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Because new cars are expensive, most people find themselves in the market for a used vehicle when they need wheels. And buying a used car isn't easy; you want to get the best car you can for the best deal you can. Read on to find out how you can handle your used car purchase.


CHECKLIST OF QUESTIONS TO ASK ON THE TELEPHONE:

* Why are you selling the car?
* How long have you owned it?
* Does it need any repairs?
* Is there any rust on the car?


CHECKLIST OF ITEMS TO LOOK FOR BEFORE YOU TEST DRIVE:

* Rust, holes, gunk in tailpipe
* Mismatches in paint (may indicate a past accident)
* Tires in poor condition, uneven tread wear
* Door locks work without sticking
* All headlights and other lights work
* Upholstery not sagging
* Suspension doesn't sag


CHECKLIST OF THINGS TO WATCH FOR ON THE ROAD:

* Clutch doesn't slip or make any noise
* Exhaust pumping out black or blue smoke
* Emergency brake holds on hill
* Make sure the car doesn't pull to one side, i.e., that the wheels are
properly aligned
* Make sure steering doesn't wander or make noises
* Accelerate on a hill to determine engine strength


CHECKLIST FOR THE MECHANICAL TEST

* Engine system, compression, spark plug reading, fuel pump, ignition,
oil condition
* Electrical system, wiring, alternator, regulator, air conditioner
* Brakes, lining, pads, drums
* Driveline, transmission, universal joints
* Suspension, shocks, springs, ball joints, wheel balance o Frame and body, check for rust and evidence of structural damage.