New cars do not come cheap no matter what their age. You’ll be spending thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for that set of wheels. You have to be sure that you are not buying a lemon in the lot. New car owners need to be careful before they accept the price and here are some things to do beforehand.
- You can start with the tires. Be sure that there is a brand name of tire such as Goodyear. These are higher quality than the low cost brands. You also need to be sure that the tires are of the same make, and this can be done by checking the serial number on the side of the tire. There should be no cracks on the surface and the tires need to have a good tread. You are going to need that in the event of an emergency.
- When you look at the body of the car be sure that the panels all match in color. Sometimes the previous owners may have a cheap paint job done and it will show. The windshield should never have cracks in it. Also, take a look at the front headlights and directional lights on the car. Those are safety features which, if malfunctioning, could lead to accidents.
- There should not be any leaks in the engine. Take a moment to look at the terminals on the battery. There ought to be no accumulations of corrosive material. As you are running the engine, be alert to any smell of oil. It could suggest there are problems in the engine. The exhaust pipes should be in good working order and particularly the catalytic converter.
- Inspect the interior. It is natural for any prospective car buyer to take a look at the upholstery and make sure that the doors and trunk open without any problem but there are some other areas that have to be considered. The gauges on the dashboard should all be properly working. Other areas that should be working well inside include the heater, the stereo, the air-conditioner, and the seats should be adjusted without any difficulty. The power windows have to be able to be operated without any problem. If there is a sunroof it needs to open and shut without any difficulty. Hazard lights are to be working as well as any alarm system in the car. There should be no trouble turning the headlights on and off.
- Note the brakes on the car. Brakes are a very serious safety feature and the wheels should not lock when the antilock brakes are applied. The car should not be moving to one side when brakes are being applied and there ought not be any whining noises when the brakes are put into operation.
- A bad transmission is an invitation to a very expensive auto repair job. The fluid in an automatic transmission should not be dirty and the brown color is a sign of trouble. Manual transmission gears should have no grinding noises when the car is placed in reverse. As a matter fact, pay close attention to the shifting of gears when you have the car on the open road prior to purchase.
- Steering must be stable. When you are steering the car it should not be vibrating or shaking at all. If you’re making a turn it should not be a problem. Be aware of any noises that occur when turning a corner.
- Beware of pushy owners. The owner may be pushing you to make a purchase but you don’t have to hurry. Service and repair records are to be reviewed. You can easily do this with CARFAX if the owner claims not to have them. Small things to consider are whether or not the owner’s manual is available and if the owner has clear title to the vehicle.
- Consider a mechanic inspection. You should think of having a professional auto mechanic take a look at the results of any checklist you have made. Be aware of the behavior of the seller. Always remember you do not have to buy the car. If the seller is acting too pushy or refuses to allow you to inspect the vehicle, you need to walk away from the deal.
Stay cautious while buying a new car
A little due diligence on your part can save you hundreds of dollars later. If you detect some problems with the car that can be repaired, insist on the seller doing them or reducing the price to accommodate the cost you’ll have to take on. You want this new car to last for several years and get the most out of your investment. Being cautious and doing the inspection beforehand will help assure that.