Margo Mya. Used Car. February 11th , 2020.
Interior Points: Functionality of features and electrical components – There is nothing more irritating that trying to adjust a side mirror that has electronic controls and finding out that it does not work. The same goes for various lights in the dash and other important controls like the hazard lights. Evidence of Smoke or odors – For many of us a buying a car that was once smoked in is not a choice we would want to make. Same goes for other odors or spills. A car that has had a lot of food spilled or chemicals could cause health problems down the road. Under the Hood: Fluid levels and hoses and belts – While these may seem an easy thing to check yourself the question is whether or not you know where every belt, hose or fluid container is. Miss one and you might be walking home at some point or calling a tow truck!
These are hard times, no doubt for just about all of us. Let’s give some consideration to automobiles. There are people who have purchased new cars within the last couple of years. Sadly, since that time they have lost their jobs and can no longer afford to make a car payment in the neighborhood for $400+ per month. Before they know it, they find themselves getting their beautiful cars getting repossessed by the finance company. How embarrassing this can be for you with your neighbors, unless it has happened to them too. Now you do not have a car, your credit is ruined, you need a car, what are you to do? Maybe you have been unemployed or underemployed for a number of years. You know what tough times are all about. You wonder if that old clunker of yours is going to make it for another month or not. You don’t want to take your children in the car because if it breaks down on the road, it won’t be safe for the children. You need to get another car, but to get a bank loan and pay a lot of interest is just not possible for you. Where do you turn.
You might think that’s still a bit old. Not all old cars are that bad. Within the last 10 years or so regulations have been put in place to control emissions and get better gas millage. Some car companies like Toyota or Honda have been doing this all along regardless of laws. For example I drive a year 2000 honda civic. Its not the pinnacle of ’green’ technology but think on this I get around 25-30mpg. This car is now 9 years old. Many cars today can just match that, and some can’t even reach that high of millage. It also has always passed California smog check and emission checks. California is notorious for its strict emission control standards. So if it can pass those tests it’s a good, clean running car. And since the car is quite a few years old it’s not going to be all that expensive, especially if its found at an auction where you say how much you’re willing to buy it for.
What do you need to remember when buying a car? Remember, it’s an investment, so make sure it is the right one. Most people tend to go for the look, the glitz, the engine and other such features. It is recommended to make an informed decision by taking all following aspects into account: Car History ==> Buying a used car can be difficult, and somewhat of a gamble. You can put the odds in your favor by knowing all you can know about the car’s history. This includes number of previous owners, if the car was involved in any accidents, any previous mechanical failures and its maintenance history. Ensure that car Odometer has not been tampered with ==> Simply look at the dashboards to see for marks, or if it is loose. This generally is a sign of tampering. Also look for service stickers under the hood or inside of the car. They will contain latest readings, and you can match them against the current read.
Now pretend that you keep your 2003 Toyota Camry or that you are the buyer this year that bought it for $6,000. You have no car payments, so if you get laid off from your job or have other temporary financial setbacks, there is no stress from the possibility of the car being taken by the repo man. Granted it’s a used car so we might need a little extra for repairs, let’s say $100 a month. You still need to get the oil changed and regular maintenance done on the car like the new car, but you don’t need to sweat over a few coffee spills on the upholstery or scratches and dings on the paint since you know the car will be worth little when you are ready to get rid of it anyway. Where will you be in six years if you sock away the extra $220 dollars a month in a rather lousy investment CD with a rate of one percent? You will have $16,000 in savings. That is surely plenty of money to buy another nicer and newer car.
Ownership – how many owners has the car had? Generally the less owners the better, and if you are buying from the original owner they will be able to tell you everything about the car’s history. Be wary if the owner is selling after having the car for a very short time – ask them why they are selling. Also, the type of owner can indicate how the car has been driven. Are you buying it from a woman or are you buying it from a 20 year old man? Mileage – how many miles has the car done? Does it equate to roughly 10,000 – 12,000 per year? If it is much higher, be aware the engine will have suffered more wear and tear so try to haggle the price down. Service History – Does the car have a full service history? Ask to see the Service book and check the records and make sure each service has been stamped by a garage.
Under Carriage: Previous collision damage – Body work is one thing but repairs to the car’s frame or other under carriage elements should be a concern. While usually good such repairs can raise safety concerns in the future as well as affect the car’s overall life span! Rust – Rust can be a problem for any car. Cars that were located in humid areas or near the ocean should be of considerable concern for the fact that rust could lead to needed repairs of the exhaust system and other important frame elements. Test drive: Car handling – Many people when driving a car will only catch the obvious issues. There are many small but very important things that can happen during a test drive though that will indicate if the car is in good condition and running as smoothly as it should. Sounds – One of the best ways to tell if things are right is by the sounds the car will make during different performance tests. Unless you are an expert you will probably not pick up on most of these as they can easily be masked by the overall sound of the motor or road noise. To get safe you need to have motor vehicle inspection.
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