Are you interested in buying a used car? There are a few things you will need to know first. You will want to have an idea of a few different makes, models, and years of car you want to look at so your choices aren't too limited. You will also need to know what kind of budget you will have and be prepared to stick to it. Whether you are buying from a used car dealership or an independent contractor, it is very important to take a test drive. The number one way to tell what kind of condition a used car is in is to see how it feels when you drive it. Also, be sure to get a report of the vehicle's history.
Most people can tell if tires are bad and spot signs of balding or lack of tread. Most people know something is wrong when the brakes squeal or cause the car to vibrate. However, a lot of people pop the hood and have no idea what to look for when it comes to the car engine. There's no need to be scared, there are a few simple things you can check out:
~Check the Oil - Be sure the level is not too low and the color is not too black. Make sure everything feels dry and they aren't any leaks.
~Check the smoke color- Blue smoke or black smoke could be an indicator that something is wrong.
~Listen to your engine - If your engine is trying to talk to you, then you need to listen to what it has to say! If it makes any noises that resemble a rattle, a whistle, a knock, or a tap then something is very wrong with that engine and you probably shouldn't purchase that car.
~Check the warning lights - This one sounds pretty obvious, but its one eager used car shoppers can easily forget. If there is a temperature warning or "check engine" light on the instrument and panel, that means the engine needs checked (and has probably needed a check for a while if someone knew they were trading in their car).
Have the car checked by a mechanic if possible before you buy it. Don't let the previous owner or dealer convince you the engine troubles will be cheap and easy to fix. This is going to be your car and you shouldn't buy it unless everything is just right.