Tip for Visual Inspection When Buying From Used Car Dealers
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What Should I Look for When Inspecting a Used Car?
Before you even take the car for a test drive you should perform a visual inspection of the car, both inside and out, as part of your due diligence. You don't need a mechanic for this initial inspection. Remember, most used car dealers are honest, but it is up to you to protect yourself by being a proactive used car shopper.
Check under the Hood
- Be sure that all fluid levels are adequate.
- Be sure that the oil is clean.
- Check the battery
Check the Tires for Even Wear.
- Uneven wear may suggest a problem with the frame or vehicle suspension.
Inspect the Body
- Look for any signs of rust, which is very difficult to repair and often must be replaced.
- Notice any paint discoloration that may indicate bodywork following an accident.
- Check head and tail lights, as well as signals.
- Notice the color and odor from any smoke emitted when the car is started. If there is a burning odor or thick, black smoke, that may indicate a problem.
Go Over the Inside
- Look for signs of water leakage or condensation (mold/mildew) that is not related to the air conditioning unit.
- Check under the mats for damage as well.
- Be sure locks, windows and safety belts work.