Buying a second-hand car is an excellent option for those who need a vehicle but are trying to stay within a budget. If this is something you are considering, you need to be aware that it can be a daunting experience. There are several things that you need to consider before you buy a second-hand car if you want to find a good quality vehicle and get what you exactly pay for.
So if you are planning to get one soon, here are some of the most important things you need to check before you buy a second-hand car.
What to Check Before Buying a Used Car
When you start shopping for used cars and do an inspection, make sure that the car is on level ground. This will allow you to clearly see the tires and if there’s anything else that is not in good shape. Take a look at the car’s exterior and do it in broad daylight. Look for scratches, dents or rust on the body, although you may really have to expect some minor imperfections considering that the vehicle has already been used. When it comes to the paint, make sure it is even on all body panels. Otherwise, it may be an indication that some work has already been done. Some car owners also fill the dents with body filler so you can put a magnet on the area because the fillers won’t stick to the magnet.
Also check the doors, especially the driver’s door. If they seem to be loose on the hinges, it could mean that the car has been used for a quite a long time already.
Another thing you should inspect is the glass. You need to check if there are cracks or if the windows have some nicks and chips. If you see some of these things, you may be able to bargain for a lower price if you are interested in the car. However, if there are cracks in the windshield, you may want to have it addressed as soon as possible as they may lead to bigger problems over time.
The tires of the cars should all match and they should be even on the left and right sides of the car. You would know that the former owner did not regularly rotate the wheels if you notice severe wear on the front wheels.
When checking a car, you should never forget to check the interiors. This is where you will be spending most of your time so you need to make sure it is comfortable and organized for you. When you get inside the car, take note of the smell because it will tell you if there’s a possible water leakage somewhere. Also, check the seats and see if it has tears or poorly worn upholstery. Try out the seat adjustments and the seat belts to see if they are working properly or if they need repairs. Also see if the pedals show a lot of wear and tear especially on the brakes. Pay attention to the rubber because if is worn out, it means that the car has been used a lot.
When it comes to the controls, check the buttons to make sure that they are all working properly. Check if all the lights will work when you press the buttons and turn the ignition on. Try all the switches, too, and see if they are all working properly. Don’t forget to try the heater and the air conditioner. Put them on full blast and see how quickly they warm up or cool the car.
If you don’t have much knowledge or experience when it comes to car engines, it will be best to bring a trusted mechanic with you to do the inspection on the engine. Check the engine fluids and make sure that there are no metal particles or residue. By using the dipstick, you can see if there is any foam or discoloration.
Once you have carefully done the inspection and checked these things, test drive the used vehicle before closing the deal. You need to get a feel for how the car performs while on the road.