Helpful information when you’re shopping for a used car.
When shopping for a used car, the term “test drive” is a little misleading. During the test drive you could have the car checked out by your mechanic, but there are a lot of things that you can look for without the help of a mechanic. Below is a list of some simpler things such as tire wear, fluid leaks, brakes and recent services (the time of its last oil change).
After all, if a car needs tires, brakes or servicing, it might add hundreds of dollars or even thousands to the cost of the vehicle.
Used Car Test Drive Checklist
Detailed look around the car
Take a walk around the used car and examine each body panel individually for scratches, dents or rust. Stand back from the car on each side and with your eyes follow along each seam between body panels, fenders and doors and between the hood and fenders. Make sure the seam maintains an even width along the entire length. Open and close all the doors and the trunk to make sure they operate smoothly.
Unusual tire wear
Check tires to make sure it is even across the tread and the tread blocks are flat across the top, not cupped. Look at each tire individually; do they have at least a quarter of an inch of tread? Is the tire wear even? Are the tires matched in size and brand?
Look under the used car for fluid leaks
With the engine off and when it’s running, open the hood and look for fluid leaks. When the engine is running, listen for knocks, ticks or hisses. Check the oil level and make sure it looks clean so you know that it has been recently serviced.
Driving the used car
- When driving the car does the vehicle pull to one side or the other when you accelerate?
- Does the transmission shift smoothly?
- Does the steering wheel vibrate at any speed?
- Are there any odd noises when you accelerate from a standstill?
- Apply the brakes; does the pedal feel squishy? Does the vehicle pull to one side or the other when braking?
- When setting behind the wheel check and make sure the controls for every system operate properly.
- Does the air conditioner cool, does the heater heat?
- Does the CD player work?
- Lock and unlock all the doors from inside and out.
A clean certificate of title represents that the vehicle is fully paid and owned by the seller listed on the title document. A clean title also indicates that the vehicle has not been in a major accident causing a Salvage Title, had Flood Damage, Frame Damage or mileage rollback. You can use CarFax or AutoCheck to check for these problems. Another option is to access the National Motor Vehicle Title information system through a state’s department of motor vehicles website, or through affiliate sites registered with NMVTIS.
When looking to buy a used car, look for an established used car dealership that has a large selection of vehicles and good online reviews. When visiting a dealership you will get the assurance that comes with seeing the automobile in person, test driving it, and having it checked by a mechanic before you purchase. Buying a used car from a reputable used car dealership simply gives you a variety of benefits you will not find elsewhere.
Come see us at Never Say No Auto. We have a large selection of used cars and we will help you find the one that fits your budget and requirements. All of our vehicles go through a 60 point inspection and have a clean AutoCheck history.
Looking to buy a used car in the Springfield MO or Bolivar MO area?
Come see us at Never Say No Auto.
We have a large selection of newer model used cars and we have excellent financing programs.
Good Credit – Bad Credit – No Credit
Excellent Bank and Credit Union Financing for Good Credit
Bad Credit or No Credit, we have our unique program with Guaranteed Credit Approvals.