Indian School: (623) 848-1970
Cave Creek Rd: (602) 888-2277

Top Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

Purchasing a used car is often a smart financial choice. You simply get more for your money. When you drive that new car off the lot, the car immediately loses 10 percent of its value and that is only the beginning. Vehicles lose 60 percent of their value in the first five years of life. However, many pennywise used car buyers have learned that there is still some danger in purchasing a used car. You do not want to end up with a lemon that will cost you dearly in repairs. Luckily, your mechanic in Phoenix, AZ has a few solid tips to help you make a great used car choice.

The History Report

You can acquire a history report on a used car from Carfax or Kelley Blue Book. The report will give you a complete history of ownership, insurance claims, accidents and even some service history. If the car has had too many repairs or has been in a major accident, it’s best to move on.

The Paint

The paint of a car will also tell a story. If you run your fingers along the windshield, trunk opening and the doorjambs, is the paint smooth, or a little rough? Factory paint is sprayed on smooth before the trim is added to the car. The body shop’s paint is little rougher and will overspray on the trim. These are telltale signs that the car has been in a wreck. Choose a different car.

The Tires

Don’t just kick the tires. Actually inspect them. Do they have uneven wear? Do the tires have low pressure or sagging sidewalls? Are the tires bald? All of these signs are concerning. Uneven wear tells you that the car has not had a tire rotation or a wheel alignment in a very long time. If the tires have not been maintained properly, this dealer or car owner is not terribly concerned about maintenance on their vehicles. Go somewhere else for your used car.

The Upholstery

Are there small burn holes in the upholstery? Are there stains present? These may not be deal-breakers for you, but they tell you a story about the car’s former owner. This was probably not a car that was cared for well.

The Airbags

An airbag can be used only once, and it’s fairly easy to tell if it’s been replaced. Inspect the areas where the airbags in the car are located closely for any ill-fitting trim or dash covers. That’s an obvious clue that the car has been in a major wreck. This may not be the car that you want to purchase.

The Dipstick

It’s always best practice to check the oil in a car you are considering. Pull the dipstick. Wipe it off, and pull it again. If the oil is overfull or very low, that is cause for concern. If there is white foam in the oil, this is a deal breaker. Coolant is leaking into the oil. Be cautious if the oil has a pure, amber color. That means the oil has just been changed. This may be a service that the dealer offers, but it does make you wonder why. If the oil smells burnt, that means the oil has been in there way too long.

The Engine

Take the car for a spin. The engine should run smoothly and shift gears without any lurches or hesitation. There should be no unexpected noises or shuddering.

Meet with a Trusted Mechanic in Phoenix, AZ

Any reputable used car dealer will allow you to have a trusted mechanic in Phoenix, AZ check over the car before you purchase. This is the best way to ensure that you are getting a great deal and a reliable vehicle. If you are in the market for a used car, allow the experts at S & J Auto Repair & Rental to look under the hood and give you some piece of mind before you buy. Give us a call today to see how we can help you with your used car purchase.

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Indian School Location:
(623) 848-1970
Scottsdale Location:
(480) 590-4397
32nd Location:
(602) 935-3551
Glendale Location:
(602) 888-2277
Cave Creek Rd Location:
(602) 888-2277
7th Street Location:
(480) 686-8125