Tips to Help You Obtain a Great Second-hand Vehicle

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Auto and Trucks
Looks: The over all look of a used automobile or truck is a very significant sign of how the vehicle has been taken care of. Is the general look of the vehicle consistent with the miles and the price that is being asked? The appearance of the vehicle is a direct clue of how it has been taken care of.

Interior: Is the inside of the vehicle clean or does it look worn out? The seats should not sag or be worn through. Is the carpet clean or is there dirt and grime worn in? Has the interior been freshly detailed? Does the inside of the car look natural? Is there anything out of place that does not quite look right?

Brake Pedal: A very good sign of whether the actual miles are true is to look at the brake pedal. Is the rubber on the pedal worn or does it still look new? It should have an appearance that keeps with the miles showing on the odometer.

Engine: Raise the hood and look closely at the engine. Does it look like it has just been detailed with a shiny unnatural look to it? Do you see any leaks of any kind? Transmission fluid is red, engine oil is black and coolant is either green or orange. Any leak is a bad sign.

Transmission: Does the transmission take off without slipping and seem to shift efficiently? A common problem is a shuddering feeling between 35 to 45 miles per hour. Transmission problems are very expensive so you want to avoid them if at all possible.

Noises: Does the car drive smooth? Are there any jerks or noises that do not seem normal? Does the engine have plenty of power?

Price: Always check the Internet to see if you can find out how much the car you are looking at should be selling for. There are several places to get a good indication of how much your vehicle of choice should cost. Is the price they are asking within reason? Use the power of the web to get a fair price on the car you are looking at.

Feel: Does the car feel right? Buying a car is an emotional process. The vehicle should feel right when you are driving it. This is hard to explain but you need to be aware that if something feels wrong maybe you should keep on shopping.

Inspection: If the car passes all the above tests you should invest in an A.S.E. certified mechanic that you trust to carefully inspect thew car. This will be money well spent because your mechanic can find troubles you will never see or feel. Only inspect the vehicles you are really interested in since you will have to pay for each examination that your mechanic does.

Always remember it is easy to think you have to buy now. You may have just found the deal of the century. Good for you if that is the case, even though that is typically not the way it happens. Remember there is always a new day and another vehicle for sale. function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }