Finding a quality used car requires applying thorough research and basic knowledge of what to look for. Knowing how to spot potential problems can save you from expensive automotive repairs down the road.
Ace Auto Parts offers used autos and used auto parts. We see used vehicles every day. So if you want to purchase a dependable used car, follow these tips below.
Do Your Homework
Look for reliable resources that give you up-to-date information on used vehicles. An excellent place to start is Consumer Reports. Their annual subscriber survey provides information that can help you refine your search and feel right about your selection.
Research the reliability-history charts that come with car model pages. They will give you a detailed breakdown of how vehicles perform in trouble areas, as well as overall. If the car you’re interested in has a reputation for failing in specific areas, you can pay attention to those components while you inspect the vehicle.
If you’re unsure exactly what you should be looking for, here’s the breakdown:
Vehicle Exterior Inspection
● Body condition. Check each body panel and the roof, looking for scratches, dents, and rust. Examine the lines of the fenders and doors. The paint color and finish should be identical all the way around the car. Look for rust and significant dents (small dents and scratches are normal on used cars). Open and close the doors, the hood, and the trunk.
● Glass. Glass should be free from cracks, dents, or scratches. Windows should be tightly installed in the frames. Windows should open and close smoothly and tightly. Any used dealer should be able to offer windows that are safe and blemish free.
● Suspension. Is the car level? Bounce the car up and down. If you hear noise or the vehicle bounces too easily, there are problems with shocks or the suspension.
● Lights and lenses. Lights are a safety issue. Therefore, you need to check them. Bring a friend along to help you check all the interior and exterior lights.
● Tires. Although tires in poor conditions are not necessarily a deal breaker, the may indicate how well the care was taken care of before the previous owner sold it. Check the treads on the tires from side to side. Check tread depth. Check to see if the tires are dry-rotted.
Vehicle Interior Inspection
● Odor. What does the car smell like the moment you get inside? If it smells moldy, smoky, or has any bad odor at all, don’t buy the car. You may never get rid of the smell.
● Seats. Sit in all the seats. Are they comfortable? Do the power seat controls work? Also, make sure that every seat has as complete, functional seatbelt. Worn out seats may indicate a worn out car. Look for worn surfaces, cracks, or tears in the fabric.
● Controls. The entire dash should be work because every indicator light or meter is important. Turn on the radio, the AC, the cruise control, the sunroof, and all other controls. Which ones can you live with? Which ones do you care less about? Also, make sure you test the emergency brake.
● Roof. Check the roof for stains, sags, rust, or leaky areas. Make sure the sunroof works, and test for leaks. If the car is a convertible, then test it multiple times. Make sure it consistently works.
Visit a Local Mechanic to Inspect the Car
If you have no idea what to look for under the hood, the best thing you can do is take the car to a mechanic. A certified mechanic can perform a complete inspection under the hood and the vehicle and identify problems that you may miss.
You may have a basic knowledge of mechanics, but you may not want to take a chance with areas of the car that you are unfamiliar with.
Last, but not least, drive the car around. Make sure you turn the radio off. Listen for weird noises. Also, test out the steering wheel. Does the car drive straight? Does it make smooth turns? How does it perform on bumpy surfaces?
Ace Auto Parts Provides Used Vehicle Parts in Minneapolis
If you are looking for used auto parts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, contact Ace Auto Parts. We provide a wide range of parts for domestic and foreign vehicles including trucks, cars, and SUVs.
Please use our part search app or contact us today for inventory requests? Call us at 651-717-4299 today.