Credits


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Planning of Buying A Used Car?

Avoid the lemons! Because getting a reliable used vehicle can save you from expensive automotive headaches down the road. Basically, the more repair work a car’s had done, or needs to have done, the less reliable it is.

1. Check the exterior- Walk around the car and look for dents, chipped paint, mismatched body panels or chipped windows. If you see paint over spray on chrome or rubber trim, or in the vehicle’s wheel wells, this is a telltale sign of body-panel repair. A door, hood or trunk that doesn’t close and seal properly is evidence of previous damage, or sloppy repair work. A CAPA sticker on a body panel means the part’s been replaced – it stands for Certified Automotive Parts Association. Inconsistent welds around the hood, doors or trunk also indicate repair.


2. Check the interior- Frayed seat belts or ones with melted fibers – which is caused by friction - may be evidence of a previous frontal impact above 15 miles per hour. Damaged safety belts should always be replaced. Also, prematurely worn pedals or a sagging driver’s seat are signs that the vehicle has very high mileage. See if you can detect a mildew smell. That’s caused by a water leak, and can be very hard to get rid of. Discolored carpeting, silt in the trunk, or intermittent electrical problems may all be signs of flood damage.

3. Check the steering- While driving at normal speeds on smooth, flat pavement, the car shouldn’t wander or need constant steering corrections. Also, a shaking steering wheel often means the wheels need balancing or that the car needs a front-end alignment, which are easily remedied. However, it can also indicate a problem with the drive line, suspension, or frame - which could mean expensive repairs are in your future.

4. Visit a mechanic- Before you buy a used vehicle, have it inspected by a qualified mechanic that does diagnostic work. A dealer should have no problem lending you the car to have it inspected, as long as you leave identification. A thorough diagnosis should cost around $120 – which is a small price to pay for making sure you don’t wind up with a lemon.

Geraldine