Used Car Checklist

When you are in the used car market it is important that you know how to sift the valuable cars from the ones that presents well but will give you more problems than initially perceived. To determine if the car is right for you, you can perform a used car inspection checklist yourself. You’ll need to take with paper towels, a flashlight, a hand mirror, and a notebook.

  • Check the car history report

Ask for the car’s VIN number; you’ll need it to order a car history report. It will provide necessary background information on the car such as repairs, accidents etc. The seller should have it on the insurance card or the vehicle’s title. Confirm the number yourself. It is usually located beneath the windshield of the car.

  • Check the condition of the car’s body

Walk around the car and use the flashlight and mirror to check areas out of normal sight. Check if there is rust above the tires; this is usually the sign of a previous accident or saltwater on the roads. Are the gaps between the doors even? Are there places where the colour of the paint is uneven?

  • Check the engine

This is where you’ll need your paper towels. Lift the hood of the vehicle and check whether the engine is clean and if there is any sign of rust. Lift the oil filler cap. If there are thick black deposits it is not a good idea to purchase this car.

  • Check the tires

Check the brand of the tires. Are the tires worn? Are there cracks? Inspect the condition of the rims.

  • Check the engine’s oil

Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with the paper towels and put it back into the engine. Take it out again and check the full and low indicators of the car’s oil. If the oil level is high and a pale amber colour the oil condition of the car is good.

  • Check the brake fluid level

If the brake fluid level is low it could be that it is leaking or the brake pads could be wearing.

  • Check the engine coolant

It should be full and a yellowish-green colour.

  • Check under the hood

Use your flashlight and mirror to check the inside of the hood. Does the fan belt look worn? Is anything leaking or rusting?

  • Check the interior of the car

Is the material or leather scratched or torn? Are there any stains? Do all four seatbelts work? Don’t forget to check the flooring.

  • Check all the electrical features

Make sure that the indoor lighting works and that the electronic windows power switches work. Turn on the car to check the window wipes, the audio system etc.

This used car inspection checklist will provide an honest evaluation on whether the specific used car’s value and price are truthful and accurate. Like the saying goes: “Prevention is better than cure.”

If you are struggling to get finance for a new car or used car, contact Earn-a-car for a different finance option.

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