BUYING A USED CAR
The used car market is a haven for various automotive gems! It is the perfect place where you can look for that odd box-type sedan that brings you back to your good old childhood days, or if you are lucky enough you can get a rare expensive classic that can now be worth millions away from its original price. Regardless of whatever meets your eye as you wander about in the used car center, used cars can become financial liabilities if you do not make it a point to check on them after making your purchase. Whether the vehicle is for you, your brand new teenage driver, your significant other, or a friend/family member, before you jump the gun on purchasing a used car, make it a point to watch out for these elements.
BODY AND GLASS
First impressions last – at least that is how you should think when you start evaluating your used car of choice. Issues such as cracks, dents, and uneven paint should play a significant part in the used car’s pricing, since those can be costly to repair. Moreover, those kinds of damage may indicate that the used car may have been involved in accidents of various degrees under its previous owner. That, of course, may point to further internal damage, so make sure to look at those problems with great circumspect when you think about your used car purchase.
INTERIOR, SEATS, AND ODOR
When canvassing for a used car, do not just look at the outside. In fact, it is even more important that you discern whether the used car you are looking at has an interior that is bearable enough for you to spend most of your time; think about all that time you spend sitting in traffic to and from work. Things like seat upholstery, seatbelts, and overall odor play a huge part in your driving experience with your used car, so make it a point not to neglect those things.
CONTROLS AND SOUND SYSTEM
Watch out for missing dials, malfunctioning light indicators, and damaged interfaces when looking for a used car. A typical secondhand vehicle should have controls that are still working properly, albeit with some parts of it already worn out. Also, make it a point to check the condition of the used car’s sound system. Muffled speakers and a faulty sound system interface may make for an unpleasant driving experience (think about having to sit in silence or forced to listen to an awful radio station during that traffic we already talked about), while faulty electrical wiring for both your controls and sounds may prove to be dangerous in the long run.
Obviously, faulty exterior lights are a no-no for used cars, and fixing them can be quite a costly ordeal. With that, it is highly important that you check the conditions of the headlights, signal lights, and taillights of the used car you are eyeing first before purchasing it. Moreover, also make sure that your interior lights are also in good shape, so that you would not have to experience inconvenience in the event you need cabin lighting as you drive during nighttime.
TIRES AND SUSPENSION
A good used car has a properly-rotated and balanced set of tires and a suspension set that provides stability and safety, especially during long drives. With that, make sure that your used car of choice has good tires and suspension. Otherwise, you would certainly find yourself flirting with the possibility of encountering unwanted road accidents. You do not want to be that person on the side of the highway waiting for road assistance because your tire blew.
Before purchasing a used car, make sure to check the condition of its fluids. Watch out for residues, burnt smell, or foamy particles on the dipstick – those typically refer to various problems your mechanic should work on right away. Normally though, engine oil is brownish or blackish in color and residue-free, while the transmission fluid appears pinkish.
A used car should not have green particles sitting around on its radiator. Otherwise, it shows that leaks may have been made, and that a replacement may be necessary. As long as the radiator does not appear rusty or to have corrosion, then you are in good company.
Checking the roof of your chosen used car is actually a no-brainer. Doing so allows you to see whether there is a possibility of water leakage inside the cabin, which you must prevent at all costs if you want a pleasant driving experience. At the same time, make sure to check if your sunroof is working properly, if you have one.