What to look for when test driving a used car

What should you look at when you test drive a used car for buying

When you purchase a used car, you should pay attention to the vehicle to know whether it’s a good deal or not. The seller will permit you to take it to a mechanic for an examination in case you are purchasing from an individual or used car lot. In case you are purchasing from a dealership, you often get a report, and yet despite everything you might need to take it to a trusted mechanic for an expert suggestion. You need to inspect the car and check whether it’s the one you need and if it’s a good value.

Before the Test Drive

Look at the vehicle carefully before you even get in the driver’s seat. Check the following to get a first impression about the appearance of the car:

  • Look at all the Doors and Windows are working properly by opening them
  • Check the tread on the tyres – do the tyres match with brand and measure and is the tread even?
  • Examine if there a quarter-inch tread left, at minimum?
  • Look beneath the car to see if any fluids have leaked
  • Inspect all the locks works from both ends inside and out
  • Examine all lights to guarantee none has burned out or broken
  • Lift the hood and listen to the engine. Does it sound unpleasant or have thumping or different noises that indicate an issue?

You will need to walk around the vehicle and take a look at the paint work. See if an area appears to be a darker or lighter shade, which could show a recent paint job to conceal rust or late body repairs. Search for scratches or dents, which could bring about rust or corrosion. Inspect the inside of the used vehicle. Check for tears or worn areas on the upholstery. Ensure gauges and all parts are working appropriately. Lift up car mats and adjust the seats. Pay attention to hidden regions, which could conceal issues you will need to deal with later.

During the Test Drive

When you take the vehicle for a test drive, give it a shot on the highway where you can accelerate and go at 100kmph or higher. Drive through town and around bends, over slopes and make right and left turns. Turn off the radio and move up the windows so you can listen to the sounds the vehicle makes. Lower the windows eventually in the drive to listen for outside vehicle noises, particularly around the tyres. Pay attention to any vibrations and how the steering wheel & pedals feel. See how quickly and easily the car stops when you apply the brakes.

Some Points to notice as you drive:

  • Observe how the car switches between gears and accelerates
  • Does the vehicle pull towards one side when you apply the brakes?
  • Is the steering wheel hard to turn or does it shake?
  • Do you hear screeching or grinding when you push down on the brake pedals?
  • The car should run easily regardless of the possibility if not better than a new vehicle. It should feel smooth and stable whether you are going in a straight line or turning

Try not to rush through the test, however arrange at least an hour or more to inspect the vehicle and spend time driving. You need to know the car will perform sufficiently in the different ways you will use it.

For added peace of mind, have a mechanic play out a pre-buy assessment before you consent to the buy. Regardless of the possibility that the issues aren’t major issues, they can impact the sum you will pay for a pre-owned vehicle, since the mechanic will distinguish the cost and extent of necessary repairs, giving you more noteworthy bargaining power.


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