Is the Used Car You’re Looking At Really in Good Shape?

It’s an exciting time to shop for a vehicle, whether it’s a new or used car. Like getting ready for your prom or that moment before you hit the field for your first football game, you’ll find yourself forgetting the details because your emotions are in full force. A used car can look great on the surface. But how do you know if it’s really in good shape? Like every play in a football game, it’s the details that make a big difference in the final result.

What to Look For in a Used Car

Check Under the Hood

When you’re shopping for a used car, you want to make certain that it was well cared for. Car maintenance isn’t usually expensive but car repairs can be. You want to know the previous owner has performed the proper maintenance items when they should have been done. Check the fluid levels and conditions. Inspect the drive belt and the hoses. Look for any leaks under the engine bay. Any neglected items could be a good reason for concern.

Inspect the Tires

Tires are a costly item – one you don’t want to pay for right after buying a used car. When you’re car shopping, check the tread depth on all four tires for even wear and for indications of steering or suspension issues. Also, look for matching tire brands and models, indicating that the tires are either original or replaced as a complete set.

Give the Body and Paint a Once-Over

Dents and dings happen, but it’s the abnormal stuff you want to avoid. Previous accident damage, for example, can be poorly hidden by a mismatched paint job. Peeling paint or rough edges can indicate paint touchups that could easily develop rust sooner rather than later. A scratch here and a dent there is no big deal, but avoid getting involved with more extensive damage and cover-ups.

Take a Test Drive

Never buy a used car without driving it first! You can avoid a headache by taking a car through your normal routine on a test drive. Listen for unusual noises and feel for vibrations. If there’s anything that doesn’t feel right, ask that it’s inspected.

Ask for a Vehicle History Report

CarFax is the number one supplier of vehicle history reports. Ask the seller for a vehicle history report from a reputable company like CarFax. It details critical information like the title status, maintenance history at the dealer, outstanding and completed recalls, and insurance claims and values. If a seller is unwilling to provide a vehicle history report, ask yourself why.

Have a Professional Mechanic Look the Car Over

If you aren’t keen on cars, you might want to leave the inspection to a professional. Ask the seller if you can have it looked at by a mechanic you trust. Better yet, look at used cars for sale only at reputable dealerships.   In Kansas City, CarUp is your premier used car dealership. When you shop for pre-owned vehicles here, you can rest assured that each will be fully inspected and certified, complete with a vehicle history report. You can be confident that each car is actually in good condition!  

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