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Things to know when buying Used Cars

Posted last April 27, 2012, 12:46 am in Autos report article

Buying a car is not so easy thing to do most specially if the car you wish to buy is a second hand or already used. That’s why we are giving you some things to take in mind when you’re interested in buying a secondhand auto.

Why are they selling it?

How long have they owned it? 

What kind of gas mileage are they getting? 

Has it ever been hit or in an accident?

What work does it need?

How many miles does it have on it (more than 15,000 a year should ring alarm bells)?

Do they have receipts, manuals and inspection records? (Check name on title, registration, driver’s license.)

How much do they want for it?

What’s the least they’re willing to take for it? 

Look at the car during the daylight, not at night or in the rain.

Any bangs, scrapes, dents, rust spots?  Dashboard or windshield cracks? 

Is the paint an attractive color? Fresh and unfaded? Look under the car; any corrosion or other damage

Loose or missing parts?  Scrapes underneath? Is the frame straight? 

Look under the car; any tell-tale oil or fluid leaks? 

When you turn it on and run it awhile, is the car a ‘smoker’?

 

All about Interior 

Is the upholstery in good shape, or is the leather or fabric torn or scraped? Power seats work?

Is there a cigarette smell? 

Is the carpet clean and tear-free (pick up floor mats and check)?

Windshield wipers work? 

Are all the car’s lights, controls and gauges working? 

Seats and seat belts in good shape? 

Do you and your family (and cargo) fit in OK? 

Air conditioning, heater, defroster works?  

All power options (locks, windows, antenna, etc) work?

Stereo, speakers, CD player, navigation, GPS, MP3, etc. working?  

Mirrors, horn working? 

 

Tires

Tires have plenty of tread?All the same size? Is there a decent spare (and a jack and lug wrench)?

 

Engine Compartment

Check oil, power steering, automatic transmission, etc, fluid levels.  Any leaks?

Anything broken? Cables/hoses look frayed? 

Start easily? Run smooth?

Smoke or burning smells when running?

Undue vibration?

Does the car stall if you take foot off the accelerator?

“Rev high” when idling?

Check engine light or other lights appearing?

 

Used Car Checklist: Test Drive

Choose your own half hour route that will take you through city streets, winding hills and fast freeway driving. 

Does the car shift smoothly? 

Or is the car slow to accelerate, or do you hear a ‘clunk’ or grinding (may show transmission problems?

Enough power to climb hills and pass safely?

Any noises or vibrations, rattles or squeaks?

Do brakes work smoothly when going from 50mph to zero (‘panic stop’)?

Does the car pull to one side when braking?

When safe, take hands off the wheel.  Does the car pull sharply to one side? Make a few slow, tight turns; any noise coming from front wheels (might indicate CV joint problems)? 

When you do long and short turns, sudden swerves and smooth transitions, does the car provide good steering response?

Is it easy to parallel park?

Does the car pull, wander or shake?

Is the car quiet when the fan and heater or AC are on?