Things You Should Look for When Purchasing a Used Car

Are you planning to purchase a vehicle?  It is always advisable and prudent to do a detailed auto parts or used car inspection BEFORE you complete the transaction and exchange money.

You might have been lured into the dealership via sales-talk or advertisements about the car that grabbed your attention.  But keep in mind that some of this information might be a misrepresentation, misleading or just untrue.  For instance, some promised quality and features may not be present as expected.  Exaggerations about performance and enhancements are common and pervasive in this market.  You will be well-served if you’re diligent on the look-out for these types of misinformation.

Things You Should Look For When Inspecting A Used Car

Here are some examples of what to pay attention to in your pre-purchase parts or used car inspection:

I. The Vehicle Exterior: perform a walkabout and pay special attention to the detailing and paint-job on the car

1. Look for dents and other scratch-marks.

2. If you can detect any and/or suspect a new finish, ask when and why the car was painted.

3. Be aware that hiding rust and imperfections are quite common.

4. Check the bumpers for body filling, and/or signs of rust or decay.  Then check the wheels for dents and the tires for nails.

5. You could  assume from the aspects mentioned above, that if there are issues on the outside or underside, it’s likely that there will be problems on the inside of the vehicle.

II. Vehicle Angles, and the Vehicle Interior: check every corner of the vehicle, top to bottom, tip to tail, rear, front, sides, and even underneath the vehicle.

1. Any inconsistencies or signs of major repair could be a cause for concern.

2. Try to make note of even minor details.

3. Look for outright and lingering signs of damages.

4. Tears, stains or exposure, even sun damage might be noticeable on the upholstery and the interior of the vehicle.

5. Try to detect all these visible signs vehicle damage prior to your purchase.

III. The vehicle’s engine: always keep in mind that just because an engine is clean, does not mean that it is in good condition and all is well.

1. It is important to pay particular attention to all the details that are associated with the functioning of the vehicle.

2. The wheel well (check for residue or oil leaks here) and the exhaust manifold (check for rust) are two obvious places to inspect.

3. Checking the dipstick for oil is essential. Ensure that you feel no particles in it when rubbing your fingers against it. If present, it may indicate some related engine problems and maybe even wear and tear, aging, or breakdown.

4. It is also advisable for you to start the engine and listen carefully to the revs before you take it out for a test drive.

5. How the engine performs and the handling of the car are the other obvious signs to look out for here.

6. Check all brakes and features thoroughly.