Purchasing a used car can be both exciting and stressful. Whether it’s your first car or your fifth car, it’s an important and expensive purchase. You want to make sure you have made the right decision but there are so many different things to consider. Below are some helpful tips to help you make an informed decision.
Carefully Observe the Paint of the Entire Car
One of the obvious first things to do is look for chips and scratches on the body of the car. However, make sure you take the time to observe the actual color or shine of the paint as well. All parts of the car should be the same shade of color and have the same shine or dull finish.
Take several steps away from the car and walk around looking for shifts in color, reflection, and shine. It’s much easier to notice the difference when you aren’t standing so close to the car. If you notice any inconsistencies in color, shine, or even ripples in the paint’s reflection, there’s a good chance that the car has been repaired.
Avoid buying a used car that has undergone repairs. Even if the exterior looks pristine, there is no way of knowing what further damage exists underneath. It’s wise to steer clear of such vehicles.
Use a Magnet to Detect Repairs or Damages
It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is that your used car has not gone through major repairs. This is where a simple magnet will come in handy. Place a small magnet on all car parts that are metal. If the magnet sticks that’s a positive sign. If it falls straight to the ground it indicates that repairs have been made.
When a car is repaired, auto body mechanics will use filler parts. These parts are typically made out of fiberglass or plastic and are masked by a new paint job. Using a magnet is a sure fire way to detect what parts of a car are original.
Bring a Flashlight to Look for Rust and Leaks in Every Nook and Cranny
It’s a good idea to bring a portable yet strong flashlight with you when you are shopping for a used car. Many problem spots in cars can go unnoticed simply because of where they are located. After looking for rust near the door frames and wheel arches, slide under the car and switch on your flashlight.
Check for wet spots or areas that contain or transfer liquids to make sure there aren’t any leaks. If you see puddles of any kind directly beneath the car it could be a sign of a leak which could lead to further damage if not taken care of immediately.
Climb back to your feet and have a look under the hood. Observe the color of the oil and its levels within the tank and discuss the necessary follow of questions with the car’s owner. Do your best to be sure that everything looks clean and well maintained.
Finish off your inspection by looking for rust along the floorboards inside the vehicle and don’t forget to look at the wheel well in the truck where the spare tire is kept. This location would be a perfect spot for rust to take a holiday.
Nothing beats a full-on inspection by a certified mechanic. Before you make a purchase, it’s important that you take a car to a trusted car doctor for a complete diagnosis. The above tips will help you feel more confident when buying a used car. But you can never be too careful.