You’ve made the decision to avoid the monthly payments that come with a new car. Instead, you’re opting for a used vehicle. Good choice. Car wrap Melbourne You’ll not only avoid the interest that accompanies four or five years of payments, but you’ll also avoid a significant portion of depreciation. The challenge is to find a pre-owned automobile that offers the reliability you need at a price you can afford. Below, we’ll provide a crash course on finding a used car bargain while avoiding the lemons.
Examine The Interior And Exterior
Look at the exterior first. Walk around the entire perimeter and look closely for any signs of deterioration or hasty repairs. For example, can you see chipped paint or windows Do you notice any dents (aside from door dings). Look at areas that may have received tiny splashes of paint. They might suggest body damage that has been repaired.
Next, check the interior of the vehicle. Make a note of obvious wear and tear, such as a dashboard with mild cracking. Look for missing dials and buttons. Test the power windows and locks to ensure they are working properly. Also, peer closely at the floor carpeting under the mats. If you see discoloration, it may be a sign of past flooding.
Pop The Hood
You’ll want to make sure the parts and systems under the hood are in relatively good shape. The belts and hoses should not severely worn. The battery posts should not have excess corrosion caked upon them. Look at the engine for an accumulation of grease and grime. Check the oil (with the engine cool). If it has a sludge-like consistency, be wary of engine damage caused by friction.
Steering And Suspension
Turn the engine on and test the steering wheel with the vehicle idling in Park. It should rotate clockwise and counterclockwise without sluggishness or creaking. Next, take the car on the road to test the steering’s balance. If the wheel shakes or the vehicle drifts, that might suggest an alignment is necessary.
Invest the time to drive the vehicle over speed bumps in order to test the suspension. Also, turn the engine off and push down on the bumpers. If there are more than a couple of bounces, the struts and absorbers may need to be replaced.
Maintenance Records And History Report
Prior to meeting with the vehicle’s owner, order a history report based on the VIN (the owner should be willing to provide the VIN). The report will detail any major repairs that have been performed on the automobile. It will also list an odometer reading that might suggest it has since been rolled back.
Ask the owner for the car’s maintenance records. You want to make certain that he or she has had routine maintenance (for example, oil changes) performed on a regular basis. The records are now kept on computer. If the owner claims they are not available, be wary.
Lastly, take the car to a trustworthy mechanic. Ask him to do a diagnostic check and to inspect the underside of the vehicle for damage. The work will cost approximately $100, but will help you avoid expensive headaches down the road.
If you take the steps described above, you’ll improve your chances of finding a fantastic used car bargain without worrying about buying a lemon.