How To Perform A Used Car Inspection

One of the most important steps in the used car buying process is the inspection. Here are some things to check out when you look over a used car.

Inspecting the exterior of the used car

Doing a thorough inspection of the car’s exterior is a critical part of the used car buying process. Here are some important things to look for in the exterior of the car.

  • Do the bumpers fit the body of the car without gaps?
  • Are there scratches, dents or inconsistencies in the color of the paint?
  • Do the doors open and close easily and completely?
  • Does the trunk open and close easily and completely?
  • Do the tires look bald or are they worn unevenly?
  • Does the car tip or lean to one side or the other?

If anything looks amiss during your exterior inspection, be sure you get some direct answers from the seller. You may feel that the problems you encounter are reason enough to forgo the sale of the car. Or you may able to use the cost of repairs as leverage when negotiating the price with the seller of the car.

Inspecting the interior of the used car

Inspecting the interior of the car can alert you to other problems that could cost you money or make the car uncomfortable or unsafe in the future. Answer these questions to help you decide whether or how much you are going to offer the seller for his or her used car.

  • Do the windows and sunroof open and close easily and completely?
  • Is there any damage to the upholstery?
  • Do the headlights, brake lights and overhead light come on when they are supposed to?
  • Do the turning signals work?
  • Do the seats move up and down and backward and forward?
  • Does the stereo system work correctly?
  • Does the horn sound when you press it?
  • Does the air conditioner produce cool air? Does the heater produce warm air?

Other items to inspect before buying a used car

It is a good idea to check out a few other things before you make a decision about a used car.

  • Do the keyless entry and alarm work?
  • Does the car have all the tools for a tire change?
  • Are there any stains on the ground from where the car was parked?
  • Are all of the fluid levels where they should be?

If a car has passed your personal inspection, it can be a good idea to have a mechanic inspect the car as well. Although you may feel like everything is in good condition, a mechanic can assess the more complex systems of a car and help you make the right decision. Now that you inspected the car be sure you get the best auto loan possible by comparison shopping on LendingTree.

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