Before buying a used car what things you should look for?

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Do NOT shop at a dealership or anywhere where they buy & sell cars for a living.

    If this is your first or 2nd car, DON'T try to buy something you don't need.

    I'm an adult and my tastes have changed over time, mainly because of maintenance costs, fuel economy, insurance, and price. I used to want a corvette with a v8, now I have a reliable 1.6 liter 4 cylinder hyundai accent that gets 45 mpg and is super easy to work on. More cylinders = harder to work on, harder to diagnose problems on, less fuel economy.

    Be extremely patient when shopping for cars. Use autotrader, craigstlist, autotempest, and wait until the right deal comes along.

    You want a 4 cylinder, front wheel drive, inexpensive car preferable with a manual transmission because manuals generally last longer than automatic transmissions.

    Most automatic transmissions are fine too but don't expect them to last to 200k miles, especially if they haven't been maintained properly.

    If I was you I'd be looking at toyota corollas, or camrys, or a honda accord or civic, nissan altima, etc. Something that is reliable that probably hasn't been beat on by the owner.

    You have to check everything, or pay someone to check things out. 

    There is NO way to know for sure that you're getting a good deal. You can't check everything.

    Basics would be doing a test drive, checking underneath for oil leaks, coolant leaks. checking all the windows, checking all the door locks. Checking the oil level, asking how often it's been changed, asking for maintenance records, when was the transmission fluid changed. Listening to the way it runs. Checking all the fluids, power steering. Checking the A/C to see if it blows cold. Check the CV axles and power steering rack to see if the boots/ dust covers on them are torn.

    It's a used car so it probably isnt going to be perfect, but if there are several issues, that could be a sign that the owner didn't really take care of it. The main driving components are the engine, transmission, CV axles, brakes. As long as the engine and transmission are good, it will at least get you from A to B.Also, try to negotiate the price a bit.Invest in tools too. Change your own oil and transmission fluids. Get a torque wrench. Don't buy tons of tools that you don't need, but you WILL need toolsexpect minor things to go wrong. Like an ignition coil, alternator, etc.Understand that that's part of owning a used car and it's no big deal as long as you have money to keep up with repairs. That's why you get a toyota corolla. Parts are widely available and they're pretty reliable. I  would get a brand new 2020 corolla if I could afford it. Remember: other people dont care about your car as much as you do.Having a cheap reliable 4 cylinder car is better than having a v12 ferrari that you can't afford to fix.Also, unless you have tons of money, dont buy a New car. Things happen. People will dent your doors in parking lots, rocks will chip your bumper, and then when your brand new car has dents in it from other people, you will have wished you bought a cheap used car that you don't care about. Lots of mechanics drive cheap used cars precisely because they dont care about them.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If the salesperson is forcing you to make a decision QUICKLY shows he is desperate to make a sale(or to get rid of this hunk of junk) of course they will not tell you it is JUNK.  They want your money and you and the car GONE.

    FIND out the reputation of the car lot if you are buying from a lot.  Word gets out quickly about the shady dealings of certain lots.

    Sometimes just the NAME of the LOT tells you what kind of used cars are there.  Hunks of junk slapped together after they have been driven hard.

    Their unwillingness for you to bring "your mechanic to assess the car" Your mechanic is a mechanic YOU PAID. This is their best guess too.  They did not know you would drive it like ape schit crazy. and not take care of your car.

    "Your mechanic assumed you wanted a daily driver....not a RACE CAR.

    Odometer reading should be about 10K per year driven. That is a low average...for a person who had the car to drive to work, work 8 hours and then go home and park it for 16(so distance to work for most people is maybe 20 miles (&back=40miles for a year is roughly 10k)

    That is what you desire if not even lower

    20K per year driving is still not bad. 30+ is more of a delivery vehicle. Something you do not the total mileage on the odometer is preferable to be 65,K area.  Stuff is worn but that is used but not too far used that you still can't get double that, if not more.  Will you hold onto your first car for 6 years?  Many do not.  It is like changing clothes.  You want to do it- as maybe your job has changed& location and you want a change in color..or some other reason.

    I have gone through 2 dozen different cars because I wanted a change. All used. Am I finished? Don't think so.

  • 2 months ago

    What should you look for? A licensed mechanic. Pay him/her $50-100 and have them go over the vehicle from end to end. This will save you thousands in possible fixes, and the mechanic will catch things you never thought of. 

  • 2 months ago

    Make sure there’s no oil in the coolant tank, that’s a telltale symptom of a blown head gasket. 

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  • Jensen
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    I'd recommend you take it to a certified mechanic, before making any buying decision.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Everything.             .

  • 2 months ago

    The sales mans suit and shoes - You just know your gunna get robbed.

  • 2 months ago

    Where I live there are mobile car inspection services that you can hire for around $100. I'd used them as they will go to where the car is located and do an inspection of many of the aspects of a car including engine compression of the cylinders  and electronics. It is something that most people are capable of.

  • 2 months ago

    How much it costs.  Is it a fair price.  Is there a warranty.  Then have your own mechanic inspect it.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    The ability to do a google search would help. Long test drive, avoid dealers if you can. Buying from family or friends you totally trust rather than them trading it can be a win-win. On an old clunker that still runs good, the dealer might only give $1000-1500 where private party value would be a good deal for both of you because its the midpoint between wholesale or trade in and retail.

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