Before you buy a used car, you want to be sure of the quality.
The last thing that you want is to spend a small fortune on a vehicle that you believe to be in tip top shape and then have to call out Lemon Law PA a few weeks later when you have had a breakdown.
So how do you judge a used car and make sure that it’s fit for purpose?
There is actually a lot more involved in checking the quality and status of a vehicle than simply examining the exterior and making sure that the car isn’t dented, rusted or generally falling to pieces.
This little checklist we have pulled together has got you covered.
The Way the Car Has Been Treated
Was the car treated with tender loving care by its last owner?
By that we don’t mean an owner that polished the car every day and kissed it before going to bed, but an owner that ensured that the functionality of the vehicle was always up to scratch.
First and foremost, check to see if you can identify the user’s manual of the car. Next, check the service history.
If the previous owner regularly took the vehicle for checks and servicing then you can feel generally rest assured that the car was well cared for and should not have any major underlying issues.
If there are large gaps in the car’s service history or no records of servicing at all then that is cause for alarm.
The Exterior Aesthetics
The exterior of a car is a good place to start checking its quality and condition. Make sure that the paint color is consistent across all panels of the vehicle.
Check that there are no obvious signs of damage such as dents, cracked windows and scratches. Rust is another major thing to look out for. Your rust inspection should involve checking the main body of the car, as well as the area around the tires and underneath the main body of the vehicle.
Assess the Tire Quality
Just like the car’s mileage is a good indicator of its age, use and wear and tear, so too are the car’s tires. When checking out the car, take a good look at the tires.
These should be evenly worn if the previous owner hasn’t been participating in any questionable driving antics or off-roading.
Make sure that there are no bumps, lumps or visible damages in the tires. All four should be of a decent quality and from the same brand.
Take it Out on the Open Road
There is no better way to judge a car than by getting behind the wheel and giving it a test drive for yourself.
Of course, examining the car while it is parked up at the dealership is a good way to get some idea of the condition and quality; however there are certain aspects that just cannot be judged while the car is stationary.
The smoothness of the ride, any strange sounds, or any problems braking are all factors that can only be texted by taking the vehicle out for a test run.
Call in the Experts
When judging a used car, there is only so much that you can do independently to check the condition and quality.
Sure you can test the lights, check the paint and peep inside the bonnet to ensure that there are no major causes for alarm but the chances are that unless you are majorly informed about cars and autoparts, you don’t know exactly what you are looking for!
This is where a mechanic comes into play. On this note, it is important that the mechanic is a third party that is in no way involved with the car dealership. That way you can feel confident that you are getting an honest and impartial account of the situation.
Check the Interior
Just like checking the exterior for rust and damage, checking the inside of the car can be a good indicator of the way in which the previous owners treated the vehicle.
If the furnishings are dog-eared and the carpets are ripped up then that is obviously a bad sign.
While tinkering around inside the car you should check the functionality of the features and electronics inside to make sure that they are all working as they should.
This means checking the stereo system, the air conditioner, the radiator, etc.
Bring in a Friend
When viewing a used car it can be extremely useful to bring a friend along with you for moral support and a fresh perspective on the situation. If you are considering buying your dream car, it is wholly possible that your vision is jaded by your love for the car.
For instance, perhaps you are so excited about driving this car around on your road trips and vacations that you don’t notice things like poor suspension or questionable noises coming from the car. Your friend can help to be the voice of reason in all of this.
When it comes to buying a used car, aim to be as thorough as you can with your vehicle inspections prior to purchasing. Whether you take a friend with you, a partner, or a certified mechanic, it always helps to have a second opinion as well as your own.