We all know that a car is a huge investment, that’s why it is crucial to have the best options available, especially when buying a pre-owned car. How can you ensure you have the best at better value, for your money’s worth? Purchasing a low mileage used car can be tricky, therefore you need to be observant and compare through thorough evaluation before making any hasty decision.
Take a look at these 10 tips to help you determine the condition of a pre-owned car before closing the deal…
1 Check for overheating
When test driving, it is crucial to check handling, brakes, and to look out for any signs of mechanical problems such as overheating.
Top Tip: If a vehicle is overheating it means that the engine is screaming for attention and the cooling system needs help. A vehicle can overheat at any point where the cooling system no longer is effectively absorbing, transporting and dissipating the heat created from the engine’s burning fuel.
2 Make sure there are no rumbling sounds
Make sure the radio is turned off while you test drive, and listen closely for any extraordinary knocking or rumbling sounds when you start up the vehicle.
3 Check the interior
Check the interior for any obvious faults such as ripped material or leather. The wear on the rubber of the brake, clutch and accelerator should be consistent with the age of the car.
4 Check the battery
Check that the battery terminals are clear of any build-up.
5 Check the engine
Check for smoke from the exhaust – this may mean some sort of engine damage.
6 Pay close attention to the body colour
Check that the body colour is even throughout the car, a change (even slight) may mean replacement body work has been done, and may indicate that the car was involved in a crash.
7 Check the body panel
Look for overspray on the inside of body panels; this may also indicate that body work has been done.
8 Check the tyres
Check that the tyres are in a good condition, and if not, make sure that replacements are both available and reasonably priced. Replacement tyres may be expensive so check prices beforehand to ensure that, if necessary, your budget will cover this.
9 Check for uneven wear in tyres
Tyres with uneven wear may indicate bigger problems, not easily resolved with tyre-alignment machines. Have this checked out before you buy.
10 Request for the car’s paperwork
Always insist on the car’s paperwork and service record as this will give you an idea of the car’s history and how well it has been cared for. A big advantage of purchasing a used car through a dealer such as Imperial Auto, is that they’re able to do history checks to ensure that the car has not been stolen, or had any major accident damage.
What you need to know: A roadworthy certificate (RWC) is not a guarantee that a car is problem-free. This document only states that the car meets the minimum statutory requirements in terms of safety, such as brakes, suspension and lights. A car can have a RWC and still have mechanical issues.