Did you know that a new car loses approximately 10% of its value the minute it's driven off the lot? That rapid depreciation is a major reason why many people find used vehicles to be a better value for their dollar.
While used car buyers run the risk of getting stuck with a lemon, it's a risk that can be easily avoided. For buyers who want to spend their hard-earned money on a used vehicle, there are two things to keep in mind: you'll need to learn the key warning signs of poor car maintenance, and it's also best to polish up a new-to-you vehicle with help from an experienced mechanic with excellent customer reviews. Here are a few things to check when buying a used vehicle.
Get the Vehicle History Report
A vehicle history report is the first must-have. This will show you any issues with the vehicle’s title, as well as provide you with information on any accidents or damage the vehicle has undergone. Carfax offers inexpensive reports that are easy to read and provide all the necessary information.
Do a Leak Test
A leak test is a simple DIY check to see if the vehicle is leaking any fluids. Drive the car around a bit and then park it in a spot with clean pavement and let it sit with the engine on for 20-30 minutes. If there are no fluids on the pavement when you pull away, all is well. Greenish fluid indicates leaking anti-freeze, while black could be a sign of a more troubling oil leak.
Take a Test Drive
Another essential: be sure to take the car for a test drive and make a mental note of anything that seems off. If there are squealing brakes, shuddering turns, or sputtering sounds when the car is started up, these are all signs of problems that go beyond routine car maintenance. Be sure to weigh these issues against the cost of fixing them, and talk to a mechanic for expert advice after you've checked the car out.
The best way to get real peace of mind before making a used car purchase is to take the vehicle in for inspection with a mechanic you can trust. At A+ Japanese Auto Repair, we specialize in every make of Japanese vehicle. We can help you avoid buyer’s remorse by spotting problems before you take ownership. Once it’s yours, we have the car maintenance and repair services to keep you on the road and help you get your money’s worth. Schedule an inspection or maintenance appointment with us today.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as advice for your particular vehicle, and should not be relied upon for that purpose. Please consult a qualified automotive maintenance professional to determine the maintenance and repair needs for your vehicle.