How to Inspect a Used Car

Posted on March 21, 2016 By

Buying a used car can be an intimidating task. You can never be too sure about the condition of the car, whether it has been used carefully or has been handled roughly. The safest way out is to inspect the car completely.

Great! You have finally found the used car of the make and model that you wanted. Hi Five! As the car fits your budget too! Now don’t just sign the dotted line immediately. You have to make sure you are buying a used car that is in a good working condition. You don’t want the doors to fall open and the engine to cough up and die a few miles down the road do you? So before you make an offer, you need to inspect it to ensure you’re not buying a well painted wreck. And inspecting a car does not mean kicking a tire!

Whether you are buying from the owner directly or from the dealer, you must have your back covered. The best idea is to take the car to a trusted and expert mechanic and let him look it over for any defects. If there is no mechanic available, then you need to do the inspection yourself. Now you can get a report of the vehicle’s history from the sources in the field, and pay a huge amount for it, or you can do an initial inspection yourself.

Initial inspection is done before you start the car. Get down, and look underneath the car for rust. If the frame is rusted, then it is not a good thing as rust weakens the frame. And if you will have to get it repaired, then it may cost a load of money. So, it is best to say goodbye to the car there and then! The next on the inspection list are the tires and wheels. Look closely for wear and tear. If the wearing is uneven then in all probability the wheels or suspension are out of alignment. So be on your guard here.

Now scan the car’s exterior. Spot the recent paint jobs by a slight change of color. Remember that paint jobs are almost always a result of damaged body. A sneaky trick to spot paint jobs is to look for over-spray on the rubber window molding. If you do find the repainted area, then tap on it and listen for a change in tone. This tone change is an indication of patchwork.

Let’s head inside the car now. Try to match the odometer of the car, with the wear and tear inside. If the meter shows a lesser number of miles, while the car’s interiors are worn, then you know that the meter’s been tampered with. Open the hood then, and look for rounded or stripped nuts and bolt heads. If you see them, then the car has been repaired by the worst guys in the field. If the spark plugs are newer, then this is an indication of a well-maintained car that went through regular checks.

Automotive