Buying used vehicles can be a great way to save a little money. However, make sure to be cautious when purchasing a used vehicle. To avoid purchasing a car with hidden problems, consider the below tips when shopping.
What to look for
- Excessive wear and tear in the interior, regardless of what the odometer says, is a clue that the car has seen some miles. Look for: Break pedal pad worn through the metal beneath – Driver’s seat outer edge is worn through – Water leaking directly under the floor mats
- Damp, musty odors are indications of leaks in the windshield, weather stripping or heater core
- Cars that ride lower in the front as compared to the back indicate worn springs
- Vehicles that bounce when pushed on indicates worn shocks and struts
- Tires with worn outer edges from the front end represent the need for an alignment
- Clanking noises when the vehicle is in gear points towards a problem with the drive shaft universal joints
- Repainted body panels, Check this by looking at the colors of adjoining panels to see if they match the front fender
- Motor oil that is not full indicates that the engine may be leaking or burning oil
- Knocking and ticking sounds that increase as the engine speed increases represent major problems and costly repairs
- Transmission fluid that is black or brown may indicate internal damage
- Banging, grinding or squeaking noises indicates a damaged or broken transmission mount
Be Wary of Mileage Tampering
Do not be fooled by the mileage on the odometer. To see if the instruments have been tampered with, look for fingerprints or scratches inside the plastic covering. Mileage numbers that don’t line up properly on the odometer offer another fraud clue. This may be a crude attempt at getting you to buy a vehicle that has far more miles (and problems) than what the low mileage would suggest.
Whether new or used, purchasing a vehicle is an investment. Make sure yours is properly covered by calling our office today to do a policy review.