Buying a used car is exciting and certainly cheaper than financing a new one. The only problem is that being used means having potential problems. So, how do you know the used truck you want isn’t a flop?
Take a look at these seven tips to avoid driving off with a whammy!
Monitor the Tailpipe
When you are inspecting your potential truck, don’t forget to check the tailpipe. The color of the tailpipe’s smoke can give you signs as to whether or not the truck is a lemon:
- Blue smoke – Oil is being burned
- Puffy, white smoke during startup – Result of condensation; no reason to worry
- Flowing white smoke – Combustion chamber is waterlogged because of a cylinder head that is damaged or a head gasket that is blown
- Black smoke after warming up – Extremely abundant air-fuel mixture from a defective oxygen sensor, dirty air filter, or mass-air meter
Reference the Window Sticker
You know that big sticker posted in the car window? It offers some important information that you should read. It’s a Buyer’s Guide, and it will indicate if the car is being sold with a warranty or “as is.” If it displays that the car comes with a warranty, the seller must honor it. A vehicle being sold “as is” will not have its condition guaranteed by the seller. So, if problems arise after purchasing, you are out of luck and responsible for damages and repairs.
Save yourself the trouble of dealing with a truck’s poor conditions by only buying one that comes with a Buyer’s Guide and a guaranteed warranty!
Inspect Under the Hood
Failing to check underneath the hood of the car greatly increases your chances of ending up with a whammy. Some positive elements to look for include:
- No corrosion on parts like the radiator, battery, and engine
- Unworn belts and hoses
- No wet spots that could indicate a fluid leak
- Lines, wires, or tubes that are not melted
- Relatively clean firewall or at least not blackened, which would indicate an engine fire or overheating
- Engine oil that is not gelatinous
Don’t Settle for Skewed Body Parts
Blemishes in the vehicle’s body—such as misaligned body panels and dents—are one of the first things you will notice and used trucks Langley dealers know it too. They will try to pass it off as a minor imperfection, but you shouldn’t take surface irregularities with a grain of salt. These indications, no matter how big or small, can be clues uncovering a major accident the car has undergone. If you notice even a small ding, verify where it came from.
Take a Test Drive
Considering your truck will be meant for driving (obviously), shouldn’t you know if it can drive well before buying it? One of the best ways to verify that you are buying a good vehicle is to take it for a test drive. While on the road, ask yourself some important questions:
- Do you like the acceleration and deceleration speed?
- Is it noisy?
- Does it feel smooth or choppy while driving?
- How does the transmission feel when it shifts?
- Does the wheel vibrate?
- Is there resistance to the brake pedal?
- Does the car tend to pull to one side or the other?
Get a Professional Inspection
Despite the personal inspections you do yourself, you most likely are not an expert in identifying problems in a car. Expert mechanics will thoroughly go over things like:
- Identifying any loose bolts or parts
- Discovering unnoticed rust
- Checking engine belts
- Testing interior components for functionality
- Inspecting the suspension and steering
- Checking to see car fluids are full
- Looking for signs of water damage
- Using a comparison of parts to determine if pieces are original, replaced, or repaired
- Checking the life, age, and evenness of the tires
- Inspecting the transmission and engine
Check the Car’s History
Finally, if you want to make sure your used truck is ready to do what you need, check its history. The history will tell you the good and the bad about things like:
- Number of previous owners
- When and where it was sold
- If the car was turned in under the “Lemon Law”
- Potential odometer rollback fraud
- Data of any accidents
Buy with Confidence
Buying a used truck may feel like risky business, but there are steps you can take to ensure you don’t get a bad apple. By following these several tips, you will know with confidence that you are getting a good truck. Good luck!