To get the best deal on a used car you want to test drive before you buy. This guide will show you how to test drive a car at a dealership; to help you make the best buy possible. Test driving used cars can be double the fun, but also double the trouble of taking a brand-new car right off the showroom floor, but this great checklist can help you out.
If you want to enjoy lower payments and purchase a used car, then do it correctly. That basically means that you need two test drives instead of a single one. Yes, it is time consuming, but it gives you the change to really evaluate the quality of the drive as well as the ride but also the mechanical wellness of the vehicle.
The first test drive is going to be for a personal evaluation. This is also a chance to get the VIN so that you can get vehicle history reports from AutoCheck.com or Carfax.com.
The next test drive is after you have check the history reports and you like this vehicle, and you drive it to a mechanic that you trust to get an opinion of the car mechanically.
Before you Start
Before you get into the car for the first evaluation, there are some important things that you need to look for during the daytime:
- Look under the car for any fluid leaks. Do this with the engine on and off.
- Check the tires out. Do all the tires have ¼ inch of tread? Are the tires matched in brand and size? Is the wear on the tires even?
- If there are spokes on the wheels, take a peek through them and check the disc brake rotors. Do they happen to be scored?
- Open the hood while the engine is running and listen for any hisses, knocks or ticks.
- Check out the corners of the car and look along the sides for ripples that may indicate body repairs.
- Open and close the trunk as well as all doors. Ensure that they work smoothly.
- Unlock and lock the doors from outside and inside.
- Check the door hinges and edges for rust.
- Lift the carpet or pad in the trunk for any rust.
- Ask the salesperson to sit behind the wheel and turn the headlights, turn signals and brake lights on to make sure that they work.
- Get behind the wheel and ensure that all the controls work correctly. Does the heater heat? Does the air conditioner cool? Does the radio or CD player work?
- If you notice an air freshener in the car or the interior smells as if it has just been sprayed with freshener, open the doors and let it air out for a minute. By time you have test drove the car, the smell should be gone, and you can get an idea of what odors it has.
While you are Driving
Just like with test driving a brand-new car, you will have to focus on how the car brakes, accelerates, corners, steers, rides and parks. But, with used cars, you have to listen for any sounds or odd vibrations that could mean a costly repair. You will need to mention these to your mechanic, if you happen to attempt another test drive.
Add these to your check list for your second test drive:
- Does the transmission shift smoothly?
- Does the steering vibrate at any speed?
- Are there any noises when you take off?
- Drive above 60 mph. Most front-end issues aren’t able to be noticed at a low speed. Have you noticed the front of the car vibrate, shake or shimmy?
- Does the car pull to one side when you take off? Find a large parking lot that is empty. At 20 mph, let go of the steering wheel. Does it pull to one side?
- Apply the brakes. Does the pedal feel a bit squishy? Does the car pull to one side?
It has been stated that purchasing a used car is purchasing someone else’s problems. You can minimize your problems by spending extra time and taking some precautions.
Phoenix Valley Used Vehicles
Buying a used vehicle can be a headache, or it can be a breeze. In-Power Motors operates 4 Phoenix Valley locations where we deliver an easy, fun, and stress free car buying experience. We are highly rated in google reviews as we treat each and every customer like our friend and neighbor. We welcome you to stop by for a test drive of a new car, truck, van, or suv. We stock vehicles that are in great condition to offer our customers peace of mind when buying used cars in Phoenix. Browse our online inventory of used cars, swing by our location at 2505 W Van Buren St or give us a call at 602-680-7877.