You've had your eye on it for a while. Maybe it's what you coveted in high school. Perhaps it's just a daily driver to keep miles off your classic. Whatever the case may be, you're doing it: you're buying a used car.
Here are five tips to know before you buy, brought to you by the mechanics at Ken Marcotte's Professional Auto Service in Loveland, Ohio:
- Look At It: This may sound obvious, but a visual inspection can reveal the secrets of a vehicle's past. Make sure to thoroughly look over the car from fender to fender. Any buckling in sheet metal or misaligned body panels could indicate hidden frame damage from an accident that wasn’t reported to Carfax.
- Check The Fluids: Low fluid levels are potential indicators of neglect. Check that the oil level is appropriate and that the oil on the dipstick is clean. Low brake fluid and coolant levels can indicate that the car has not been fully maintained throughout its life.
- Drive It: A quick loop around the neighborhood will not suffice. At highway speed, does the interior rattle? In a safe, empty, and flat parking lot, take your hands away from the wheel. Does the car track straight and true or veer slightly to the left or right? With hard acceleration, does the engine stutter? Does the car come to a complete stop when you brake suddenly, or does it track to the side? If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, the vehicle isn't in perfect condition.
- Get Comfortable: Whether you're buying a weekend runabout or a daily commuter, you'll be spending a lot of time in your used car. Crank both the A/C and the heat to ensure both function properly. Test the stereo and recline the seats. Adjust the mirrors. Roll down the windows. If any of these features doesn't function well, be prepared to negotiate the buying price.
- Consult A Mechanic: No matter how tech savvy you may be, there's no substitution for another set of eyes. A certified car maintenance expert can assess flaws in your vehicle selection and advise you on any potential repair costs or deal-breaking problems. Enlisting the services of a mechanic can ensure that delicate systems like the car's electrics and diagnostics system are in correct working order.
After you complete your auto sales transaction, make sure that your new vehicle remains in prime condition by taking your car in for regular maintenance service at Ken Marcotte's Professional Auto Service. Proudly serving Loveland, OH, the mechanics at Ken Marcotte's Professional Auto Service are ready to assist with anything your vehicle needs. Call (513) 683-7852 for an appointment, or visit them online to learn more.