5 Tips For Test Driving a Used Car Before You Buy

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Before you buy a used car, it’s important to test drive it to be sure that it’s mechanically sound and safe. Unfortunately, many people neglect this step, making it easy to end up with a lemon when you were expecting an awesome, reliable ride. Here are five tips for testing out your used car before you buy it to help you avoid these common mistakes and ensure that your new ride is as amazing as possible!

1) Check The Tires

Check the tires to make sure they’re not bald, and that they have even wear. Check the tread depth, which should be at least 3/32 of an inch. If it’s less than this amount, it will need to be replaced soon. A lack of tread means the car might slide when cornering or braking. The average life span for all-season tires is 7-10 years. Tires can be easily rotated every 5-6 thousand miles to ensure equal wear on each tire.

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2) Do A Visual Inspection

Do a visual inspection of the vehicle’s exterior and interior. Make sure you take note of any scratches, dents or other damages to the car and get an estimate for how much it would cost to fix these problems. Check the oil level by opening the hood and taking note if it is over or under filled. Look at the tires, make sure they have good tread on them and that there are no leaks from under them.

3) Drive Different Speeds

One of the most important things to do when test driving a car is to drive at different speeds. 

It’s important to get the feel for how the car handles at high and low speeds, as well as any change in acceleration. Be aware of any noises that may come from the engine while you’re driving or braking. 

If the car sounds like it’s struggling when going uphill or slowing down, then it may be time to look for another vehicle. Listen for any unusual squeaks or rattles during hard breaking. The key here is to listen not just with your ears but with your entire body.

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4) Get it inspected by an independent mechanic

A mechanic who specializes in used cars fresno can tell you if there are any major repairs that will need to be done soon. It’s best to get an inspection before purchase so that you’re aware of what may need to be done and have time to plan for it. Plus, with the knowledge you’ll gain from the inspection, you’ll feel more confident when driving your car off the lot.

5) Ask lots of questions at the dealership

If you’re buying a used car, it’s important to have all of your questions answered before you take the plunge. Dealerships are very knowledgeable about their inventory and should be able to tell you any information that might be pertinent to your decision. 

Questions you may want to ask include: 

– When was the vehicle serviced last? – What is the condition of the tires? – What is the average gas mileage for this model?