How to Evaluate a Used Car

person holding car key and toy car with title text How to evaluate a used car.

Some parts of buying a used car are simple no-brainers, like if it catches fire, rattles, thumps, or smells of heavy smoke. However, a car that test drove well for 10-15 minutes can still have a lot of hidden issues.

Save Money On Your First Car

Have a Mechanic Check It

Buying your first car is difficult, whether you are 17 or 30. Ask the seller for a list of known issues with the car and get a quote from a mechanic before making a permanent decision. After getting a quote for work by a mechanic, ask the seller to bring down the price enough so you’ll be able to take it to a mechanic and get everything fixed without losing tons of money at once. If there are multiple problems and you’re on a tight budget, make sure you get information of which fixes need immediate action and which can wait until the bank account is replenished.

What Should Be Checked

  • Compression
  • Brakes
  • Look for leaks
  • Pressure-test cooling system
  • Exhaust system
  • Steering components
  • Tires
  • Suspension
  • Spark Plugs
  • Anything else essential for safe driving

Cosmetic Damage

These can easily be left alone forever and they bring down the price quite a bit. Damage to paint from hail, scratching, or paint from a car that scraped it as well as minor dents or cracked windshield are cheaper and easier fixes. You can buy a little pot of paint online by make, model, and year of the car; all you need is a tiny bit for most spots. Small dents can be buffed out or left alone if they don’t bother you. A cracked windshield can range in price but for around $150 you can get a new one installed.

If you would like to know more about how you can save on car repair, contact the experts at Performance Auto Repair at (334) 245-6600 today.

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