What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be a rewarding process if you can find the right deal and avoid the obvious pitfalls. Applying good research and ability to inspect are the best options to land a perfect car. It can save you from costly and unwanted repairs down the road. The idea is to separate apples from the oranges using due diligence. Here are a few things that can help.

Check the Conditions on the Exterior

Visual element matters a lot in the purchase of a used car, but you can ignore minor dents or scratches. Your main focus should be on rust stains and bigger dents that point toward a crash that affected the overall conditions of the car. Look closely at the roof and body panel for any visible marks. Keep your eyes focused on sloppy assembly at the panels, doors, and fenders. Next, look at the glass to see if it has any big cracks. 

Suspension of the car should be in good shape and the same applies for the tires. Always take a friend or companion with you to inspect all the features of the vehicle. For example, turn on the car and ask your friend to make sure that lights and reflectors are working properly. 

Check the Conditions inside the Car

Since you will be spending much of your time inside the car, be thorough when assessing it. Start out from the odor if any lingering in the interiors. After getting inside the car, if you are greeted by a musty odor, look at the floor mats and carpets to check for wet spots or water damages. 

The upholstery should be in proper conditions without being jagged or ripped. The instruments and controls should function properly. Don’t forget to check the sound system and pedals. Lastly, check the roof trim, especially if the car has a sunroof or moonroof. It must be working properly without any stains or sags suggesting water leakage. 

Check the Car’s Engine and Battery

After checking the general conditions of the engine bay, look at the hoses, belts, radiator, and battery. Watch out for corroded battery and loose-hanging wires and hoses. You can check the hoses and belts by squeezing them. If they are frayed or cracked, they won’t feel flexible and firm under your fingers. 

The fluids should not be gritty or below the recommended levels. Some elements of the engine and battery require the watchful eyes of a certified mechanic. So, hire a good mechanic to make this detailed inspection for you. 

Check the Car’s Tailpipe

The inspection of a used car doesn’t end at engine and battery. It is essential to look under the vehicle as well. Clear water dripping from the car is not a red flag. But, if the tailpipe is greasy, it has burnt oil that may be detrimental to your vehicle. Heavy rust means you need a new exhaust system for the car. Also, look for oily leaks, red fluids, or drips on the engine or drive way below the car. All these are the signs that say you shouldn’t buy this vehicle. 

With these checks and inspections, you can make the most of your used car purchase.