How to Inspect a Used Car?

Inspecting a used car thoroughly can seem to be a daunting task, but by doing so you can easily spot faults in the car if any. Moreover, inspection will also help you decide whether the vehicle is worth buying. This article contains some information on inspecting a used car.

Inspecting a Used Car

1) Inspecting the Exterior

  • Exterior
    • Body condition: Look for the dents, scratches or rust on the body of the car. Each body panel should be checked carefully. The finish and the color should be same on each body panel. Open and close every door especially the driver’s door, the trunk and the hood, if it seems to be loose on its hinges, it shows that the car has been too long and hard use.
    • Glass: Carefully look at the vehicles glass to ensure that there are no cracks and chips on them. A minor chip on glass is no cause for getting alarmed, but can be a bargaining point when negotiating.
    • Lights and lenses: Confirm whether all the lights are working or not. See to it that not all the light lenses and reflectors are cracked, missing or fogged with moist.
    • Tires: You get to know a lot from the car tires. If the car is, for instance 20,000 miles on odometer still should have its original tires. Also, check whether all the four tires are same. Different tire if any shows that the tires have been replaced.
  • Interior
    • Seats: Upholstery can be badly worn or can be ripped especially the car with low mileage. It is good idea of trying all the seat adjustments to ensure that they work properly. Moreover, see that you can find a good position for driving comfortably.
    • Roof: Headliners and roof should be checked properly for any stains or sags if there is any water leakage from roof or doors or windows. If the car is equipped with the sun or moon roof, check whether it opens or closes properly.
    • Instruments and control: Turn the ignition but without starting the car. All the warning signs should be illuminated for few second and should go off when you start the car.
    • Sound system: Check for the radio on FM and AM. If there is tape or CD player, try playing it. If you are planning to use an iPod or MP3 player, bring that along with you to test for the connections if any.

2)Trunk: Check for any signs of water entry. See if the carpet smells or feels wet. Look and check for the spare tire whether it is rusty or watery.

3)Checking under the hood

  • Radiator: Look inside the reservoir which connects rubber hose to the radiator. The coolant must be greenish or orange and not brown or rusty color. Stains on the radiator are the signs of leakage.
  • Hoses and belts: Squeeze and check the different rubber hoses that runs to radiator, air condition and other parts.