It is important to have a fun yet convenient and safe form of transportation to get to work, school, do your shopping, travelling, etc. Cars are a huge part of our daily lives and although they do break down, at some point you’ll have to get a replacement. Available in various makes and models, they are an important asset to have today. When getting another car, you do have options. You can buy a brand new one or opt to choose a used car. New cars are found in dealerships (new) while used ones can also be found at a used car dealer or through private sale. Kijiji, Craiglist and AutoTrader are all sources to find a used car. To enjoy the benefit of lower cost, many people buy used cars. Here is what the average person should look for when buying a used car.
There are some vehicle models which are known to be more reliable than others. Therefore, you can conduct a search online to find out the ideal ones to consider before you head to the dealership. Such information is compiled in sources such as Consumer Reports and surveys. These are annual reports of the real-world reliability data of various models of cars. They give information such as known trouble spots of specific models too. Thus when you finally go to the dealership, you know which models to consider and those to avoid.
Read the buyers’ guide of the car
There are some regulatory bodies which seek to ensure that customers get good quality used cars. An example of such a body is the Federal Trade Commission. This one obliges used car dealers to attach a Buyers’ Guide on the window of every vehicle on sale. It contains important information such as whether the car is being sold “as is” or with a warranty. It indicates the percentage of repair costs that the dealer should pay in case the car develops problems after purchase. It is an absolute document that overrides all provisions in the purchase contract. Search for it and analyze it to learn what sort of liability you will incur after buying the car. When shopping for pre-owned luxury cars where you’ll spend more money than an average used car, you’ll need to take greater care when making a decision.
Check the condition of the body
You should always inspect the body keenly as you pick a used car. Check the body panels, the roof and fenders for any dents, scratches or rust. If you find some panels that are misaligned, this indicates bad prior repairs. The paint should also be uniform across all the parts of the vehicle. One of your main concerns is if the car has been in an accident. You’ll want to avoid buying any car that has been in an accident. A small accident may not be a problem, but you risk it because you may not be aware if the frame has bent or not.
Check the suspension, engine and tires
These are some of the most important parts of your car. Pop the hood and check to see if the engine is in good working condition by listening for any strange noises like ticks, and see if it idles smoothly. If you’re able, use a scan tool on the OBDll port. Get some help with this if you are unsure how to do this task. Look for any rust, dents or holes in the manifold. Remember to check the dipstick for oil levels. Walk around the car to see if it is level. This indicates a good suspension. Proceed to press upon it and watch for bouncing. A good suspension does not bounce but returns the car to a level, stable position. Proceed to analyze the tires. They should all be the same brand and size and should not make any sound if you tug on them. Clunking indicates bad wheel bearings.
A used car can be a great, affordable investment. The tips above can help you to know which factors to assess prior to purchase. Follow them and you will take home a reliable, rewarding car. As always, a second opinion from a mechanic will give you peace of mind so you’ll definitely want to consider a professional’s opinion.