When buying a used car, it is essential to get everything right. So, what are the main factors you need to check?
When buying a reliable used car, the musts are to check the fuel economy and the body’s condition. Also, ensure the safety features are intact and inquire whether the vehicle has been involved in any crashes since its purchase.
What Are the Things to Consider When Buying a Used Car?
Let’s go through how you can assess your decision while choosing a used car.
Keep Your Ears Open
Listen to any sounds that may be considered signs of a problem when taking the car for a test drive. Who knows, you may even be able to detect impending transmission failure, indicated by a gurgling sound. Grinding sounds could indicate a problem with gears. Look up common sounds of different mechanical failures before you check out a car.
Remember, if you suspect something is wrong, do not hesitate to ask questions and be critical.
Check for Signs of Neglect
When checking the car, keep an eye out for rust in its fenders and the undercarriage. The vehicle’s interior will tell you how the previous owner treated the car. Is the dashboard cracked and dirty? Are there rips in the upholstery?
If the car is full of fast-food leftovers and does not look like it has been kept clean, who knows what the state of the engine is like? So, maybe it is time to move on to other options.
This is an obvious one, but so people miss it. The fuel economy of any car says a lot about the engine’s current state. An easy way to gauge this would be to compare the fuel economy to other vehicles within the same class. Any major deviances should be investigated.
Many cars, even those five years old or older, come with some safety measures fitted within the vehicle. These include ‘forward collision warning (FCW)’; automatic emergency braking (AEB),’ and ‘blind spot warning (BSW).’ These systems are essential for providing a safety net in case something terrible happens.
You can check for their functionality through the console of the car. Most vehicles come equipped with such a console. Keep this in mind when going for a test drive.
For example, the car should alert you when you get too close to the sidewalk when parking. However, remember that older or classic cars will not have these systems. They should have working seatbelts, brakes, and the dashboard warning system should work,
Keep Your Eyes Open for Mismatching Colors
Sellers will try to cover up imperfections and signs of collisions by repainting the vehicle. Luckily, in such a case, the colors will almost always show differences in shade. Look out for these differences and inquire about them if you find them.
This is why it is generally recommended to check cars in daylight, as these variances in color are hard to see at night or when it is cloudy. In addition, you can look up accident reports when you buy used from a dealership.
Use Your Nose
This may sound like a joke, but it’s not. Any smell that you don’t usually expect from the inside of a car may tell you something about the condition of the parts you can’t directly see.
It could be a sign of water damage and should be investigated immediately. For example, a mildew smell means mold is in your air vents. Similarly, burning smells can indicate clutch or braking system problems.
Check the air conditioning, even if it is cold outside. Do the same for the heating system, even if you are in the middle of summer. Check all the lights and make sure everything is working correctly.
You can pre-purchase inspections at most auto garages and dealerships.
If you find something that is not working, factor it into your finances before deciding.
Even though buying a used car may seem like a good idea, given the money you could save, it is critical to thoroughly inspect everything.
Do not hesitate to take a friend along or consult a professional. No measure is too great, considering you are about to spend significant money.
Image credit: [Manusapon]