How to Inspect a Car
Before making an investment in a used car, you should be certain to inspect it thoroughly; whenever possible, you should have a qualified mechanic inspect the car. When that isn’t possible, there are some things you can do to check a car before making the decision to buy it. Most importantly, when considering a used car, it is important to inspect the car more than once. It’s always better, especially if you feel depressed; to let the seller know you should think about it before making a final purchase.
The first thing to examine when looking at a used car is the ground underneath. Look for spots of all colors; darker spots can be lubricants such as oil, transmission, and brake fluids, and spots of a lighter hue can be leaks of other vital fluids such as radiator coolant/antifreeze. A car that is leaking any fluid, at any rate, can quickly become a money pit. The seller may try to reassure you that it is a leak that just needs a small repair-say a gasket or some other easy fix. That is definitely an assessment that a mechanic should make, not a decision to be made on a basic inspection. Leaks can be costly and they tend to get worse when a used car is driven.
Next on your inspection, you must check all of the lights on the car and make sure they are working properly. Also, make sure that the turn signals and dashboard indicators function properly. Start the car and drive it. Make sure you get the car up to highway driving speeds. Be sure to start and restart the car several times before making a decision.
Sometimes, there are battery and alternator problems that can be disguised by the seller. The seller may fool the customer by having the car on a battery charger before the prospective buyer arrives. If a seller does this, problems with turn signals, the car battery or alternator problems will be missed.
Last on your inspection list; check that the steering wheel and seat adjustment mechanisms work properly. Verify that all of the seat belts work effectively. If you are looking at a car with airbags, ask if they have ever been deployed. Make sure that you know how to open the trunk and the hood, and that they open and close properly.
Do not hurry
Take the time to check a used car before you take it home. It can save you from wasting your money on a car that will not last. It can also keep you from getting yourself into the burden of a car that you spend an exuberant amount of money on after the initial purchase. Normal maintenance costs are to be expected, but a car should not require constant maintenance and repair. This can be avoided by doing a simple inspection.