While you’ll want to thoroughly inspect any car before buying it, it’s especially important to do so with a used car. A good inspection informs you of any problems the car might have, some of which you might be fine with and others that could make you want to think twice about buying the car. Learn how to conduct a proper inspection on used cars.
Take a slow walk around the exterior of the car and inspect it for signs of exterior damage, possible cover-ups and misaligned panels. You’ll also want to open up the doors, hood and trunk to make sure everything’s in working order. While you’re at it, be sure to inspect the glass and bounce each corner of the car to check that the suspension is in good shape.
As you slip inside the car, be sure to check for suspicious odors. Anything that smells like mold might mean the car has sustained water damage in the past. All seats should be comfortable and intact, and you should be able to adjust them as well. When you get behind the wheel, check that the pedals work and are in good condition. Make sure all the instruments and the sound system are in good working order, also.
Under the Hood
If you aren’t mechanically savvy, it’s best that you have the car inspected by a professional mechanic. Dealerships usually have no problem letting you take the car off the lot to have it inspected. Note that while you’ll have to pay for an inspection, it can be worth it for the peace of mind it provides.
Inspecting a used car is a great way to learn more about its history and whether it’s the right car for you. Take your time with the inspection, and always go with your gut instincts.