How Should I Inspect a Used Car?

How Should I Inspect a Used Car?

Buying a used car can be a pretty big deal if you don’t know where to start. This decision entails a lot of inspections and an endless trail of formalities. With proper planning and research, you can cut down your chase to the bare minimum. Here are some tips that can help you find the best vehicle to fit your needs and budget.

Go Through the Papers

Before initiating the purchase process for a used car, you should closely inspect the papers attached to it. This helps in understanding the true condition of the vehicle. Based on the insurance documents and vehicle history reports, negotiate the price with the seller. Insurance papers clearly specify if there are any major repairs reported with regard to this vehicle. Check if the chassis number and engine number match the figures given in registration documents.

Choose an Inspection Under Bright Lights

A physical inspection of a used car is best done under broad sunshine. You should ask the seller to park the vehicle in an open space where you get its 360-degree view. This helps to look for flaws in the paint job and dents on the body. When a car stands in an open space, you can walk around it for a thorough eye inspection. At the same time, it is important for the vehicle to be parked on level ground where you can check all the straight lines and their alignment.

Inspect the Exterior Features

It is important to check the exterior body parts thoroughly before buying a used car. You can seek help from mechanic or do it on your own. Simply check the panels to look for dents or scratches. If there are any gaps or misalignments in the panels, it means the car had a shoddy assembling. The performance of the vehicle may not be affected by cosmetic flaws like chipped paint or dents, but if there are signs of rust, you need to think seriously. Apart from these, check the lights and glass and inspect the tires for alignment and wearing.

Inspect the Interior Features

After checking the exterior, peep inside the car and look for the flaws if any. First, check the odors coming from the car. If there are any moldy or musty odors, it means there may be some leaks in the vehicle. Remove the floor mats and inspect the carpet for wet spots. Check seat alignments and adjustments. Without firing up the engine, turn the ignition on to check the controls, instruments and lights. They should all be in working conditions. Finally, check the roof, sound system and air conditioning.

Engine Inspections

The performance of a used car largely depends on the engine condition. Look under the hood to see if the engine is in proper condition. You can ignore dust under the hood but if there are signs of oil spilled in the engine compartment, there may be some serious troubles in that area. Check the rubber hoses by squeezing them properly. Do not forget to check the fluid levels that should be maintained at the right levels for proper functioning of various components.

These inspections are better done by a certified mechanic. Ask for a written report on the completion of the inspection or simply go to an authorized dealership.