How To Check A Used Car Before Buying

How To Check A Used Car Before Buying

In light of the high prices of new cars, many then resort to the used car market. They do this to obtain a vehicle that fits their financial capabilities. However, there are conditions and basics the buyer should know before buying used cars. You as a buyer, do not want to fall victim to buying a car that has many malfunctions and end up having regrets. Below are some important tips to help you choose the right used car for you.

Steps before buying a used car

First of all, you should determine what car is suitable for you, the accessories it needs, the year of manufacture, the type of gear (automatic or manual). Also you must know the average market price and your budget for the car.

When you’re to choose the appropriate car for you- they’re some factors you should consider. What is the purpose for the car? Perhaps you’re a young single man who needs a car just to move around in a crowded city. In this case, you would need to buy a small car that is economical in fuel consumption and easy to park.

On the other hand, you could be in a big family that needs a car to travel constantly. The most suitable car here would be a family sedan or crossover. Whichever car you may choose, it is preferable that you test the car and see whether it is in a good condition.

If you do settle on a car you saw online maybe. You should talk to the seller and ask questions about it for example:

  1. Is the paint original or does it contain any paint dye? This will help you determine if it has been in any accidents. If he tells you it has a complete paint dye – what you’re going to do is take the car to a specialized center and check its complete condition.
  2. Ask the seller, if he is the first owner of that or if he bought it from someone else too. If for instance, the car is 5-10 years old and owners have been changed more than 5 times then it may have a defect. The car may have a mechanical or electrical defect that makes the buyer not keep it for longer than a year. In this case, it’s for you to decide either to look for another car or have it tested and checked at a specialized centre.
  3. Do ask for the history of the mechanical or electrical faults in the car. If the seller cannot answer that question or evade it – most definitely do not waste your time inspecting the car further.
  4. What is the vehicles chassis number or VIN( vehicle identification number). Many countries allow you to inspect a car using its VIN which then shows you dates of accident reports and parts damaged. This will help you decide.
  5. Does the car have warranty? If the car you want to buy is either about 1-5 years old then it is likely that it is under the manufacturers guarantee. This will make it easier for you to know that car breakdowns and repairs.

How to check a used car before buying?

When you’re going to inspect the car, you should preferably go with a technician or friend who understands cars well. This will help you examine the car well better than if you were doing it all alone.

Cars are divided into several external and internal parts. They both have their own methods for visual inspection or checking simple tools. Through these steps you can examine the car respectively:

Examine the exterior of the vehicle

It is very important to check the safety of the body and paint of the car. The method of examining it is to look at the car all round. Do this as you use your hands over all the parts of the body – all done when all the four doors, rear bag and front hood are open.

Car doors

Ensure all the parts of the exterior structure such as door sills are free from rust, cracks or prominent seams. Do check the bottom of the doors and see if there is previous paint on the rubber as well as under the carpet of the rear bag.

Detection of mechanical and electrical parts of the vehicle

When you’re done inspecting the external structure now you have to inspect the cars motor. You can do this by looking everywhere and checking for oil leakage. Check whether the screw bolts have been loosened.

Front car hood

Also check the hygiene of the parts in the front hood and if they’ve been repaired before. If in any case you have any suspicions you can take the car to a specialized centre to be inspected further.

Car tyres

Press the car with your hand on the outer shell right about the tyre. If there is any abnormal sound, ask the seller about it and to be 100% sure also consult a technician at a specialized centre.

When examining the tyre, you make sure the manufacture date doesn’t exceed 3 years. Also ensure they have not travelled more than 40,000 kilometres. Check the general condition, that the tyres not worn out or don’t have smooth areas.

Interior cabin inspection

The condition of the interior must correspond to the mileage of the car. The mileage is the miles that the car has travelled. So, for instance if you find the distance meter is no more than 50,000 km for a car that is about 5 years old  and some worn out parts such as throttle, steering wheel, gear box etc. or if some data on the buttons has been erased, the seller could’ve tampered with the odometer.

Test your used car before you buy it

After inspecting the inside and outside of the car, you can start the car and see if it’s fine. Do the following in this order:

  1. Turn off the recorder or any other sound source. This is so it doesn’t distract you from hearing the normal suspension, traction and motor sounds as you’re driving.
  2. Ensure lights, wipers, sunroof, mirrors, air conditioning, chairs, camera, speakers, screen, glass buttons etc. are all working efficiently.
  3. Drive around as much as possible, then press the accelerator pedal hard, even though it is only once to check the torque of the car and the engine response. Then go ahead and drive the vehicle at a speed of 100-120 km. Pay attention to the sudden vibrations, sounds or turns that appear while driving cause each may alert a specific problem.
  4. Take turns at a speed of 25-40 km/hour and drive over bumps as well to ensure the safety of the suspension parts and system stability. 
  5. The seller might not let you test the car the way you would like to. However, try to convince him for you need to be sure of the condition of the car in terms of cleanliness and safety.

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