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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Buyer's Checklist for Inspecting Used Cars

Buyer's Checklist for Inspecting Used Cars

The inspection is one of the most important aspects of the car buying experience. The initial inspection gives the potential buyer the opportunity to check both the interior and exterior for problems such as rust, a faulty sound system, or mechanical issues. Although a buyer's personal inspection isn't a substitute for a thorough inspection by a professional mechanic, it is an essential step when purchasing used cars. Before investing in a used vehicle, follow this checklist for inspecting used cars.

Examining the Exterior

Before you actually get into the vehicle for a test drive, it's best first to examine the exterior for any defects. While minor cosmetic flaws such as small scratches or dents often remain unnoticeable, other blemishes like rust can spread when exposed to air and moisture long-term. When examining the exterior, check for the following problems:

- Cracks in the windshield or windows
- Mismatched body panel colors
- Improper alignment where the trunk and hood close
- Improper alignment where the fenders and doors meet
- Faulty windshield wipers
- Faulty headlights and signal lights

Inspecting the Interior

The interior of the vehicle is equally as important as the exterior, as you'll want to be able to drive comfortably. When inspecting the interior, check for cosmetic flaws like torn or aged upholstery, faulty instruments and controls, and odd odors that could indicate the presence of mold or mildew. The following defects should also be looked for:

- Problems with opening and closing doors
- Problems with opening and closing the trunk
- Non-working gauges/stereo/heater/air conditioner
- Lit warning lights on the dashboard
- Faulty seatbelts
- Faulty power windows/sunroof
- Non-working alarm (if applicable)

Checking the Brakes and Steering

Brakes are a critical safety feature in all vehicles and should be in good working condition. Common signs that indicate the need for new brakes include squeaks, squeals, grinding, and other noises. You'll also want to ensure that the steering wheel steers to either side easily. Here are some common problems to look for:

- Pulling of the vehicle to one side when applying the brakes
- Issues when trying to engage or disengage the parking brake
- Shaking or vibrating
- Resistance in the steering wheel while attempting to turn
- Clunking or clicking sound while turning

Taking the Car for a Test Drive

Driving a used vehicle is essential to ensure that the car is running smoothly and is mechanically sound. During the test drive, be sure to follow all precautions that you normally would such as adjusting the seat and mirrors and fastening your seatbelt. You'll also want to check for the following problems:

- Difficultly starting the vehicle
- Trouble shifting gears (if manual transmission)
- Poor acceleration
- Difficultly maneuvering during lane changes

Unless you have prior experience, you may not know what to look for when checking the frame, transmission, and other more complicated components of the car. It's best to have the car inspected by a professional mechanic before purchasing to ensure that the vehicle is in good working condition. Be sure to perform an inspection always before purchasing used cars for your own safety and the safety of your passengers.
When considering used cars, NJ residents visit Honda of Toms River. Learn more at http://www.hondaoftomsriver.com/used-cars-toms-river-nj.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9156994

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