[Updated 9/26/2020] When you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, buying a used car rather than a new one makes a lot of financial sense. In addition to the upfront savings, buying used also means you avoid the depreciation that occurs the instant a new car leaves the dealer’s lot. All the money-saving benefits of buying used go right out the window, though, if the car you get doesn’t turn out to be a good deal or has a lot of problems. Keep these tips in mind to be sure you choose a good new-to-you car.
Common Problems to Watch Out For
While it can be difficult to detect every possible problem with a vehicle, there are a few major signs of potentially costly problems. Many of these things can be detected during a test drive. Take the car on a test drive on different types of roads to see how it handles. Pay close attention to how well it corners and brakes. Leave the radio turned off and listen for any squealing or knocking sounds.
Leaking fluids is a common sign of potential problems, and they can be detected during a test drive. While you’re driving, stop the vehicle on a clean area of pavement or cement, such as in a parking lot. Leave the vehicle idle for at least 30 seconds, then move ahead. Check the area where you were just parked for any fluids. Black fluid indicates an oil leak while pink fluid is a sign of a transmission leak, and green fluid is antifreeze.
Look under the hood, and thoroughly inspect the vehicle inside and out. The engine compartment shouldn’t look like it was just pressure washed, but the components also should not be filthy and rusty. Check underneath the car for rust damage. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the passenger compartment. The way people care for their car’s interior is often a reflection of how well they maintain the vehicle’s other components as well.
Do a Bit of Homework
Before going to check out used cars, do a little bit of research. Come up with a rough idea of the type of vehicle you are looking for, and check online to find out what the average selling price should be. Also, do a quick search to learn more about any problems associated with certain makes and models in which you are interested.
When looking at a particular vehicle, keep in mind what your research told you. The asking price should be within the average range of price you found on similar vehicles. If it is significantly higher, the seller may be trying to rip you off. Beware of considerably underpriced vehicles, too, as the low price tag may be a reflection of structural or mechanical problems the seller hasn’t disclosed.
Get a Professional Opinion
Whenever possible, taking a used car you are interested in to a mechanic prior to making a purchase is a good idea. Even if you are buying from a dealership, taking the car to your own mechanic is advised. A skilled mechanic can look over the vehicle to find any existing and potential problems. He can also advise you on problems commonly associated with the vehicle you are thinking about purchasing.
If there are current problems that need to be addressed, you can get an estimate of how much it would cost to get the vehicle fully road-ready. With this information in mind, you can make a more informed decision on how much you are willing to spend on the vehicle or if you want it at all. Knowing a vehicle needs a considerable amount of work can work in your favor when it comes time to negotiate. If you have a written estimate for necessary repairs, the seller may be willing to come down on the price.
If you are thinking about buying a used car, bring it to one of the professional mechanics right here at Tune Tech Mechanic. We will be glad to help you make an informed decision when it comes to making a purchase, and we hope to be the garage you turn to for the life of your vehicle. Call us today to schedule your appointment.