It might surprise you to learn that the number of vehicles the average driver owns has nearly doubled in the past half century. Because most of these vehicles will be used cars, every driver should learn how to shop for a dependable secondhand ride. Here are seven tips that will help you do just that.
1. Check The Tires
No, you don’t need to actually kick them. But because a new set of tires can cost several hundred dollars, it’s important to inspect them for wear. In particular, you will want to be on the lookout for signs of uneven wear, as they may indicate a serious mechanical issue.
2. Open The Trunk
Not only should the trunk be spacious enough to haul what you carry, it should also contain a spare tire, jack, and other tire replacement tools. Although a temporary tire is usually fine, it’s always better if the spare is an actual tire that can be used for permanent replacement.
3. Find The Owner’s Manual
While certainly not a deal-breaker, since you can probably find a replacement online, it’s always nice when a vehicle comes with its original owner’s manual. It should be in the glove box.
4. Examine The Windshields
One of the most commonly overlooked problems in used cars is windshield damage. The reason? Because slight damage, such as chips or scratches, can be difficult to spot if you aren’t really looking. That said, they can damage the integrity of the glass and may cause it to fail at anytime.
5. Test The Driver’s Seat
Although the seats are almost certainly adjustable, there’s not much you can do about a lack of headroom. So if you are a taller guy or gal, it’s important to make sure you can sit comfortably without having to make too many awkward adjustments.
6. Take A Big Whiff
Because they can often get them at a deep discount, car dealers will occasionally purchase used cars from former smokers. They will then do their best to rid the vehicle of the unpleasant scent of stale tobacco. But try as they might, it’s almost impossible to eliminate or conceal that pungent odor. For this reason, you should always take a big whiff of the interior to make sure something isn’t lurking beneath the pine-scented air freshener.
7. Pop The Hood
You don’t have to be an automotive expert to inspect an engine for possible problems. In addition to checking the fluid levels (oil, brake fluid, cooling, and washer fluid), you should also look under the vehicle for possible fluid leaks. Even when minor, these common problems can result in expensive repair bills. This is especially true when an untreated oil leak causes damage to vital engine parts and components.
It might seem like a daunting task, but anyone can find a reliable secondhand ride if they take their time. With that in mind, Shoppers can use these simple tips to perform a thorough inspection on used cars. Use these simple tips to help you get a great deal on dependable used cars.