Do you know what to look for when buying a used vehicle?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Tips and Tricks on Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 8:27 am
A stock photo of a person looking at a vehicle.

What should I look for when buying a used car? 

If you weren’t already aware, Third Coast Auto Group exclusively deals with pre-owned vehicles and we do our best to make sure that everyone finds a safe, reliable and affordable vehicle. There are a lot of great reasons for choosing to buy a used vehicle versus a new one. However, that will also come with a certain amount of uncertainty – especially when you’re dealing with a private seller. The team of product experts working at Third Coast Auto Group does their very best every day to take that apprehension from the process. Part of the is educating buyers before they visit one of our locations. If you’re wondering, ‘What should I look for when buying a used car,’ our team has some tips. Let’s take a closer look.  

READ MORE: What are the pros and cons of AWD? 

Basic Used Car Inspection Tips 

If you have a trusted mechanic that has time to go with you to see the vehicle you’re interested in buying, that would be ideal. However, you don’t need to be an automotive expert to know the difference between a good buy and a lemon. Our team came up with some easy-to-identify areas to look at that could save you a lot of potential headaches.  

The first and most important tip is to look at a car in bright daylight and when conditions are as dry as possible. Make sure the vehicle is on level ground and has been sitting for at least an hour before you inspect it. 

Exterior issues — Pay particular attention to the condition of each body panel. Look for scratches, dents and the beginnings of rust. Also, look closely at the gaps between the panels. They should be straight and have a uniform width. Any inconsistencies should raise questions. 

Inside problems — A vehicle that has flood damage can be a nightmare. If the model you’re looking at has floor mats, look under them for signs of mildew. Also, the smell of mold and mildew is very difficult to get out of a vehicle’s interior. A passenger cabin that smells like a dark basement should be avoided at all costs.  

Suspension test — Push down hard on all four corners of the vehicle. If the shock absorbers are in good condition, the vehicle should rebound just one time. If there are additional bounces, that should be a red flag. Also, check the tires for an uneven tread wear, which is also a sign that things with the vehicle might not be great. 

If you have any questions about what is available at a Third Coast Auto Group location, make an appointment with one of our product experts today.