Skip to content

What To Look For When Buying a Used Car

Right now if you’re in the used car market it can be tough and finding a used car that’s affordable and nearby can be like finding a diamond in the rough. You don’t want to be buying used cars that are going to be a nightmare on wheels.

Rather you’re buying it from a private seller or a used car lot here is a comprehensive breakdown of what you’re looking for with a used car purchase.

Simple financing for vehicles with bad credit.
New Vehicles
Auto loans for bad credit or poor credit.
Used Vehicles
Auto loans for bad credit or poor credit.

Look for accident damage

used cars

Looking for accident damage you want to know if the vehicle has been in a fender bender. You want to make sure that the previous owner has taken pretty good care of the vehicle you want to make sure that you inspect a paint job. The paint job is going to tell you if the vehicle has been in a fender bender pertaining to the tense of color that the vehicle is now.

Look for Pantel gaps this can suggest that the vehicle has been in an accident also. You want to inspect all four corners of the vehicle the front and back facia this is where vehicle damage happens the most.

Get the vehicle history report

The best thing that you can do when buying a used car is to ask for the vehicle history report. You should also check the VIN.

Along with the vehicle history report, you should ask for a copy of the service record of the vehicle. This will also tell you what type of maintenance condition the vehicle is in. You ideally want to know what kind of mess you are buying.

Make sure the car has good tires

When you’re buying a used car you want to check the tires. You want to see four matching tires. A used car or any car in general usually drives well with the same four tires all the way around. One other thing that you want to keep in mind is to look for the tread depth of the tire. As the tire drives on the road, it starts to wear a mask and eventually turns into you having bald tires so when you’re buying a used car you want to make sure that you are buying a car with tires that have good tire depth of tread depth.

Check out the interior and make sure that the headlamps work the light work the blinker signals work radio works the AC works. Do you want to check out the car for general wear and tear and if there is anything really being hidden by the car dealership or private seller? When buying a used car do you want to keep in mind that you want to purchase the vehicle with the same intent and care that you would give the vehicle as your own?

Make sure that you check it out for water damage. Water damage can make for mechanical issues even safety issues such as airbags. You want to make sure that the sunroof is sealed and the car windows are in good shape. You want to do a visual inspection and a nose inspection if anything smells weird there might be some questions or concerns you might want to take up with the dealership or private seller. Check the car for water lines or foggy lights.

Visually inspect the used car

Do you want to check the car once over for rust? Visually inspect the car for rust as best as you can. Rust under the car can me and water damage but in most cases, your local mechanic can look closer for rust around the car or underneath the car. Rusting on a car can indicate more problems to come soon and is one of the main reasons why most people pass on a vehicle.

Before buying any kind of used car you should pop up in the hood even if you don’t know what an air filter looks like there are a ton of universal red flags that can be eye-catching under the hood. You want to check the reservoirs of the fluids in the vehicle that will be a good starting point to see if there are any major issues with the vehicle. Do you want to make sure all your car’s fluids are the right colors and at the correct levels.

Burning fluid for the transmission means that you might be having transmission issues down the road. In most cases, if you can take the used car to your local or trusted mechanic they can catch most if not all issues with the used car before you dedicate any money to the purchase.

This next one is you should do your due diligence on any open recalls for the vehicle and see what recalls the current model vehicle that you’re looking at needs or has done. If the seller has no record of any recalls or doesn’t know steer clear of the vehicle and move on.

Last step for a used car

The last step that you want was buying a used car from a private seller or even a car dealership is taking it for a test drive you may not like how it drives or you might be feeling some sort of rattle shaking or the engine just might not start these are all signs that you need to move on from the vehicle.

You want to make sure that you’re aware of any of the vehicle’s ugly dirty little secrets that are being hidden from either the private seller or the car dealership and sometimes you want to know what kind of headaches you’re walking into. You might wanna take it into your parking lot and see how the vehicle steers and the suspension of the used car doing a few circles around the parking lot might open some questions for the dealership or the private seller once you bring it back.

Now there’s a ton more that you can dive into with a used car purchase but these are some of the steps that can get you started when you’re in the market for a used car in Chicago or Seattle or even Indianapolis.