Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Buying A Used Car - STEP 5

Step 5 - Go to the Dealer and Inspect the Vehicle

Go to the dealer to see the vehicle or vehicles that you are interested in.  Don't call and make an appointment, but instead show up unannounced.  

Ask the dealer about the history of the vehicle.  If the dealer's name shows up in the repair history on the vehicle history report, then ask about the maintenance or repairs that were performed there.

Take the vehicle for a test drive.  Pay close attention to how the vehicle handles and any noises you hear.  If you are concerned about anything during the test drive, ask the salesman about it.
Thoroughly check out the vehicle during the light of day and never at night.  When examining the outside, look for body panels that don't match up, which can be a sign of body repairs.  Also, look at the engine compartment, tires, steering, suspension ride, and look for colored exhaust smoke.  In the engine, look for fluid leaks, low fluid levels or unusual colors.  Metal particles, tiny lumps, burnt odor or a frothy residue can mean engine damage.  Billowing white tailpipe smoke could mean engine repairs.  Blue smoke can mean the vehicle is burning oil and you may be in for some expensive repairs.  For tires, a worn spot in the middle of the tire often means an overinflated tire.  Lots of wear on a tire's outside edge can mean a lot of hard driving and fast cornering.  Uneven cupping tire wear can mean suspension or brake problems.

Inside, make sure all the warning lights work (they should light up when you start the car and go out once the car is running) and make sure the warning lights don't stay on. Check the carpeting everywhere for mildew which can mean water leaks or a flood car.

Beth Wells
Helping Consumers Get Rid of Lemons, 9 Years Running


  1. Last year i bought a great car, and it turned out to be a lemon. I was distraught over this. I never thought i could get the money back that i felt i deserved.Thank god for the lemon law lawyers i hired. Without there help i would not have been able to get the cash i felt i deserved.

  2. There are many things a buyer have to keep in mind while buying used car, if he doesn't collect information about used car and it's service etc so he may have to face big problem, i was looking for some car buying tips before buying and found this article, you have shared an informative post. Keep it up.

  3. These are amazing tips. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and post this. That information that you've provided were very useful. Thanks for sharing!
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