Purchasing a used vehicle is an investment many people choose to do instead of purchasing brand new, but when it comes to purchasing used vehicles they all have a history. Hidden damage in a used vehicle is a factor that should be considered before buying used, as the damage could turn into a costly issue for the buyer in the future. Investigating the vehicle’s history is critical to help anyone make an educated choice, one which could potentially save you a lot of money in the future.
Understanding a vehicle’s history – like whether it’s been in a collision prior to, or when the odometer reads correctly — is essential to making an informed decision when seeking to purchase. If you’re searching for a used vehicle, here are 5 things to look at before buying.
The inside of a used vehicle will tell you a good deal about its history. If you notice a musty odor, it could be a sign of problems other than worn-in upholstery and also indicate previous water damage. A gassy smell may be a sign of engine issues — pull the dipstick of the vehicle, when the oil is black or has flakes of metal in it, it usually means that there has been previous engine or transmission issues. In the event the dealer does not mention that the automobile has experienced engine or water problems, examine the car’s history to make sure you’re being told all the details. Should you see any water or engine damage information documented on the account, proceed with caution as it could be a sign that the trader is leaving out other significant info about the motor vehicle.
Mismatched paint on the exterior of a used vehicle is typically an indication there has been collision repair or body work completed. If there are parts of the car where paint seems shinier or less faded, it might indicate the vehicle was formerly in an crash. Natural discolouring is normal, but if the paint on the bumper doesn’t match the body, it’s a simple way to tell the vehicle has a rough history.
Fresh paint that feels gritty when you run your hand over it might mean that paint has been used to cover rust. Not all rust is bad. Used cars are certain to have a small amount of surface rust, especially if they’re much older. Small patches or bubbles of rust on the outside of the car should not cause a good deal of concern because the most damage it will do is to the paint job, however large amounts of rust, where metal is completely torn through or there are any big holes to the exterior of the vehicle would be worth concern. Not all rust is visible on the body of the vehicle, which explains why it’s very important to completely check beneath the automobile and around the tires to for rust.
When you decide to take the used car out for a test drive, pay attention to all of the accessories and controls around the switchboard. Windshield wipers, both the heat and air conditioning, mirror adjustments, door and window locks, the speaker system and the horn are examples of vehicle controls you should make sure to test them a few times each to ensure everything works. Also check and make sure the used vehicle comes with an owner’s manual. If any of those accessories or controls aren’t working, let the dealer know immediately.
A vehicle that’s leaking is typically a sign there is an internal problem and is need of repair. If you see any visible signs of leaking under the vehicle it’s definitely worth mentioning the dealer, as it might indicate a problem with either the engine, transmission or the automobile’s anti-freeze compartment.
Before you buy a used vehicle, read reviews about the model and make of the car as well as reviewing the car history report. These together may provide you the information needed to assess what to expect from the vehicle in the future. If you are unsure if you’re ready to take on a used automobile, you may want to look into accredited pre-owned vehicles — a vehicle that has been inspected, refurbished and certified by the producer before it’s resold. Assessing your used vehicle before you invest could help you avoid buyer’s remorse, save money and stay safe while driving.
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