Just like any substantial purchases, you have to know beforehand what you're investing. This fact is actual, especially if you're buying a used car. It's not advisable to shell out some cash for that shiny used car you've passed by at a dealership store. You need to have a thorough car inspection first before anything else. So hold that thought before making that major purchase. Here are the ways on how to inspect a used car before purchasing it.
Make Some Research First
Either you already have a used car model in mind, or you don't, it's essential to do a little bit of researching first. The Internet is your friend when it comes to doing such. Visit car forums, vehicle reviews, and car blogs. When you're on one of these sites, gather information about the cars you want. And take down notes of the vehicle's performance on the road. For those who don't have any particular model yet, it's better to research many car models and compare them with one another. For those who have a specific type of car in mind, focus on reviews and its reliability. The important thing here is that you can weigh both the pros and cons of buying a specific type of car. That way, you would be able to determine its actual resale value in the market.
Check the Window Sticker
Another way on how to inspect a used car is to check on the sticker placed on the window. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires every used vehicle up for sale to have a Buyer's Guide. The sticker should hold necessary information such as the warranty, to name one. It should show the repair costs . Aside from the repair costs, it should also show if the car is "as is" or with a warranty. "As is" means that the dealer won't be responsible when something happens to the car after you buy a specific car. With that said, it's much better to buy a used car that comes with a warranty.
Check the Exteriors then Interiors
Checking the exteriors and interiors of a car is always a part of any car inspection checklist. When checking the exterior, always take a look at the panel and the roof. See if there are any scratches, rusts, and dents. Also, check if the paint and finish. Check if the color is the same on every panel. Also, the lines of the panels and gaps should be in its proper position. Misaligned or gapped panels and mismatched color and finish are signs of a rushed reparations. Aside from the panels, roof and finish, also check the glass, the doors, the suspension, hood, and trunk, among others.
After the exteriors, next to check is the interiors. You should check the interiors more because you're going to spend inside the car most of the time. First to check is the odor, see if it smells just right. Then take a seat, check if you're comfortable, and check if you can adjust the seat easily. Then check the AC if it functions well. Other things to check inside are the instruments and control, the pedals, the roof and truck, and the sound system.
Hire A Mechanic
If these ways on how to inspect a used car feel a little overwhelming, you can always ask the help of an expert. Instead of doing it yourself, have a mechanic do it for you. When you find a used car you want to buy, let a mechanic do a diagnostic. Also, ask for a written report where he writes will write the exact condition of the car and if there are any problems and how to repair, if any. A pre-purchase inspection company can do a car diagnostic report just as well.