Used Car Buying Guide
Consult this guide before buying a used car! Learn how to check out a used car, there is not need to hire a mechanic, you can do this yourself.
Want to get a great deal on a used car but afraid of purchasing a lemon? You don't have to be an expert mechanic to find a good used car. You can decide on your own if a car is worth paying a mechanic to check out for you.
1// Wear old clothes, take a notepad and a flashlight when you look over a car.
2// Ask to see the car title. Get the name and number of the previous owner. Call the owner and ask what problems he had with the car. Write down the problems for your mechanic to check. Confirm the mileage with the owner.
3// Make sure the car hasn't been wrecked badly. Look for ripples in the metal or dull paint. Open and close all doors. (If a door has to be forced, the car probably has been wrecked.) Look for welding seams along the frame or underbody.
4// Check for rust. If you see small paint bubbles surrounding the molding around the bumpers, grill, wheel wells and windows, ask the seller to punch them through firmly with a screwdriver. If the screwdriver goes through the entire piece of metal, the rust is bad and the repairs will be closely. Check the bottoms and insides of the doors for rust.
5// Open the trunk. Look for rust and stains that will indicate leaks. Make sure the spare tire is serviceable and matches the other tires. If the other tires are radials, the spare should be a radial.
6// Look under the car and in the wheel. If the underside has been freshly coated, the seller is trying to hide something from you. There is no reason to undercoat but to hide rust.
7// Turn the car on and look at the muffler system. Make sure that fumes aren't escaping at any point along the system. You will have to replace the entire system if there are any holes larger then a pinpoint.
8// Race the engine and make sure blue smoke doesn't shoot from the exhaust.
9//Look under the hood with the engine and push the accelerator down gently. Listen for knocks and funny noises. Let the engine run for five minutes, then move the car. If there is a pool of liquid, you have problems.
10//Give the car's interior a good look over. Check for stains or missing parts
11// Apply strong pressure to the brake pedal for at least thirty seconds. If the pedal keeps going to the floor, you've got a brake leakage.
12// When the engine is idling, put your foot on the brake and slip the transmission from neutral to reserve and neutral to drive. A loud clunk means the transmission bands need tightening.
3// Test drive the car for thirty to forty-five minutes. Make sure the gears shift smoothly, the brakes don't make strange noises, and the steering wheel doesn't jerk and resist when you turn it. Turn the wheel sharply to make sure the car doesn't bounce or sway too much.
14// Check to see if the tires match and are worn evenly.