Top 5 Things To Do When Buying A Used Car

CHECK THE STEERING WHEEL

The steering wheel should be checked while the car is idle and while it is in drive. Turn the steering wheel left and right with the car idling. If you hear aA�clunking noise or if there is excessive play, it could be an indication of damaged linkage or worn steering gear.

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Now take the car for a drive on a smooth straight road. While driving at normal speed, the car should not need constant steering corrections. If you can feel the steering wheel shakeA�or drift away, it could either be that the wheels are not balanced or an indication of something far more serious that requires expensive repairs. Ita��s not a risk that’s worth taking.

CHECK FOR LEAKS

When you take the car for a test drive, park in a clean area and let the car run for a minute. Now move the car and look for indications of leaking where the car was parked. If there is any sign of a leak, you know that this car is headed for the repair shop as soon as you buy it. Think of leaking fluids as a red flag and pass on that car.

CHECK FOR RUST

Any sign of rusting is an absolute no-no. The problem with rusting is that you may not be able to determine the full extent of it. You do not want to buy a car and then find that it has undergone aA�brilliant cover-up job to hide the extensive rusting.

CHECK THE TIRES

Do the tires have any cuts or other damage or do they look excessively worn out? Buying a whole new set of tires is expensive but necessary so make sure you factor that costA�into the asking priceA�of the vehicle.

If the tires look unevenly worn out, you should inspect them more closely. If they are worn out more on the inside, it could be anA�issue with the wheel alignment. If ita��s the outside of the tire that shows heavy wear, it mayA�be a sign that the car has been driven hard, which could mean that the brakes and suspensionA�haveA�also been compromised.

INSPECT THE INTERIOR

A thorough inspection of the interior can reveal a lot about the vehicle. Seat belts that look unusually frayed may be an indication that the car has been in a frontal collision. A sagging drivera��s seat or pedals that look excessively worn may be evidence that the car has done very high mileage.

Discolored carpeting, intermittent electrical problems, or a musty smell may be signs of flood damage. The mildew smell canA�be very difficult to remove. Check that the doors and boot open and close smoothly and easily. Other things to check for include a cracked dashboard, missing handles and knobs, and a sagging headliner.

A final thought

If the vehicle you are considering does not pass all the checks, you are better off not considering it. Getting saddled with huge repair bills while you are in university (or at any time for that matter) can be very disheartening. Remember that there are plenty of used cars for you toA�choose from so there is no need to feel like you are under any pressure.

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