How Should I Inspect a Used Car?

How Should I Inspect a Used Car?

When buying a used vehicle, don’t let your experience turn into a nightmare. There are many instances where wrong buying decisions lead to costly repairs and maintenance over time. In your pursuit of a high-end vehicle available in working condition at an amazingly low price, you need to take a few steps to avoid getting burned. A comprehensive inspection of the vehicle is the most important thing to do. If you are clueless about how to do this, here are some tips to help.

Inspect the Papers Properly

A second-hand car should be inspected by a trusted mechanic which will allow you to negotiate prices. Before the inspection, check the papers to see if the car has had any severe repairs done in the past. The engine number and chassis number must be matching with registration papers. These inspections are important to be done before transfer of No Claim Bonus, registration certificate and car insurance in your name.

Choose a Sunny Day

This may sound a little awkward but it is better to do a physical examination of a used car in the broad daylight on a sunny day. This allows you to check for dents and inspect the paint job on the car. At the time of inspection, have the car parked in an open space where you get a complete view from all angles. It is also important to ensure that the car is parked on level ground to check its straight lines, rooflines and window panes.

Check the Exterior

The exterior must be checked thoroughly before buying a used car. Check the panels and look for scratches, rust or dents on them. If there are misaligned parts or gaps in the panels, they indicate that the car had a sloppy assembly. Apart from rust, other cosmetic flaws do not really matter in the performance of a vehicle. Check the glass to see if there are any cracks. Lights must also be working properly. Check the tire conditions for even wear and signs of alignment issues. For the rest of the condition, look under the hood for signs of damage.

Check the Interior

The moment you open the car, check for odors emanating from it. Any musty or moldy smell indicates a possible water leak in the car. You can remove the floor mats to check for wet spots. The upholstery should be in proper condition. Check the seat adjustment and your driving position in the car. Turn on the ignition without firing up the engine to check the lights, instruments and controls. Don’t forget to check the roof and sound system as well.

Inspect the Engine Thoroughly

This is a check that matters the most when buying a used car. You must look under the hood to check the general condition of the engine. If there are any signs of spilled oil under the compartment, you should get the vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic. Check the engine hoses for their conditions. Fluids should be maintained at proper levels and batteries should be in good shape.

For a thorough diagnosis of a used vehicle, rely on a mechanic who can provide a written report or buy from a trusted used car dealership.