There are plenty of aspects to check and consider if you’re buying used, and while there’s no denying that used is often a better option nowadays because it’s less expensive than opting for a new vehicle, there are some pitfalls you should try to avoid as well. The used car market has exploded in recent years, thanks to great sources of used cars. And you may already know what to check if you were to do a used car inspection, from the engine to the tires to the brakes and more. But if you want your used car to give you more value, in the end, here’s how you can properly check a used car’s exterior to see if it’s worth buying.
- Inspecting the vehicle’s body
First things first – inspect the vehicle’s body. Look at all the panels and the vehicle’s roof and inspect it for dents and scratches or signs of rust. Check the doors and fenders – panels that are misaligned or have big gaps may indicate a bad repair job or shoddy assembly. If you think there was a dent that was patched using body filler, place a magnet on the spot. The magnet will not stick to a spot that has body filler. If the other areas have gone through a repaint, you may see paint sticking to the seals around the hood as well as the lid of the trunk.
Specialists from The Young Automotive Group that runs used car Utah dealerships recommend looking for small flaws and scratches, and you should be concerned about rust also. Check the car’s external body for rust or paint that has become blistered, and inspect the rocker panels, wheel wells, and the doors’ bottoms. You can check for more signs of rust inside the car’s wheel wells by using a flashlight. You should also open the car doors along with the trunk and the hood. Lift each door and let it go – if the doors seem loose on their hinges, the vehicle may have seen a lot of use or has been used roughly.
- Assessing the glass
When you are checking the car, don’t forget to assess the glass as well. Look very carefully at the glass and check it for cracks or marked spots. Small chips may not be that alarming, although you can use them as a bargaining tool for the car’s price. Watch out for windshield cracks – they can worsen and you can end up with costly repairs.
- Check the suspension
Walk around the vehicle so you can see if it’s stable and at a good level. Each corner of the car should bounce well – the vehicle should do a single rebound once and not move repeatedly. You can also grab each tire’s top and tug at it – if it feels loose or it makes a ticking or clunking sound, the suspension joints or wheel bearings may not be good.
- Inspect the lenses and lights
Another thing you should check is the car’s lenses and lights. Bring a friend with you so they can confirm if the car’s lights are all working, and ensure that the reflectors and lenses are also intact. They shouldn’t be fogged or cracked, either.
Once you have finished your inspection of the exterior, don’t forget the interior, the engine, and underneath the vehicle, too.