Tuesday, January 12, 2021

How To Spot The Warning Signs When Test Driving A Used Car

Buying a used car is a great way to save money, but it can be risky. When you buy a new car, you can guarantee that it’s in good working order and there are not any hidden problems. However, with a used car, you have to take the word of the seller when they tell you that it’s in good condition and there is always a chance that it will have expensive maintenance issues that you need to deal with. 

Following these simple tips will help you avoid getting ripped off when buying a used car but the most important thing you can do is to test drive it. If a dealership or a private seller is unwilling to let you test drive the car, start looking elsewhere because you can pretty much guarantee that the car is in bad shape. When you are able to test drive cars, there are certain things you should look out for to make sure that you are getting a good deal. Here’s everything you should be on the lookout for when test driving a used car. 

Check The Bodywork 

Before you get behind the wheel, take a good look at the outside of the car. If there are some small dents and scratches, that’s not the end of the world. As long as you are happy to live with it, they shouldn’t affect the performance of the car, just scratches fixed as soon as possible or they can cause the car to rust.

Speaking of rust, avoid buying cars that are covered in it because you will need to do extensive work on the body of the car and that can quickly get expensive. A little bit of rust here and there isn’t the end of the world but if the wheel arches are starting to fall apart, it’s not worth buying. 

When checking over the bodywork, pay particular attention to the different panels and how they fit together, and look for any slight variations in color. This can be an indication that the panels have been replaced because the car has been in an accident, in which case, you need to ask the seller about the extent of the damage. 

Test The Brakes 

The brakes are one of the first things you should test because the car is dangerous to drive if they don’t function properly. Test that the car stops in a straight line and listen out for any squeaking or scraping noises when you stop. If there are strange noises, this is an indication that the brake pads are wearing down. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t buy the car because you can just look for local brake repair shops and get it fixed. However, you should consider whether the deal that you get on the car is good enough to justify spending money on new brakes. In some cases, you might be able to haggle them down and get them to knock off the price of a new set of brake pads. 

Try All Of The Gears 

Clunky gear changes can indicate issues with the clutch or the gearbox, so make sure that you try all of the gears to ensure they are smooth. In an automatic, take note of the gear changes and listen for any noises (ideally, they should be smooth and silent). Pay attention to where the biting point is as well because if it is near the top, that’s a sign that the clutch needs replacing soon. 

Check The Steering 

Make sure you can find a long stretch of straight road during your test drive so you can check the steering. If the car naturally pulls to one side when driving on a straight road for a long period, that’s a bad sign. There shouldn’t be too much noise when steering either, and the action should be smooth. A quiet whining sound is normal in cars with power steering but anything else is a cause for concern. 

These are the main things that you need to check when test driving a used car, but you should also be on the lookout for anything else that feels strange. Looking at the pedals to see how worn down they are is a good way to get a sense of how old the car is, which is important because some people may lie about this. When you are buying a used car, always trust your guy and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore it. Instead, look for other options and hold off until you find something that you feel confident about. 


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