How To Evaluate A Used Car's Condition

Autos & TrucksCars

  • Author Jaime Teddy
  • Published November 22, 2019
  • Word count 1,009

Have you decided to purchase a used car? This is surely a fantastic idea! So, do you know how to evaluate its condition for making the best decision? If not, it is time to know how to do this right. Car dealers always prefer buyers to take the vehicle at its face value and only go for superficial checking. This gives them the opportunity to sell substandard pieces and make fantastic profits while robbing you blind. So, how can a novice avoid such spurious deals?

If you are not knowledgeable about the vehicle condition, either refrain from purchasing a used car or simply take someone who understands them thoroughly. Why not do some research of your own regarding used-car evaluation to get this right when the time comes? This way, you will have a fighting chance of getting an appropriate deal besides getting the full value for the money you spend.

Here is how you can evaluate the condition of a used car correctly.

Check Repair Records

Does your dealer promptly show you the repair records of a vehicle? This is a good sign. Such records can give you a good idea regarding the condition of particular vehicle. They indicate proper servicing and well-cared car. To remove doubt, do not forget to bring in an experienced mechanic to get spot evaluation and an accurate assessment. Properly repaired and maintained car is worth your time and investment.

Signs of Abuse and Neglect

The condition of the vehicle tells you much about its previous owners. When you are evaluating a car, make sure that it is properly maintained one. Are there signs of abuse or neglect on its body and elsewhere? Was the previous owner treating the car well? What do the interiors smell like? These are some of the questions to ask when evaluating a used car. Presence of strong odors, ugly stains, dents, and dings show you that you have a poorly conditioned vehicle in your hands. While these as such tell nothing about the engine or other vital parts, they surely give you an idea! After all, someone who has ruthlessly ignored the superficial condition of the vehicle seems to be the last person to care for the mechanical condition as well!

Presence of Mechanical Band-Aids

Is there haphazard repair work present in the vehicle before you? Do you feel that the owners have done some shoddy maintenance job is simply to get their car sold? It is important to look for signs of hastily done mechanical work when purchasing a used vehicle. Recent detailing reflects negatively on the condition of the car. It simply indicates tidying up the condition before sale. Some of the signs to look for include an engine compartment recently cleaned. This may be an indication of badly leaking oil. Keep your eyes open and you are sure to spot such tell tale indications of deceptive appearances strewn all over.

Look for Signs of Smoking

Do you get a whiff of tobacco smoke when evaluating a vehicle? When checking a used car, ensure that the previous owner was not a smoker. This is an extremely important point because smoking habit inside the vehicle points to words and overall reckless behavior. A person who smokes inside the car is not generally stickler when it comes to timely repair and maintenance.

However, a more practical reason to walk away from a car containing tobacco smoke is that the smell is never going to go away! After all, the previous owner as well as the dealership would have tried their best to remove that smell and failed. Do you think you will succeed in removing the smell where others have failed? So, either be ready to live with a stinky car in the coming times or abandon it to find another one NOW!

Check Transmission Fluid and Oil

The evaluation of transmission fluid and oil gives you a good idea regarding the condition of the vehicle. While an experienced mechanic is a good judge of such things, you can look for yellow oil color. Presence of grittiness and coal black oil color, points towards a big problem. Those looking for indication of appropriate upkeep should never forget to check the transmission fluid of the used car. Burnt odor and a color verging on dark brown indicate that it is time for fluid replacement or even a transmission replacement!

Condition of the Coolant

Coolant condition in used vehicle is another important evaluation point that no discerning eye should miss. Presence of debris indicates complete lack of servicing. The color of coolant fluid is not an indication nowadays especially when a plethora of different brands are available for use.

Presence of Accident Damage

Does the used vehicle show sign of accident damage? This is never a good indication. While simple fender bender is not an issue, this can happen to any driver even the best ones around. However, a vehicle showing plenty of repair signs on four corners indicates towards a highly reckless driver. How can you be sure about proper maintenance inside when a vehicle shows significant superficial damage? If you believe that, a particular car has been through a highly damaging accident, won’t there be any long-term repercussions present? Pinched wires may lead to electrical gremlins and bent frame may cause uneven wear of tire or improper wheel alignment.

Age of Previous Owner

What was the age of the previous owner of the vehicle? Make sure that you know this information before making a purchase decision. It is a fact well known that people below the age of 30 are irresponsible drivers. In such a scenario, evaluation of the used car will simply be a waste of time. So, do not forget to ensure this point before proceeding further.

Remember, purchasing a used vehicle is never walk in the park! You need to study the vehicle thoroughly and then decide. Mentioned above are some surefire ways to evaluate a used car and help the buyers along. So, do you feel that you have something else to add?

My name is Jaime Teddy, I was born in 1991. I am a salesman for a car dealership.

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