5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Test-Drive

5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Test-Drive

If you’re thinking about buying a used car, it is important to thoroughly inspect and test-drive before your purchase. You need to ensure that the car’s performance is up to the mark and all the documents are in place. Also, you need to look at the maintenance history of the vehicle and discuss your doubts with the dealership. Most dealerships that offer pre-owned cars will make sure the vehicle is in good condition. However, when taking a test-drive, you need to analyze a few points for yourself.

1. Exterior and Interior

Look out for any chips, scratches or dents to the bodywork and see if the seats and trim show any signs of damage. Also, run the air-conditioning to see if it is working and check the electrical components like lights, windows, etc., to be sure that they are in working condition. Another important check is the windshield as any damage to it can cause hundreds of dollars to repair. If you notice that the tires are worn more on one side, the car’s wheel alignment may need some adjusting or there might be some other issues with the car.

2. Engine

When you are test-driving a used car, always insist on starting the engine from cold. If the hood is warm, it could indicate that it has already been started and it could hide some problems. When you’re accelerating, look out for excessive smoke from the exhaust in the rearview mirror. Also, once you’re done with the test-drive, check if there are any leaks in the engine bay or below the car.

3. Steering and Brakes

The brakes should ideally stop the car in a straight line and there shouldn’t be any vibrations or rubbing noises when you brake. When you’re driving on a hill, try using the handbrake to make sure there is no slippage while doing so. With the steering, there shouldn’t be any squeals or judders during a turn. You can expect a small whining sound in the case of power steering.

4. Clutch and Gears

Ensure that you try all the gears during your test-drive. There shouldn’t be any crunching during shifting gears. If it is an automatic car, the gear changes must be smooth, silent and immediate. It is also important to check the clutch biting point. If it is at the top, it might be a sign that the car needs a new clutch soon.

5. Points to Remember

Try to plan the test-drive during daytime and take a friend or your partner with you for a second opinion. Also, make sure that you feel comfortable in the car and you like its technology and features. During the drive, go on all kinds of terrains, including smooth roads, hilly areas, empty stretches, highways and even parking lots. Don’t forget to try parallel parking as you may have to do this quite often. Also, check the rear seats, the trunk space and the radio to ensure that you like all the aspects of the car before purchasing it.

Buying a pre-owned vehicle comes with its set of challenges and benefits. If you take a proper test-drive, you can definitely bring home a great ride.