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What to look for when buying a used car?


I’m heading out soon for the first time to buy a used car, and would like some help knowing what to look for. While I’m not completely at a loss (I do know how to look over for body problems, checking things like oil, how the breaks respond in a test drive, listening for noises and such, checking the tires), I want advice on how to make sure I do a thorough enough job, since I don’t exactly have a personal mechanic that I know I can explicitly trust to check it over. I would like to have a nice check list so I can go in and make sure I check the right things. For example, at this point in the process, I don’t exactly want to know what that little clicking noise means in detail, but whether or not it means I should take or leave the car, if it’s a relatively easy repair sort of thing. I don’t mind a bit of work, but for a first car, I want something that I can drive without having to take it to a garage and drop another couple thousand in repairs.

Sorry I was so wordy, and thanks for any help that is given!

Ok you’ve asked a pretty difficult question here. I think working on cars is not that hard. It does take allot of knowledge to diagnose them however. There is no way to give you a crash course in everything. The best thing is to take it to a mechanic. I’ll give you some pointers. As you walk out to the car look at it closely. Make sure it sits level and looks to be the proper height. Look for any damage that may indicate an accident in the past. When you start the car make sure it starts smoothly. Make sure you don’t have ticking sounds or the starter struggles. When you drive the vehiclee make the steering wheel is centered and the car doesn’t pull left or right. Make sure it shifts through all the gears. Get the car up to freeway speeds. Drive the car for a while. A 10 minute test drive will tell you very little. If you have a planed route you will travel dailey take the car down the route. A good car dealer will not care if you drive the car for an hour. I always tell the dealer I’ll be at least an hour. As you drive change speeds and brake. Brake hard in a parking lot and make sure the abs is working. Listen and feel as you drive the car if something don’t sound right it’s probably not. When you check the Transmission fluid smell it. It should not smell burnt. All the fluids should be fresh. Make sure the heater and AC work. Check the wipers. Check all the lights if they miss a bulb imagine what else they missed. I hope this helps a little and of course it’s would be best to find a mechanic to help you out. Good Luck!

check the fuse box. Make sure the fuses arent corroded(this happened to me after i bought a car, i found it had leaks from a missing gromit in the engine bay, which allowed water under the dashboard and onto the fusebox). turn the ventilation fan on high, turn on heat and a/c. check the condition of the wipers. Go through a carwash during your test drive. Look in the trunk. see how clean it is. also check the drains in the trunk and under the hood. if you see lots of leaves, leaf stems and debris there may be water drainage problems. feel the carpet under the seats and check for dampness. Check the condition of the weather striping around the doors and windows. Lift the hood and see if you can get easy access to changing the headlight and indicator bulbs. With some cars, it may require getting a mechanic to remove several parts just to change a bulb if you do not have the proper tools. If i’ve missed anything, i’m sure someone will add more. Stay up!

Truly, having a mechanic go over a car your really interested in is the only way to go. It may be hard to spend the money now, but it will sure save a lot more down the road (pardon the pun). Also, if whoever is selling the car doesn’t like the idea of you having the car checked by a mechanic, there’s a sure sign they know something is wrong with it. Good luck and enjoy!

check the engine
What you can expect from your engine depends on how well it was maintained by the previous owner. Even a low-mileage used car may develop a serious engine problem if it wasn’t properly maintained. Learn few tips that may help you to discover potential engine problems

Check used car history by the VIN number
A car history report may reveal some facts about the vehicle’s past: previous accidents, rolled back odometer, failed emission test, flooding, number of owners, etc.
That’s why it’s always recommended to check car history records prior purchase. All you need is the vehicle’s VIN number.

check car body condition
It’s not recommended to buy any car that has been involved in a serious accident. Thousands of car accidents happen every day, but how many of the sellers will tell you that the car has been involved in a collision?
Learn how to spot signs of the previous accident or corrosion repair in our illustrated guide

Find a mechanic you can take it to. They will charge you $50-$100 to inspect it, they will appreciate the business, give you an honest answer and it will be worth it.

You are just asking to get screwed if you are going to buy a used car without getting it inspected by someone looking out for your best interests.

If you purchase the car without getting it inspected and you have problems, don’t come back asking what your rights are with no warranties because you will have none.

Cars with no warranty are sold as ‘buyer beware’ and there is no ‘cooling off’ period. It is your responsibility to make sure you don’t get taken to the cleaners.

Mileage
Condition (interior and exterior)
The year
and lastly, the price, DON’T be ripped off , if someone asks thousands and thousands of dollars for a old ugly used up hunk of junk, then more than likely theyre going to try to sucker you. Dealers are very persuasive dont fall for there crap. good luck

btw.. make sure you test drive it. and if u hear any noise what so ever dont buy it. why? because just because a car is used does not give it the acception to look used or make strange noises.

It depends upon the style of vehicle you’re watching for. Due to the credit score crunch plenty of humans are downsizing such a lot of of the hatchbacks are promoting rapid. The vehicle you selected depends upon ur price range that you dont say. If you dont do many miles in a 12 months it’s valued at watching at a few of greater elegance vehicles and also you might decide upon up a bargin. Good good fortune

first steps… walk a round looking for dents or discolor look at tires for uneven wear check tail pipe for black or wet .. open th ehood checvk all the fluids look under car for wet spots on the griound or motor… find any low or wet walk a way…. then you crank it and listen to how it starts any ticking or knocking walk… check every button or switch to see what works,, you drive it 30 minutes checking take off and braking how it steers have questions walk… after yuor drive you recheck what you can have any qusetions walk.. any ticking is a sign of wear and any wet spots signs of leaks either is good and should pass… if it cranks fast and no knocking and drives ok and nothing is low on fluid pretty good chance its ok.. more you check and the better you check for signs of wear dont look at how many miles it has look at how it was taking care of lack of car care is what kills them 50 to 60,000 is great for a good start… 100,000 not too bad when most will run into the 400,000 before giving out… buying a name of car that has been made for many years is smarter also…they dont keep making the ones that are junkers…you know like mustangs been a round a long time is a good sign they are good….

1 Car ages
2. Mileage
3. Vehicle Service History
4. The other costs associated with buying a car (car insurance, road tax, fuel, mot)

Finally, test drive in the used car which is very important

any clicking knocking screetching or grating,they either fix it or walk away any lights on the dashboard stay on they either fix it or walk away,the slightest dout you have in your mind walk away,upto date hpi check, full 12months mot,upto date service,check for oil in water bottle,if oil in water bottle walk away,check for oil leaks before and after test drive,check tyres before test drive,any baldy you get stopped by police you get the points,check engine number with number on log book,check car manual for what lights are supposed to be showing on dash board and make sure they all come on then go off,check for any recent new spray paint,in boot and bonnet,check the doors arnt dropping when you open and close them check the gaps from the doors to the wings are both the same at the front on each side,water or white smoke coming out the exshaust,a nono,rust on the exhaust system,any holes that have been filled on the exshaust,cracks in the manifold,if your buying from a garage does the car come with a warranty and what does it cover,go through the warrenty with sales person understand the warrenty,at least a 20 minute test drive,yhe list is just about endless if you know about cars i hope ive given you a few points that might help

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