Finding a good, sound used car has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with thorough research. That is why I put together these tips to hopefully help you find a reliable pre-owned vehicle.
Which is best?
Before you begin your search, decide on the type of vehicle you want, and then identify the most reliable make and model within that type of vehicle. For example, if you are looking for an SUV, decide which options are most important to you.
Then, search the reviews to find the best SUV within your price range. There are plenty of sites that offer great search engines that will narrow down your search to specifics to make vehicle shopping much easier than it used to be.
Inspect the car
No matter who is selling the vehicle, always look it over thoroughly and, if possible, take it to a mechanic for a complete inspection.
Condition of the body
Carefully go over the exterior of the vehicle, looking for scratches, dents, and rust. Examine all the lines of the fenders and doors for misalignment, which may indicate shoddy repairs.
Walk around the vehicle, make sure it is standing level and not sagging anywhere, a sign of damaged suspension.
Check to make sure the tires still have good tread on them, and there aren’t any bald spots or unusual wear patterns.
Under the hood
Check all fluids, belts, hoses and look for leaks or wear.
Under the vehicle
Check for signs of leaks, rust or damage under the vehicle.
Make sure the interior is in good shape without damage to seats, carpet or dash.
Last but not least do some research on the dealer. Check with the Better Business Bureau for their rating and to make sure there aren’t any complaints against them. If you are buying from a private party go with your gut feeling about the person.
These are only a few of the things you should check, but it is a start. Look the car over good; you will save in the long run.
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