Buying a used car for yourself can be an exciting and fulfilling adventure. Nothing makes a person feel better than buying something that provides additional independence. However, there are some things you need to stay on top of during your journey. These are three things that you should pay close attention to when you’re buying a used vehicle:
The Car’s Overall History
The first thing you want to look at when you’re shopping for a car for yourself is the history. You’ll want to know how many owners handled the vehicle because it will greatly affect the vehicle’s condition. For example, a car that has only had one owner who cared for it is likely to be in excellent condition. A car owned by only one person most likely has an accurate report of all the repairs that were done on it, as well. You may not be as comfortable with a vehicle that has had several owners.
A history report can tell you if the vehicle you’re getting ready to buy has been in any accidents, as well. That’s also an important piece of information that you’ll want and need. Accident reports give you an idea of whether the car has been painted or if the crucial parts needed replacing. You can request a vehicle’s history report from the dealership selling it. Most dealerships have access to this information and are willing to share it with their customers.
Another highly important area you need to look at before you buy a used vehicle is the engine. Engine issues are the most expensive issues a car could have. Some engine work costs thousands of dollars to repair because of the labor involved in it.
There are several ways you can check to ensure that an engine doesn’t have any issues. The first thing you can do is look under the hood and under the vehicle. Look for droplets of oil and coolant in those areas. An oil leak can be a minor or major issue that can be quite expensive. It could mean that you have a leaky valve cover gasket or a rear main seal issue. Alternatively, it could be something as simple as a loose oil pan drain plug.
You’ll also need to turn the car on and listen to how healthy the engine sounds. Be very leery if you hear ticking or knocking. The ticking may indicate an upper-engine problem, and the knocking may indicate a lower-engine problem. Both can be expensive to fix.
One of the other things you need to do is to inspect the exhaust system to ensure that you don’t see colorful vapors escaping from it. White, blue, and black smoke indicates serious issues.
The transmission is another area that can cost you a lot of money. In cost, transmission work is often the runner-up to the engine work. Sometimes, transmission work costs even more than engine work does, but that depends on the make and model of the vehicle.
Never purchase a vehicle without doing a test-drive because the test-drive will indicate the condition of the transmission. A manual transmission might make noise when you’re trying to change gears. You may also notice that the clutch pedal is hard to engage or it feels loose or spongy.
An automatic transmission might fail to engage, or it might fail to stay in gear. You might hear a buzzing, humming or clunking noise as well. In some cases, you might smell something burning after you drive the car for a while. These all indicate that you might have to see a transmission specialist and get a transmission rebuild in Elgin IL (or whatever area you live in) in the near future.
Take a 10 to 15-minute test-drive with the sales specialist so that you can see what the vehicle can offer you. Pay close attention to everything that’s going on inside and outside of the vehicle. Ask any questions that might arise and don’t stop inquiring until you feel comfortable with the information.
Buy Your Next Used Vehicle With Confidence
Now you know what to look for when you’re buying a used vehicle. It’s now time to embark on your journey to find the perfect one. Go ahead and start looking in the newspapers and online ads. You can also go straight to a dealership if you like.