If you are in the market for a used car, you will already be aware of the dangers of buying a lemon. You wouldn’t want to make a bad purchase, of course, and the only way you can properly do this is by knowing what you are getting into and knowing the kind of car you are buying. This includes making a thorough inspection of the car and dealing only with the right dealerships – those who will not put their credibility on the line by providing you with a car that doesn’t work right. While not every car is perfect, the trick is to distinguish the major issues from the minor ones. And this is where a little know-how goes a long way. Here, then, are the most essential factors you should consider when purchasing a used car.
Protect your purchase – and yourself
While you may be able to take advantage of certain laws from your state in regard to buying a used car, there is still nothing like taking the necessary steps to protect your purchase – and yourself. When you are looking for a used car, you can make things a lot easier by relying on an independent car mechanic who can inspect the car before you buy it. Of course, if you go to a dealership, they may already have their in-house mechanics, so this is why it’s always better to go to a dealer such as the Young Automotive Group rather than an independent or private seller. But if you still want to make sure, then, by all means, hire an independent mechanic. Your best bet would be someone you already know, but if you don’t know any good mechanics, you can always ask a repair shop to do an inspection for you. Another option would be to get the vehicle’s history report using the VIN (vehicle identification number). This will tell you the vehicle’s title as well as any history of accidents or repairs and other crucial information.
Inspect the exterior of the car
Aside from the vehicle history report and the independent mechanic, you can inspect the car yourself. On the car’s exterior, look at the paint job, the tires, and check the car’s general condition. The tires should be the same tire brand, and they should be equally worn. Check the car’s body for scratches or dents, and if there is any visible rusting, take note of this. Check the car’s frame for any damage; you can do this by looking down at the vehicle and making sure that its fenders, lines, and doors are even. Make sure the doors and trunk work properly as well and take note of musty smells, which could signal water damage. Here’s another easy test: put your finger inside the car’s exhaust pipe – if there is some grease or grime, the engine could be burning oil, which is not good.
Inspect the interior of the car
When inspecting the car’s interior, check under the hood first. It should also be rust-free and free from dents. If there are any noticeable cracks in the belts and hoses, you should take note of this as it can set you back a few hundred dollars to fix. If there is a dark stain on the car’s engine block, this could be the result of a leak in the gasket, which could set you back a few thousand dollars to repair. Make sure to check the fluids, such as the power-steering and brake fluids, which are supposed to be full. The transmission fluid should have a red or pink color, and if the fluid has a burnt smell, there could be a problem with the transmission. The oil should have a clear color; if it looks milky or there is a residue of foam inside the cap, this could mean a blown or leaking gasket as well. Good luck!