It’s good to buy a used car, it’s somewhat cheaper, it won’t hurt as much if someone in your family wrecks it, and overall if you know what you are looking for and know what to look out for you can get good value for what you are paying, you might be even able to make a bit of money if you flip it. But it is essential for you to know the important things to take note of when looking at a used car, though most car issues are repairable, it could cost you a considerable amount of money to fix it if you lack the skills to do it yourself. To help you avoid these problems here are a few things you should look out for when buying a used car.
Look out for any kind of leaks, when you are test driving the car, park somewhere clean and let the engine run for a while, after which you should check the area for leaks of oil, transmission fluid, or even anti-freeze. If it’s a hot humid day and you see water where you parked, don’t worry, it’s most likely water condensation from the air conditioner. After all this the most important part to check is the exhaust pipe, check if there is any oil coming out from it, if you do find some it might mean the engine needs an overhaul, which to my experience, is a very expensive thing.
2.) Body and Interior
When buying the car it is important to look at the body of the car, inspect for rusts or damages, scratches can be buffed out, little bumps can be fixed with a little work, but a body with a lot of rust can mean trouble in the future, I am talking about rust eroding the metal not a thin layer you can sand off. Another thing to look out for is the interior, check the cushion if it still offer support, check the upholstery if it’s still good, the dashboard for cracks. Minor problems are fine if you are using it or giving it to someone as their first car but if you ever plan to resell the car, an overall better looking car can be priced better.
3.) Look-up the Model Online
There are car models with built-in flaws due to the lack of standard back during its conception and manufacturing, and sometimes there are cars that just don’t age well. To know that you are not buying these type of cars, look for reviews online and information about the car. Though these flaws could have been fixed by previous owners through modifications, if you’re not that knowledgeable about the mechanical side of cars it’s best to avoid these problems overall.
4.) Test Drive
You can’t really know much about the car until you drive it, when you test drive a car listen to its engine, look for knocking sounds, scratching noises. Check the steering, take a sharp turn on one side and see how well it responds, do it again at the other side and see if one of the turns are shorter than the other. Check for anything really that would feel different or seem out of the ordinary and consult the seller. If you do this, you can either avoid buying a troublesome car or significantly reduce the selling price.
5.) Bring a Mechanic with You
So if you are a complete newbie and knows little about cars except driving them, you should get a mechanic to come with you when you look at the car. He can tell you if there is anything wrong with it or if the car is not worth it at all. Also he can help you haggle the price if you befriend him, I’ve seen it done at least twice.
You can get good value if you shop smart when buying a used car, but you should make it a habit to check the condition of the car. If you fail to do this, you might end up spending more money fixing the car than you would have just buying a brand new one.