Insider Tips on Buying a Used Car

Buying a Used Car

The time has come, as you sit there frustrated behind the computer, researching what used car to buy you become stuck and dont know which way to turn. Buying a used car can be a very tedious process, sometimes even a major burden. We all know that friend who showed up to a used car dealer and was sold a dream, only to find out two days later that the nice used car that was bought is a lemon and needs a new engine. Buying a used car is a tricky process and unless you know what needs to be done it can also become a major disaster. However, a car sale doesn’t always have to be a hassle. These 10 tips are sure to make your car buying experience a hassle free and easy process

3 Good Signs to look for when buying a Used Car/ Selling a car

When someone private is selling their car, or a dealer is selling you a car you should approach the situation the same way as if you are selling your car. It easy to sell a car, good or bad, so don’t think that just because you are going to a dealer that their car is any better. Here are 5 things to look out for that are a good sign that you should invest in the car.

  • A Long List of Service Records service-

If a car is clean and the owner/dealer is able to provide you with honest service records this is always a MAJOR plus. An established book/folder of service records is a strong indication that the previous owner of the used car took great pride in taking care of his car. Not only was the servicing done, the owner was organized enough to keep all the records in a safe place and refer back to them, if service records are present the stress of buying a car and not knowing whats wrong with it will slowly be alleviated. Organized service records, means organized owner, which means organized car which was kept in good shape. When you sell your car down the line having these service records will help you maximize the value you can get for your car.

  • CLEAN CARFAX

This is VERY important. Unless you are buying a car for $500 or less it is absolutely a must to check the Carfax. This is especially true if you walk into a used car dealership, don’t take a salesman’s word for it, ask them about the Vehicle’s carfax and have them show a physical copy of it. When we buy a used car we must know exactly what we are getting into. carfax uses all of the different reports gathered about said vehicle and pulls it up in a nice format that is user friendly, on the report one can easily see if the vehicle was involved in any accidents, if the miles have been rolled back, last reported mileage, how many previous owners the used car that’s being sold has, and if there is any existing recalls on the car. Buying a car without seeing the carfax is like flying a plane without checking the engine before hand. Be extra careful when looking at the carfax for anything suspicious make sure miles add up and look deeply into the accidents, just because a car was in an accident doesn’t automatically make it a red flag. Many times an accident is something small and is just a quick fix, try to offer a little less for the car but don’t exclude the car because of one. Just make sure it wasn’t a heavy impact that disabled the vehicle. Spend the few extra dollars and check the CARFAX by clicking here.

  •    Low Miles

This one is a no brainer. If the car has low miles that means it hasn’t been driven too much and therefor hasn’t yet taken a beating. Think of buying a used car with low miles as dating someone younger than you. The car tends to be stronger, more reliable, less rust, and less problems if it has low miles. But take extra caution when buying an older car with low miles, nowadays many people “Roll back” the miles on a car so although it may say 40,000 on the odometer the car might actually have 140,000 or even 240,000. Look at the overall condition of the car, a car with low miles wasn’t abused as much, it’ll show on the car. An easy way to see if the mileage is true is to check the Carfax.

 

Big Fat No, No, when buying a Used car

So you’ve found your perfect match, the carfax is clean, service records are on hand and the car has a trustworthy history. Is that enough to sell you on the car? It shouldn’t be, once you have checked for positive aspects now its time to dig deep and find out whats really going on under the hood. One doesn’t need to be a seasoned mechanic in order to see if a car has problems, here is a few useful tips that should help steer you clear of all the used car junk on the market. People who are selling their car tend to clean it up and make it look as neat as possible before a sale, btw if you are looking to sell your car we can help you by filling out an honest sell your car form. Many times people are honest when they leave a form or make a posting about a car, however, many times people tend to be dishonest when it comes to selling a car.

