Buying A Used Vehicle can be risky.
In this article, I will give you many Free Car Dealer Secrets that will educate you and hopefully save you some money and headaches.
Whenever I have a relative or close friend that is Buying A Used Vehicle, I advise them to first figure out a few models they are interested in, then see what they are selling for in their local area via newspaper, Auto Trader, etc.
Keep in mind that a lot of Vehicle prices vary in different regions. For instance, you could probably buy a 4×4 for less money in an area that doesn’t rain or snow often.
Once you have seen what people are “asking” for the Vehicles, then you should find out what the Vehicles that you like are actually worth. What a Private Party or even a Dealer is “asking” for a particular Vehicle is not necessarily what it is worth. You can find out used vehicle car check values from various sources like Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com), Edmund’s, or Get quotes from Yahoo! Autos .
Try not to get too caught up in Book Values, because they are really just a good “guideline”.
That’s right, “guideline”. A Vehicle’s true Value is only what someone is willing to pay. For instance, when Buying A Used Vehicle, wholesale value is only what the Vehicle is currently bringing at the auction. A Vehicle’s condition plays a huge role in it’s Market Value.
The following are things you should inspect and keep an eye out for when Buying A Used Vehicle.
Once you have decided that the Vehicle you are looking at has acceptable mileage and fits your needs and desires, then you can begin looking the Vehicle over more closely. If you are mostly Buying a Used Vehicle for basic transportation and do not necessarily care about the condition of the outside of the Vehicle, then start by looking at how the Vehicle runs.
Does it start with out hesitating?
Is the Air conditioning cold?
Does the Heater work?
Does it sound like two cats fighting under the hood? Hopefully not…
Check underneath the Vehicle for fluids on the ground. Also look under the hood. Look for:
Oil on the engine surface Look for oil and any fluids.
Corrosion on the battery terminals
Check the bolts on each body panel
The bolts should still be the same color from the factory. If they look as if they have been unscrewed, then the Vehicle more than likely has had body work done to it.
Check the power features inside the vehicle Power windows, locks, signals, horn, audio, etc… Autos with electrical issues can be a nightmare!
Drive the Car Be alert and aware of any foreign sounds when driving. Rattles, squeaks, etc…can be annoying and signs of a car that has been treated roughly.
Check the brakes. Brakes should feel tight and not go all the way to floor. (Not Mushy).
Check the alignment. Does the Vehicle drive straight? If a Car pulls one way or the other this typically indicates alignment issues.
Does the automobile shift smoothly? One of the most expensive if THE most expensive things to repair on a car is the Transmission!
I would recommend having the engine checked-out by a trusted friend or family mechanic before your final purchase.
If you are considering Buying a Used Vehicle that you want to keep for a long time, then the condition of it’s exterior is important.
Key things to inspect and be aware of are…
How’s the tread on the tires? You can use a penny by placing it in the tread to see how much remains.
Is there rust anywhere? Rust is extremely difficult if not impossible to get rid of!
Are there any major dents or dings? Are they repairable?
How’s the paint? Is it oxidized or fading? If a Used Vehicle has weather-damaged paint, it most-likely will not “buffout” and it might be wise to consider a different Vehicle.
Is there “Paintwork”? If the paint on a Used Vehicle looks too good, then it could have “Paintwork” done to it. In most cases, this would indicate that that a Vehicle has been in some kind of accident.
This is one of the many reasons to pull a Carfax. It is a great tool that everyone should know about.
A couple of methods in checking to see if a Used Vehicle has “paintwork” are…
Look around the windshield and rear glass rubber moldings for overspray. Most autobody shops are in too much of a hurry to not get overspray the moldings.
Gently run your fingers along the edge and underneath the hood where it meets the bottom of the windshield. (If you are facing the driver’s side looking down at the Vehicle identification number, rear-view mirror is by your right hip, the underside of the hood can be felt in front of your left hip.) By the wipers at the bottom of the windshield. It should feel smooth. If the hood was repainted, then you can feel a difference from other compartment edges. You do this same technique with other sections of the body as well.