A vehicle’s reputation for reliability may attract buyers, but it doesn’t guarantee reliability or quality in used cars. Make sure you thoroughly inspect the vehicle before you buy it so you don’t end up with a car that needs constant maintenance shortly after buying it.
Before buying a used car, you should inspect it thoroughly. On the inside as well as the outside, there are numerous components to examine. In this article, we will focus on a list of interior parts to examine before buying from Consumer Reports:
The Car Seats
One of the first things you’ll see when you open the car door is the seats. Are they in good condition? Check for rips, tears, and wear in the cloth or leather material covering. Have a look for the side bolster and seat base condition and if prior repairs are evident. Sit in them, and see how supportive and comfortable they are. Do this in all of the seats, not just the drivers. Also operate all the seat functions, especially if electric seats and check for ease of movement, noises, grinding or jamming. Any of these may cost thousands of $ to repair.
Look and smell for any mould or mildew odours when inspecting the vehicle’s interior. If there are any, there is a possibility that the vehicle has experienced water damage or leaks. Leaks may be from the windscreen, sunroof seals, blocked sunroof drains, leaking body and bootlid seals and possibly even blocked door cavity drain holes. Inspect the mats for water damage signs if you notice a foul odour. If you choose to purchase the automobile despite the smell, be aware that it might be difficult to remove the odour, plus the fact that mould in a car is a serious health hazard and may trigger allergies, reactions or breathing difficulties in some people.
The Sunroof or Moonroof
Many people don’t consider checking the lining covering the inside roof, but a sagging liner indicates something bigger. On a relatively newer vehicle, if water has leaked through the sunroof or moonroof, the liner or the part of the liner that was directly beneath the leak will either be stained or sag. Furthermore, you should check to see if the sunroof or moonroof operates properly. Does it seal tightly?
Brake/clutch and Accelerator Pedals
The rubber covering the pedals can give you a good indication of the car’s condition. An automobile with little mileage typically has little wear on the rubber covering the pedals. There may be other problems with the car if the pedals show unusual wear and the car hasn’t been driven much. An aggressive driver is one who drives fast and hard, and that kind of driver is likely to drive pedals hard and fast, resulting in early wear.
Before test-driving a vehicle, make sure all the controls are working properly. Make sure all the lights turn on when you turn the key in the ignition. Is the warning light turned off when the engine is started? You’ll want to know why if it does not. You can test the air conditioner and heater to see if they begin to cool down or heat up the car quickly. Every button and control should be tested to see if it functions well. With increases in vehicle comfort systems, there may be many systems to inspect, such as seat heating and cooling, heated steering wheel etc.
Turn on the radio and see how well the AM/FM stations receive. At the same time, check the CD player (if it is present) and see how well it plays. Bring your CD along and try it out. Is it inserted and ejected smoothly? In addition, check whether your MP3 player or mobile phone connects well with the infotainment system, if possible. See if the Bluetooth system works. Does it have Carplay/Android auto? Does the inductive charging pad work? Accessory rear seat entertainment units need to be inspected when turned on – damaged screens may not be evident if switched off.
Be sure to examine the trunk for indications of water damage, as that’s one location where it will be revealed. Are there water stains on the trunk liner? Is it musty or dank, or does it have a mould and mildew odour? If a vehicle has a spare tire wheel well under the trunk floor, check to see if there is any water or rust. If there is, there may have been some water damage.
What else can you do to avoid costly repairs?
Before you commit to buying a vehicle, have a professional mechanic who conducts pre-purchase inspections to inspect it. An inspection is required even if the dealership claims they have conducted an independent inspection. Your mechanic should look at it if the salesperson asserts that the independent inspection has already been done.
It should cost around $275 to $355 for a thorough inspection. Please contact us for a quote prior to scheduling. We will give you a written report detailing the vehicle’s condition, listing any issues identified and will let you know if the car is worth buying or not. Then you may use the report when negotiating with the seller.
It’s not that bad to buy a used car, as long as you examine it and have a professional examine it. You will then have an understanding of what you’re getting into. On the other hand, you may be facing many problems and large repair bills if you don’t.