There are no guarantees when you are buying a used car. It may look great on the outside, but if it doesn’t run well, you may be pouring money into something that really isn’t worth the investment. Tune Tech in Spokane, WA has seen our fair share of used cars come through our shop, and plenty of them are still running and looking like new, so there are definitely some good deals to be had out there!
If you’re considering buying a used car, you need to know what to look for when you are checking it out. Here are a few of the things we think you should take a look at:
- The exterior should be free from dents, scratches and rust. These things may indicate that the vehicle has been driven too rough.
- The undercarriage shouldn’t have anything hanging down loosely, and there shouldn’t be any rust or signs of frame damage, especially if the owner hasn’t mentioned the car being in a wreck.
- The trunk or bed should be in good condition as well. There shouldn’t be any rust, water damage or leaks in these areas, either, since you’ll be hauling your stuff around in there once you buy the car.
- The tires don’t have to be brand new, but their treads should be evenly worn, and no threads should be showing through. Replacing tires is a big expense and not one that you want right away.
- The hoses and belts should be in working order, with no leaks in the belts and no fraying of the belts. A belt that breaks while you are driving can cause major engine damage, and leaks can lead to bigger engine issues as well.
- The fluids in the car should be recently changed, not dark or dingy. Check the oil and transmission fluid before buying a used car. You will have to replace these fluids, but you shouldn’t have to do a full service on the car right after you buy it.
- The heater and AC should be in working order as well. Test them out when you crank up the engine. Notice if the car runs hot while idling with the air or heat on. This could simply mean that it is low on fluids, but it could also be something more complicated.
- The gauges should all work correctly, including the thermostat and gas gauge and the speedometer. Buying a car with broken gauges means that you’ll be at the repair shop within days or weeks of your purchase.
Most importantly, never buy a used car that you haven’t test driven! You can really see the shape it’s in when you get it out on the road. Listen for unusual sounds and feel for resistance in the gears, pedals and steering wheel.
If the current owner doesn’t mind, the experts at Tune Tech can take a closer look at the car for you, giving you a little extra peace of mind before you make such a large and important purchase!