What To Look For When Buying a Used Car
Buying a used car is a great way to save money if the one you’ve got your eye on is in good condition. People sell their cars for all sorts of reasons — sometimes, they don’t get enough use out of their vehicle, and sometimes it’s due to changing circumstances and they need a new vehicle that meets their needs.
Although the words “used car” can conjure up some images of lemons that’ll break down on you, there have been great strides to ensure that anyone buying a used car gets exactly what the sale advertises. Still, some will try to pass on a damaged car, hoping the buyer won’t realize it until it is too late. So here’s our checklist of what to look for when buying a used car.
1) Inspecting the Exterior
Naturally, inspecting the exterior is the first step. When you see the car, you’ll want to walk all the way around and check out what the exterior looks like. Some dings and scratches won’t affect the usability of your vehicle but suggest that the car may require some maintenance, which will cost you extra. Check to see that the doors and trunk open and close easily, and that all the panels on the exterior line up, as any discrepancy could be a sign that the car was damaged previously.
2) Check the Paint
Look inside the trunk and all over the panels to ensure they are all the same color. Any differences in the shade could mean that the car was damaged, fixed, and repainted. It could be a sign of deeper underlying damage. Check for any peeling, rusting, or chipping paint, as the vehicle has likely been neglected for some time.
3) Examining Mirrors, Windows, and General Visibility
The most crucial factor while driving is your visibility. If there is any damage to the windshield, like scratches, pits, or cracks, you’ll likely have to replace the auto glass. Driving around with flaws in the front auto glass, mirrors, or back window is not recommended, and those dents can worsen quickly if not fixed immediately. You may also want to ask if reputable technicians have ever replaced the glass and if they used OEM parts.
Auto glass lasts a long time if installed correctly, but if the car is vintage or hasn’t been replaced in 10 years, you may want to take it for a professional inspection and possible replacement. Auto glass technology has changed, making glass stronger and better, so you stay safe on the road in your new, used vehicle.
4) Scrutinize the Seats
The seats and the whole interior warrant a close inspection. Open the doors, and touch the seats to ensure they’re clean and well taken care of. Sniff around in the back seat and front seat for any musty or mildew smells, as it’s a sign of a more significant problem. Cars with leaks can get mold, the same way homes can, which is challenging to get rid of without professional help or even replacing the interior.
5) Lights, Features, Test Drives
Once you’re sure everything on the outside looks as it should, it’s time to turn on the car, make sure everything functions, and take it for a spin! When you start the car, make sure everything starts smoothly, and all of the features are operating, especially the speedometer, gas gauge, engine, brakes, etc. Turn on all the lights, including the headlights, fog lights, high beams, and low beams, to ensure they all work. Then, take it for a test drive and see how it runs! Make some turns, try parking, and test out the brakes thoroughly.
Once you’re sure the car works the way you like, it’s time to negotiate the price! If there is any damage to the exterior, interior, or auto glass, include that in your agreements — the seller should lower the price for you if you have to take it to get fixed.
You can bring your used car to Smiley’s Auto Glass for an inspection or replacement for auto glass issues! Call us at 804-320-7172 or contact us online for quality auto glass for every type of vehicle.