A used car with dents or an obviously new paint job can indicate that the vehicle has been in a car accident. If the top of his head disappears in the tires your tires are in good condition. Remember to also check the car’s internal lights such as dome lights, lights on the doors, dash lights, and any other lights the used car may have.
A used car with dents or an obviously new paint job can indicate that the vehicle has been in a car accident. Inspect all of the panels and check to see if any of the panels differ in color. Other than observing the color of the vehicle, you can place your finger along the edges of the doors, windows and back of the hood. Smooth edges indicate that the paint is still from the factory, while after-market paint will be slightly rough or bumpy.
Carefully inspect all four tires of the used car you are looking to purchase. To ensure the tires on the used car are in good condition, take a penny and place it in the center-most groove of the tire. Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s head points down into the tread. If the top of his head disappears in the tires your tires are in good condition. If you can see his entire head, then the vehicle is in need of new tires. Be sure to do this for every tire. Also, look for uneven wear, which can indicate an alignment problem.
Check all of the used car’s lights and make sure they are all working properly. Have someone sit in the driver’s seat while you are inspecting from the outside and test all the vehicle’s lights (headlights, brake lights, bright lights, turn signals, hazard lights etc.). Remember to also check the car’s internal lights such as dome lights, lights on the doors, dash lights, and any other lights the used car may have.
Run the heat and the air conditioning to make sure that both work and work well. Make sure air/heat is coming from all vents and that it operates on all speeds.
When you start the used car you should listen for any knocking or tapping sounds. These sounds could indicate not only current problems, but also future problems the used car’s engine might have. Run a compression test on the vehicle. This will help you determine the overall health of the engine. When test-driving, keep on the lookout for any vibration at various speeds.
During the test drive pay special attention to the car’s brakes. Listen for any squealing or grinding noises that the vehicle may make when applying the brakes. Make sure that the brake pedal does not feel too squishy.
Look on the ground underneath the car to make sure the vehicle is not leaking any oil. Also, check the oil level and analyze the color of the oil. Dirty, milky or burnt smelling oil could indicate serious engine problems with the vehicle.
Start the vehicle and then get out of the car to inspect any smoke that is coming out of the exhaust pipe. Black, blue or gray smoke indicates problems ahead and should be fixed. Thin white smoke is normal due to condensation and the smoke should dissipate quickly.
Get the vehicle’s VIN number and run a vehicle history report. The history report will tell you the following:
After going through with the inspection of the vehicle, return back to the budget you have set for purchasing your used vehicle and decide if it is really what you want and what you can afford. A car is a large investment, so you want to get exactly what you want and not settle for anything less.