If you are going to be buying a used vehicle from a private party, then there are some things that you should know so you don't end up making a huge mistake. The information in this article will give you some information you want to keep in mind and consider putting to good use.
Take a good look at the entire exterior of the vehicle
You want to look for anything on the body that looks as if it has been replaced; this is an indication that the car may have been in an accident at some point. If the sellers haven't made you aware of this, then you may want to consider it as a possible red flag that they may by keeping other information about the car from you. You will also want to make sure you check for signs of rust along the bottom of the car; rust will eat away at the car and causes future issues. Check under the hood of the car and see if it looks like there is oil dripping from anywhere.
Take the car for a complete test drive
When you take the car out for a test drive, you want to make sure you put it in all the gears, including reverse and neutral. You want to make sure it goes into all the different gears smoothly. Drive it on side streets where you can go slow and do a bit of turning so you can make sure it turns without any pulling or other odd behaviors. Take it on a freeway so you can see how it handles at higher speeds as well. Go from a lower speed to a higher speed relatively quickly to make sure it has the proper amount of power and doesn't choke.
Check how all of the gadgets work
Try all of the little gadgets as well. You should do these while the car is parked rather than while you are driving. You probably won't be able to find everything automatically since it is a car you aren't yet familiar with and it's better for you to pay attention to your driving. Try the windshield wipers, the air conditioner, the heater, the radio, the cigarette lighter, all the lights, and any other electronic devices like windows and door locks.
Take the car to a mechanic
Once the car has your seal of approval, you are still going to want to have a mechanic go over it. They will catch anything that you may have missed. Plus, they know how to spot potential problems that you will likely not have any idea about.
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