It’s safe to say that most car owners want to keep their vehicles in good condition. They know how to check for clear-cut signs of damage like corrosion, worn-out tires, and clicking engine noise. And many have a service history they can refer to in case they need to check something about their vehicle’s maintenance.
Motorists are attached to their vehicles, which is why many invest in ceramic car coatings to prevent damage. But not all signs of damage are readily apparent. Some are easier to miss, like fluid leaks and weak air conditioning.
When buying a car, you need to make sure that it’s in a safe condition, and the best way to do that is with an inspection. Here are a few things you should bear in mind when inspecting a car:
1. Know the car’s history
The first thing that you should check is the car’s history. If possible, only consider vehicles that have a detailed record you can refer to. The most direct source is usually the current owner, but if that’s not available, there are other ways to ascertain a car’s record.
You can pay a third-party service to provide you with a vehicle history report. A report should contain information like previous accidents, existing claims, age, and more. Do not buy the vehicle if it has encumbrances or other issues that can endanger your ownership down the line.
2. Check the physical condition
The next thing on the list is to check the car’s physical condition. Cars aren’t exactly cheap, which is why you want to make sure that your purchase will last you for a long time. A proper mindset is always to assume that there’s something wrong with the vehicle.
For starters, go on a test drive with a car and see how it feels while you drive. Go through all the major components like cooling, steering, and braking. Afterward, have the vehicle inspected by an outside mechanic. They will check the car from top to bottom and find out if there are any physical issues.
3. Look at the paint job
Nobody wants to drive a car that looks like it’s been to Hell and back. If the vehicle has a lot of dents, folds, and scratches, it could be a sign that its current owner mistreated it. And that could lead to a host of other issues.
Small scratches and micro-abrasions are normal in used cars, and it’s something you can fix with a quick paint job. With the right treatment, you can even turn a battered vintage into something that looks like it just rolled off the lot.
4. Open the trunk
Even the most detailed reports won’t reveal everything about a car’s history. Sometimes, you have to learn how to read between the lines. One way to check how a vehicle has been treated is to look at the trunk. If it still has the original spare tire, it means that it hasn’t suffered an accident. If there are signs of corrosion or water damage, you might need to check the body for holes.
These pointers will help you ensure that the car you’re buying is in excellent condition. Buying a used car always carries a degree of risk, which is why you need to be thorough when it comes to checking the car’s history and condition. Take every possible precaution, and don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions.