In the market for a new set of wheels, or, new to you, that is? If so, tread lightly because buyers can be taken for a ride if they are not careful.
To avoid purchasing a car with hidden problems, consider the following buying precautions:
- Excessive wear and tear in the interior, regardless of what the odometer says, is a clue that the car has seen some kilometres. Look for:
- Brake pedal pad worn through the metal beneath
- Driver’s seat outer edge is worn through.
- Water leaking directly under the floor mats.
- Damp, musty odours are indications of leaks in the windshield, weather stripping or heater core.
- Cars that ride lower in the front as compared to the back indicate worn springs.
- Vehicles that bounce when pushed on indicate worn shocks and struts.
- Tires with worn outer edges from the front end represent the need for an alignment.
- Clanking noises when the vehicle is in gear point towards a problem with the drive shaft universal joints.
- Repainted body panels. Check this by looking at the colours of adjoining panels to see if they match the front fender.
- Motor oil that is not full indicates that the engine may be leaking or burning oil.
- Knocking and ticking sounds that increase as the engine speed increases represent major problems and costly repairs.
- Transmission fluid that is black or brown may indicate internal damage.
- Banging, grinding or squeaking noises indicate a damaged or broken transmission mount.
How to Inspect a Used Car for Purchase
Before you purchase a used car, here are a few more inspection points you need to check: