drives and front-wheel drives can be tested by making slow tight circles. These can be done by turning the steering wheel fully, in one direction and then in the other. Observe any clicking or squeaky noises. This test drive should include both highways and ordinary surface roads.
Have a Mechanic Check it For You
After doing a test drive on your own, you should also allow a professional mechanic to test drive the car for you, car mechanics always here some sounds. Even though it may cost you a small fee, it is worth the amount paid. Let the mechanic test it on the same route you used for your test drive and give you an unbiased assessment.
It is well known that sometimes it is much “cheaper” to spend a bit more money at start then to make expensive fixes after a month or two.
Those are 4 valuable tips on how to testing and purchasing a Used Car. Review them again and make use of them whenever you are planning to buy a used car.