  • Visible grease, oil, sludge around the engine or its working parts

This is very important, many people think that since they are not mechanics they can’t really tell whats wrong with the car. Many times an oil leak is very clear and visible, take your time when inspecting the car. First before you turn the car on for the first time open the hood find the dip stick and take a look at the oil, the dipstick has an indicator which says high and low, if the oil level is low then the liquid on the stick will only reach the low end, this can mean one of two things; either the oil level is low, because the car can be burning oil, or there is a leak somewhere in the car. After you have put the dipstick back turn the car on and come back to the motor, pay attention for any places around the engine or its moving parts particularly looking for visible grease, oil, or sludge build up. Pay close attention to any uncommon smells coming from the motor, if you smell anything at all, its a strong indication that somewhere in the car, some-kind of fluid is leaking. Don’t be alarmed a car won’t blow up from an oil leak, keep on and don’t stop there. Next, it’s time to get a little dirty, ask for a mat if you can and get down and look underneath that car (make sure the a/c is off for this part) check for any small drips or any puddles that have formed where the car was standing. Although many times an oil leak can be an easy fix, it is better to make sure that the person selling you the car is aware and honest about what exactly is leaking. If you see white smoke and smell burning oil coming from the hood the best idea would be to walk away from the car, unless of course you are willing to take on the responsibility of buying a car with an oil leak, its doable, just risky, if you end up taking the car make sure the owner is willing to take several hundreds of dollars off for you to use on repairs. For more info on how to tell the difference between leaks and how they smell click here.

 

  • Total Loss, Salvage title, flooded car, frame damage, Airbag Deployment, Bad Carfax

If you open up carfax and it reads anyone of these things, stay away from the car. If a car is a total loss that means that at some point insurance decided that it would cost more to repair a vehicle than the car was worth. This is a bad sign and should automatically disqualify the car. Salvage title means that the car was in a major wreck and deemed salvaged and was beyond repair. These cars however are repaired and then resold, you can buy a salvage car but it will never be the same car that left the dealership, further more all warranties on the car are voided if the car is salvage, flooded, total loss. If you have any of these problems with your car find out what its worth.  When a car has frame damage that means it’s been involved in an impact that actually permanently damaged the foundation of the car, this voids all warranties and although you can somewhat repair frame damage it can be a big hassle and most of the time once there is frame damage something in the car won’t function properly, especially when its front end frame damage. If a car’s airbags have been deployed it can be a major safety hazard to buy the car, especially if the airbag modules were never reinstalled, if you bought the car and wrecked it you can risk serious injury because no airbags would deploy to help with support during an accident.  Finally, if the car has 4 or more accidents on the carfax you don’t want the car, not only does it not hold its value as well, but you will also encounter trouble when selling the car.

2017-03-09T16:34:27+00:00July 25th, 2016|Tips + Tricks|20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Mike August 11, 2016 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Super helpful, thank you this made buying my car so much easier!!

  2. Megan Earl August 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    These tips are so helpful for anyone (like me) who is thinking of buying a used car for the first time! I really like the tip about looking for something that has low miles on it. I mean, sure that sounds like a no brainer, but I wouldn’t have thought of it. I’ll make sure to keep all of these tips in mind as I start my search!

  3. Ben August 26, 2016 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Wish I’d read this before I brought my latest car XD luckily it went pretty well.

  4. Dollie January 19, 2017 at 12:03 am - Reply

    it already Great site keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say Im glad I found your blog. Thanks, A definite great read

  5. Matthew March 7, 2017 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    All these tips are really beneficial. Many things in this post were those I haven’t considered till now! But reading your post I have collected more useful information. When I bought my first used car, then I purchased an extended warranty from Toco Warranty because they provide us simple and affordable service.

  6. Annika Larson April 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Soon my son will be old enough to drive, and we want to get him a used car. It’s important that we are able to find something that is both reliable and affordable. I hadn’t thought about how low miles might show that the car isn’t yet broken in and may b a sign of unreliability.

