Buying a used car can have a lot of advantages over buying a new one. New cars lose about 30% of their initial purchase value in the first two years of ownership. You can also widen the net you cast when looking at used cars once you settle on a budget. And you also save money on car insurance by going used. However, it’s important to make sure you complete a thorough inspection of the car before you commit to purchase it. Looking at purchasing a used car but not sure how to check it out? Here are some tips to follow when inspecting a used car.
Vehicle History Report
A CarFax vehicle history report is going to be one of your best friends during the process of buying a used car. Although it costs some money if not provided by the dealer, it will alert you to any serious problems such as flood or frame damage sustained by the car. It will also give you a total maintenance history and a history of the past ownership of the car. You can use this information to check the Blue Book value of the car against the asking price and possibly negotiate a better price.
You’re all ready to fire up the engine and take the car for a test drive, right? Not so fast! Make sure you give it an initial visual inspection before turning the key. Here are some things to check.
- Check the undercarriage for rust: If you find that the used car has a rusted frame, that means it isn’t structurally sound and you should avoid it at all costs.
- Tire and wheel wear: Tire wear should be even. If wear is uneven on the front, the wheels or suspension might be out of proper alignment.
- Exterior check-up: Look out for recent paint jobs – this could be an indication of body damage. Tap repainted areas and listen for a change in tone. This may reveal patchwork.
- Check the interior: You shouldn’t want to drive a car that’s all beat up on the inside. Check out the odometer. Something might be amiss if the odometer tells you low mileage, while the beat up interior tells you high mileage.
- Checking the engine: Does the engine have rounded or stripped nuts and bolt heads? That may indicate bad repair work. Also, check to see if the spark plugs are newer than the rest of the engine. This shows that the car has undergone regular maintenance, which is a good sign.
Need an Oil Change or Other Car Maintenance?
Auto Stop Limited Inc. is happy to service your vehicle and make sure all of your maintenance needs are properly addressed and resolved. Contact Auto Stop Limited Inc. online or give us a call at (410) 467-7600 to get your questions answered today. To get more vehicle maintenance tips, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.