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Sources for used car buying
Used car buying tips
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Before you sign a contract
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Used Car Buying Tips
Buying a car from an individual or from a local car dealer is one
tedious task if the objective is to purchase a second car that is
still in good running condition. Whether new or used, when
buying a car, it should be treated with the same importance and
There are things to take into consideration before buying the car
and these are:
1. Educate yourself as a consumer
2. Prepare a list of your needs. Prioritize between the necessities
and the wants.
3. Determine the budget and the kind of car that would best fit.
4. Make a selection by models and types. Narrowing them will be
5. Research both online and offline by dealers.
6. Know the value of the second hand car in the market.
7. Research the Vehicle Identification Numbers and history.
8. Take a mechanic when checking the car whether buying from a
friend or a dealer.
9. Never shy away from asking questions.
10. If there's a gut feeling about it not being good, don't be
afraid to walk away.
Bringing a mechanic along is always a good strategy. Make sure
your mechanic inspects the total car, from the history down to its
last screw. It should be parked on a level spot. You should
make certain that it was driven for about an hour before the
inspection. Always make it on a well lit surrounding and in
How to inspect it thoroughly:
Checking the exterior.
Walk around to see if there is damage to the body. The corners
of the car should be shaken and bounced up and down to see if the
shock absorbers are still in good condition. Make sure that
the wheel bearings do not make any sound when trying to pull the
front tires by tugging them. Open the doors lift the hood and
the trunk to see if all the rubber seals are still in place.
This will also tell if there's anything loose around the hinges.
Check for signs of repaint. There will be difference in the color
because shops can never duplicate the original paint of the car.
Ask someone to turn on all the lights outside of the car and look if
all are working. Cars with only 30,000 miles of travel must
still have its original tires. Beware if you find a car with
only a few miles of travel but has new tires. When the test
drive is done, check the discs of the brakes, this should still be
clean and smooth. Check the windshield for cracks.
Checking the Interior.
Though it sounds odd, smell the inside of the car. Sniff under
mats and the carpet. If it smells like mildew then it's a sign
that there is a leak somewhere or that the car may have undergone
flood damage. Switch on the air-conditioning to make sure that
it really turns the whole inside of the car cold. Next, try
the heater. Try out all lights inside as well and never forget
to blow the horn. Also try all the seat adjustments. The
upholstery should still be in good shape too. There is a lot
more to check and here is where the mechanic can help the buyer.
Looking inside the trunk. Once more, smell the insides and
check for any signs of leaks. Make sure that some basic car
tools are still present for the new user.
Checking under the hood. Feel the wiring for any cracks or
brittleness. Squeeze the hoses and the fan belt for any cuts
and possible electrical tape patches. Do not take off the cap
of the radiator until its cool enough. The greenish color
indicates a good condition where the coolant is. Beware of
stains and dirty-whitish color on the radiator. Again, let the
rest be checked by the mechanic like the batteries.
Checking under the car. Lie down if you must and use an
emergency light to see the engine underneath. Feel any signs
of residue. Check the pipes and examine any possibility of
Do the Test Drive. The owner or dealer should not stop a buyer
from going over about twenty minutes of test drive. This is a
special time to thoroughly look for any problems with the
air-conditioning, heater, steering wheel, brakes, transmission, and
most importantly, the comfort. Feel everything; itís okay to
try it on a hump or a slight bumpy road to really experience the
performance. Listen carefully to check any rattles. Have
a pen and paper, flashlight, gloves, magnet, towel, blanket and even
CD or tape when checking a car out.
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