  7. Kenneth Gladman May 3, 2017 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I like that you mentioned using helpful online services like carfax. I think you may regret your decision if this is all you trust though. You should be sure and do your own research and test driving.

  8. Leviticus Bennett May 17, 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    I like your idea to make sure there aren’t any leaks or strange smells. I’ve never bought a car before, so these tips are useful. I think it may also be a good idea to bring a friend who knows a lot about cars with you to the dealership.

  9. Gloria Durst June 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    It makes sense that a lower mileage car would probably be better to buy. I would imagine that if it hasn’t been driven too much the car would probably be in better shape. My sister is looking to buy a second car, so she’ll have to consider finding one that has pretty low mileage.

  10. Johan Michal June 16, 2017 at 1:47 am - Reply

    You gave very important tips for buying a used car.This is very helpful for those who want to purchase used car. Recently I have bought a used car and after that I purchased an extended warranty from AMT Warranty and my experience with them is really good.

  11. Taylor Hicken June 16, 2017 at 11:51 am - Reply

    My husband has talked about buying our daughter a car for her birthday, but it definitely wouldn’t be a new car. We’ve both decided that it’s best we bought her a used car, that way we don’t have to worry about her crashing a new car. I’ll just have to speak with a few professionals and see that their opinions are about buying a used car.

  12. Chariot Auto June 28, 2017 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    See to it to check these things before buying a used car. Having a good car history is enough to know that the car is still in its good state. A very helpful information to those looking for used cars.

  13. Steve Lester July 7, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Buying a used car is often considered as tough choice for vehicle owner. Some tips that are helpful for you like see the car condition and whether the dealer is able to give you the track record of the service. When you sell your car all these service records are instrumental for future benefits. Always thinks for low mile performance car as they are efficient in speed performance. You can inspect the cause of poor car condition and therefore pay attention to the vehicle. Buying a used car is a big investment for car owner and before you take the decision always verify the dealership track record. Thanks of sharing a important car tips. Hope you can benefited from all these informative reminders.

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  15. Sandra Hexner July 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Thank you for all this great information about buying a used car! I really like your point that if I go to a dealer, it doesn’t mean that the car is any better. I am looking for a used car for sale that will be a great fit for our family, so this post has been great to guide me in the right direction.

  16. Amanda Drew August 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    I like how you say that having honest service records for a car is always a big plus. Recently, I moved to a new area, and I’m going to be needing to use a car to get around. I’ve never bought any vehicle before, so I’m kind of new to everything. It would be nice if there were some sort of consulting agency that could help me through this process.

  17. Max Jones August 28, 2017 at 10:52 am - Reply

    My wife and I have been wanting to get a new car for a while, and I think that knowing what to look for or lookout for would be helpful for us. I’m glad that you talked about being thorough with your inspection to look for something like an oil leak. We’ve found a Chrysler for sale that we think would be good for our family, so being able to do some inspecting and make sure that its in good shape would be really helpful! Thanks for your article!

  18. Harper Campbell September 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Buying a car has been something that I have been needing to do for sometime now, but being a college student means that it might be best for me to find a used one. It’s good to know that something that I need to be aware of is if the ones I am looking at have low miles on them, so that I will know that it is one that is reliable and won’t have any problems for a while. This is something that I will have to keep in mind once I seriously start searching.

  19. Lillian Schaeffer September 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    I like how you mentioned that you should get a list of service records when buying a used car. I’m going to be moving out to college in a few months, so I was thinking of buying a car so I’ll have a convenient mode of transportation. Maybe it would be a good idea to check the service records to make sure it’s in good condition.

  20. Caden Dahl September 22, 2017 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    I appreciate your point that low miles is a good thing to look for when buying a used car. My daughter is going to be moving out to college, so she’s looking to buy a car. She’s going to buy a used one to save some money, so I’ll have to tell her to check the mileage.

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