Before searching for a used car, consumers should consider many of the same factors that apply to a new car purchase including vehicle usage, life expectancy of the car, maintenance and repairs.
It’s recommended buyers run through a checklist before making a deal.
Body – Check for paint that does not match, gritty surfaces and paint spray on chrome – all possible signs of a new paint job, masking body problems. Look for cracks, dents and loose bumpers – warning signs of a past accident.
Tires – Uneven wear usually indicates bad alignment or suspension damage.
Doors, windows, trunk – Look for a close fit and ease of opening and closing. A door that fits unevenly might indicate a previous collision.
Tailpipe – Black, gummy soot in the tailpipe may mean worn rings, bad valves and expensive repairs.
Shock absorbers – Lean hard on a corner of the car and release; if the car keeps rocking, the shocks may need replacing.
Interior – Check the upholstery for major wear and tear and look under floor mats and seat covers.