Steps to Take Before Buying a Used Car

Before committing to replacing your car, you might consider repairing the one you own. Even if your car needs a new engine, that can be cheaper than buying a used car. Auto recycling, or salvage, shops have a large collection of used parts. Many times these parts have a great deal of life left in them. But if you have made the decision to replace your car you need to know how to buy used car.


One thing you will need to do is perform a used car inspection. While a mechanic can be called upon

to do this used car inspection, you can do it yourself and save time and money. In general, the car should be dry (don’t inspect a car in the rain) and sitting on a level spot. You need to do this in the daytime. You should still carry a flashlight and be prepared to get a bit dirty.

Used Car Exterior Check

While it may seem like the easiest step, don’t be careless with a used car exterior check. Check the fit of the car, looking for gaps that are too large. Check each body panel for rust and signs of repair. Look under the hood and the trunk for signs that the car has been painted. Open and close all the doors, the hood and the trunk to check for signs of wear.

Used Car Tires Check

Chances are, you are going to need to put some money in repairs or replacement parts. You need an idea how much this is going to cost you as a negotiating tool or whether to walk away. A used car tires check is important in this regard. Check the tires for tread depth by using a coin. It’s an old trick but useful. Be wary of mismatched tires and uneven wear, both signs of trouble.

Used Car Engine Check

When performing a used car engine check, the first thing to do is take an overall glance at the engine. Look for any obvious damage or leaks. The engine should appear to be taken care of but not overly shiny. A recently shined engine could be a sign the owner is trying to hide something. Always look under the car for any signs of leaks. Finally, check all the fluid levels. Also make sure the hoses and belts are in good condition.

Used car suspension check

A used car suspension check might seem difficult but there are some things you can do. Turn the steering wheel back and forth while listening for any kind of clunky noises. That can signify a problem in the front end. You can check the shocks or struts by pushing up and down on the hood and see how long the car continues to bounce after you stop. Be careful if an old car has brand new tires. The owner could be trying to hide a problem.

Used car interior check

You will be spending a lot of time in your car and that makes a used car interior check important. Check the seats for any rips or tears. Make sure everything works as it should, including air conditioning, heat, stereo and any other amenities.

Used car brakes check

If the car you are interested in has open wheels, you can do a visual brakes check. When you test drive the car, you can do a check the brakes by feeling for uneven braking and by listening for squeaking or grinding noises.

Used car steering check

Similar to a brakes check, a used car steering check is done while driving the car. If the steering wheel is difficult to turn, vibrates, slips, is loose or makes a grinding noise, these are all warnings signs of trouble. Trouble with steering is dangerous and could lead to accidents.

Finally, you should always do a used car test drive. It is crucial if you want to know how to buy used car. Potential problems may not show up until you get the car on the road and up to speed. Nothing else can replace what you can learn with a used car test drive.