Cars

Check Used Cars For This Before You Buy

Check Used Cars For This Before You Buy

Used car prices are up more than 40% from a year ago. With the chip shortage dragging on, experts say the demand for used cars will continue to grow. If you’re looking for a used car, it can be hard to know if you’re getting a good quality one for the high price you’ll be paying. Other than duct tape on the bumper, what are you really supposed to be looking for? WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Our Chief National Consumer Correspondent, Jeff Rossen, walks through Atlantis Auto City’s used car fleet with expert Tony Pagliuso. No, you don’t need a mechanic by your side either. Check out some of the things you should be looking for below. Do your research: Gather basic information about the car. This includes the make, model, year and VIN number. Then look it up on sites like Carfax and Kelley Blue Book. This will tell you if the car has been recalled, if it has ever been in an accident or even if it has been totaled, marked for breakage, etc. You can even check the odometer to see if it has been overridden. These websites will give you an overview that you can see in black and white. Check for rust: When you open the doors, if you see rust inside the frame or on the steps going up into the vehicle, that’s a red flag. Use your phone’s flashlight and also check for rust under the vehicle. If there are a lot of them, it means that the car is already not holding up for the long haul. Longevity is important when buying a used car. Examine the paint: you’re not just looking for chips. Look for color and finish too. If there are bubbles, it could be someone painting for rust. If there are any rough spots, it may mean they even painted over some damage. Check for gaps: While examining the exterior, run your hand along the panels of the hood, trunk, doors, bumper, etc. If they are uneven, it may mean that the car has had an accident or that a bad job has already been done on the car. Tyres: If the tires are out of shape, you’ll need to factor that into your bargaining cost – and those are expensive! So make sure that the tires of the car are in good condition. Check the tread of the tires to make sure they are 2/32 inch or less deep. You can do this with the penny test. Hold a penny upside down in the tread of the tire. The edge of the tire should cover Lincoln’s head. The more it covers his head, the better. If you can see his whole head, the tires are worn. *Repeat the penny test in all treads. Our automotive expert says, be sure to spin the wheel hard and test all the treads on the tire. If the treads are worn unevenly, it could also mean that there is a problem with the suspension. Pop the hood and look at the engine: Hopefully outside, don’t stop there. Open the hood. Look for rust and corrosion around the battery. Check the pipes for repairs that have been made. Also check for oil leaks. If there are large oil stains on the engine, it may be a sign of damaged internal components or seals. Take it for a test drive: While you’re on the road, you don’t just check to see if you like driving. the vehicle. Go through a mental checklist. Are the seat belts discolored or frayed? They could have already had an accident and the airbags went off. Do all the buttons work? Check air conditioning, heating, windshield wipers, radio, etc. If something isn’t working, it could be an electrical problem or a problem with the computer. While driving, is there a burning smell? Do the brakes work without squealing? Is the power steering smooth? Can the car accelerate without making an awful noise? If you can’t check some of these things on the list and they won’t negotiate the price, it’s best to move on to another car.

Used car prices are up more than 40% from a year ago. With the chip shortage dragging on, experts say the demand for used cars will continue to grow.

If you’re looking for a used car, it can be hard to know if you’re getting a good quality one for the high price you’ll be paying. Other than duct tape on the bumper, what are you really supposed to be looking for?

WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Our Chief National Consumer Correspondent, Jeff Rossen, walks through Atlantis Auto City’s used car fleet with expert Tony Pagliuso.

We Asked the Experts: What are some simple and easy things we can look for when buying a used car that they delivered? No, you don’t need a mechanic by your side either. Check out some of the things you should be looking for below.

  • Do your research: Gather basic information about the car. This includes the make, model, year and VIN number. Then look it up on sites like Carfax and Kelley Blue Book. This will tell you if the car has been recalled, if it has ever been in an accident or even if it has been totaled, marked for breakage, etc. You can even check the odometer to see if it has been overridden. These websites will give you an overview that you can see in black and white.
  • Look for rust: When you open the doors, if you see rust inside the frame or on the steps going up into the vehicle, that’s a red flag. Use your phone’s flashlight and also check for rust under the vehicle. If there are a lot of them, it means that the car is already not holding up for the long haul. Longevity is important when buying a used car.
  • Examine the painting: You’re not just looking for tokens. Look for color and finish too. If there are bubbles, it could be someone painting for rust. If there are any rough spots, it may mean they even painted over some damage.
  • Check the gaps: While examining the exterior, run your hand along the panels of the hood, trunk, doors, bumper, etc. If they are uneven, it could mean the car has been in an accident or a bad job has already been done to the car.
  • Tires: If the tires are out of shape, you’ll need to factor that into your bargaining cost – and those are expensive! So make sure that the tires of the car are in good condition. Check the tread of the tires to make sure they are 2/32 inch or less deep. You can do this with the penny test. Hold a penny upside down in the tread of the tire. The edge of the tire should cover Lincoln’s head. The more it covers his head, the better. If you can see his whole head, the tires are worn.

*Repeat the penny test in all treads. Our automotive expert says, be sure to spin the wheel hard and test all the treads on the tire. If the treads are worn unevenly, it could also mean that there is a problem with the suspension.

  • Open the hood and look at the engine: If everything looks good on the outside, don’t stop there. Open the hood. Look for rust and corrosion around the battery. Check the pipes for repairs that have been made. Also check for oil leaks. If there are large oil stains on the engine, it may be a sign of damaged internal components or seals.
  • Take it for a test drive: While you’re on the road, you don’t just check to see if you like driving the vehicle. Go through a mental checklist. Are the seat belts discolored or frayed? They could have already had an accident and the airbags went off. Do all the buttons work? Check air conditioning, heating, windshield wipers, radio, etc. If something isn’t working, it could be an electrical problem or a problem with the computer. While driving, is there a burning smell? Do the brakes work without squealing? Is the power steering smooth? Can the car accelerate without making an awful noise? If you can’t check some of these things on the list and they won’t negotiate the price, it’s best to move on to another car.