A Car Buyers Guide to Making Sure You Don’t Purchase a Lemon
- Author Zac Hales
- Published November 16, 2017
- Word count 471
Buying a used vehicle is a frightening task for many people. There are so many factors to consider when making the choice, especially if it will be your first time buying a car. Before you sit down to sign the dotted line we recommend you look into some of these details about the car you are purchasing.
The Car’s appearance:
For this step you can typically walk around the car checking the paint for scratches, dents, and any spots that have begun to rust. Ask the salesperson if they paint is, so you’ll know if there is anything possibly hiding underneath. There are two easy ways to check if the car has been repainted recently. First, you can look at the sides of the car from end-on to see if there is any waviness. Second, run your finger along the edges of the joints between panels to check for roughness. If you feel any roughness this can indicate masking tape was used while repainting the vehicle.
While the car is at ground level you will want to inspect the tires for damage and wear and tear. Tires should all match and should be worn evenly. If the tread on the tires is uneven this can be a sign the car has bad alignment. It’s also a good idea to look at the car from a few steps back to ensure it is sitting correctly and the tires are not flat or sagging.
Always ask for the previous history of the vehicle before buying. Most dealerships will offer a free Carfax or similar report. This will make you aware of any accidents, maintenance, repairs, and damage that may have occurred previously. It is also wise to check the interior and exterior of the vehicle for any damage caused by rain, hail, flooding, or other natural disasters.
- Check the Engine
You don’t need to be an expert mechanic to visually see if an engine will need work. Pop the hood of the car and inspect the engine area for any signs of rust, grease, spilled fluid, or burnt oil. These are signs that something internally is malfunctioning and will need to be repaired.
- Test Drive
Finally, you should never buy a used vehicle without first taking it for a test drive. While on the test drive listen for any sounds that may indicate engine or other problems with the vehicle. There shouldn’t be any whining, squealing, or clunking. Check to make sure the steering is straight, the gears shift smoothly and the brakes are able to stop the car smoothly. It’s also a good idea to have a mechanic check the car out during your test drive if possible.
Stick to these tips and you’re sure to find a winner out there. Good luck!
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