Body Check: The Used Car ExteriorsFaded paint and small scratches on the car’s body are easily remedied with a paint job. What buyers should be looking out for are the bigger and major types of damage. Such examples are as follows:
- Rust Damage. Rusting on the car’s body isn’t that much of a big deal, but when it starts to spread, it will be difficult to fix. Check under the wheel wells and hood to assess the extent of the damage. Be wary of rust on the engine though, this will pose as a challenge to fix.
- Frame Damage. The frame is the foundation of the car. Everything from the doors, the engine, to the wheels relies on the frame for support. The best way to determine the state of the frame it to get in inspected by a trained mechanic.
Deeper Digging: Checking the InteriorsIf the used car has passed the exterior inspection, it’s time to dive deeper. Checking that the interior workings of the car are working properly, or are only mildly damaged can save you money. You can either walk away from the purchase and go for another car or speak to the dealer for a price reduction. Here are the important interior parts to check:
- Hose and Belt Damage. Check to make sure that hoses and belts are free of cracks.
- AC and Heater Problems. Sit in the car with the air turned on to see if there is a change in temperature.
- Alignment. The best way to check a used car’s alignment is to take it out for a test drive. If the wheel seems to shake or jump while on the drive, this could indicate an alignment problem.
- Electrical Systems. Although easy to check, the electrical system is also often overlooked. Double check if the radio, headlight, interior lights, etc. are in good working conditions.
Deciding on purchasing a used car can save you money, but only if you purchase one from a trusted and reliable car dealership.