Whether you’re buying your first car or buying a car for your teen, there are some definite things you need to know before going shopping. Many used car dealers, especially the ones with the seemingly best deals, have shady business practices. They might show you a vehicle that has severe mechanical or electrical issues without being upfront about what they are. Here are some ways you can protect yourself.
Look for signs they are hiding something.
There are some signs that the used car dealership is trying to hide problems with a vehicle. The most obvious is a perfectly clean engine. If you open up the hood and everything looks shiny, that car has been completely cleaned. There really isn’t any reason to do this except to hide signs of deeper problems. A used car is going to have some old oil and such on the engine. If it doesn’t, you should be questioning why.
Check the tire tread.
The car might look great, but did you check the tires? It can cost around $500 or more to get 4 brand new tires put on your vehicle. Check the tire tread so that you can be sure you don’t have that huge expense right off the bat. If you’re not sure where the tread should be, take a penny and put it in the tread with the head facing you and pointing down. The more of Lincoln’s head that is covered, the better the tread.
Get a mechanic’s eyes.
If you’re not a mechanic, you probably shouldn’t be trying to determine if a used car is going to be reliable or not. Even if you can tinker with most cars and get the job done, you should still have a mechanic take a look at it. They will look for things that you might not think of. They will also be able to put it on a lift, which gives them a much better view of what’s going on.
We offer in-depth buyers’ inspections, where we will check all of the major systems of a used vehicle and look for signs of trouble. Ask your car dealer to allow you to take the car to your mechanic while on your test drive. If they are a reasonable and ethical dealer, they will have no problem with you taking the vehicle to your own mechanic for an inspection before buying.