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Used Car Inspection: 4 Steps Tutorial

Used Car Inspection, used car search, inspecting a used car, What to look for when buying a used car, How to inspect a used car

Buying a used car is a smart investment, but there are many things to mull over; otherwise, you’ll end up making a regrettable mistake. Therefore, it is indispensable to perform a thorough inspection of the car you are about to finalize after a prolonged used car search online.

There are many used car selling websites out there to help you find the ideal vehicle in your budget. If you’ve narrowed down the vehicles, we have a mini yet comprehensive used car buying guide and steps for inspecting the cars to avoid buying one with a laundry list of hidden troubles to be discovered in near future.

Step 1: Inspect the Exterior of the Car

Step 2: Inspect the Interiors of the Car

Step 3: Under the Hood

Step 4: Take the test drive

#1 Inspect the Exterior of the Car

Used Car Inspection, used car search, inspecting a used car, What to look for when buying a used car, How to inspect a used car

The first thing you need to inspect when deciding on a used car is the exteriors. This includes walking around the vehicle to examine for dents and scratches.

While minor dents here & there are common, but if there’s some major damage affecting the overall aesthetics of the car, then use it to negotiate like a pro or drop your plan of purchasing it.

  • Check for the small gaps between the doors and fenders.
  • Uneven gaps suggest that the car has been repaired times.
  • Take a flashlight to examine inside the wheel well to look for rusting and corrosion.
  • Open and close the doors multiple times to listen for any unwanted noise.
  • Inspect the glass panels  — windscreens and windows — carefully as small cracks now mean hefty repairing bills later on.
  • Suspensions are another critical mechanism in a car that experiences a lot of wear and tear with age. To check the suspensions, stand behind the vehicle and observe for sagging or slumping.
  • Push down each corner of the car under inspection to make sure it rebounds to its original position. If the vehicle moves up and down for a few seconds extra, it is a clear indication that shock absorbers are not functioning optimally.
  • Finally, check for frame damage. This may happen during the installation of any external accessories such as the CNG kit.

Many car selling websites do a preliminary inspection before listing the vehicles.

Step 2: Inspect the Interiors of the Car

When you’ve thoroughly examined the exterior of the car, the next step is looking inside the cabin. The fundamental checklist includes:

  • Check upholstery for stains and cigarette burns.
  • Analyze the scratches on the plastic panel dashboard and metal parts inside the car.
  • Don’t forget to switch on the air conditioner and see if the airflow is proper.
  • Next is checking the odometer reading; the number of kilometers driven is inversely proportional to its overall condition.
  • Finally, turn on the ignition and check if the warning lights on the dashboard are functioning. Observe for the various other accessories of the car, such as the parking sensors.

Step 3: Under the Hood

Used Car Inspection, used car search, inspecting a used car, What to look for when buying a used car, How to inspect a used car

The engine is the heart of any vehicle. Therefore, you must see the below engine checklist:-

  • Analyze the fuel tanks for any leaks.
  • The timing belt is not showing any sign of wear and tear.
  • The radiator hoses should never be soft.
  • Pull the dipstick out to check if the vehicle has enough oil; it tells how well-maintained is the vehicle.
  • Check the transmission dipstick; it must be pink or red.

#4 Take the Test Drive

Used Car Inspection, used car search, inspecting a used car, What to look for when buying a used car, How to inspect a used car

The final step to ensure that you are investing in a good vehicle is to take a test drive. When driving the car, make sure the gear shift and brakes mechanism are working efficiently.

Examine if there are no serious pedal vibrations, the squeaking of brakes, or frustrating noises. Take a sharp U-turn to see for rattling noises of suspensions.

By following these four steps, you should be able to successfully inspect any secondhand vehicle. Do you have something to add? Add your comments in the section below:


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Is It Reliable To Buy A Used Car?

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