Choosing a used car involves a thorough check of the external and technical conditions. But how to understand whether a car requires considerable investments or will serve flawlessly for years?
The industry insiders from the Indy Auto Man, Indianapolis, share tips on inspecting a used vehicle and revealing possible underwater rocks.
When buying a used car in Indianapolis, most buyers pay attention to the painting and bodywork. It is an absolute norm for a used car to have minor scratches on the body and cracks on the windshield, while the perfect paintwork is more suspicious than defects.
When deciding to buy a car in the secondary market, pay attention to the following elements:
- Body. The overall impression is important here – a lot of damage will be visible at first glance (dents, differences in paint shades, etc.).
- Clearances. If the gaps between the bumper, headlights, and other parts of the car are different and uneven, it may have been in an accident.
- Rust. Each point of rust is a potential expense. Inspect the sills, chassis, door bottoms, trunk floor, and wheel arches – these are common areas of corrosion. In cars aged 10-15 years, the removal of severe rust is unprofitable and may exceed the initial cost.
- Glass. The windshield is especially vulnerable to scratches and chips. The markings on the windows will tell you if they are all the same year and whether the previous owner replaced them.
- Headlights. Misalignment is a common occurrence after an accident. Check that they are not dull or burned out.
- Tires. Unevenly worn tires may be a signal that something is wrong with the car’s geometry. The reason is the lack of adjustment or incompetent post-accident repair.
- Doors should close softly and operate smoothly.
- Locks. Make sure the lock works on all doors, including the trunk.
Minor dents and scratches are inexpensive to repair with assistance of professional serviceman. But the elimination of more substantial defects may be associated with sizable costs.
If the body condition does not raise serious concerns, go inside. After 150 – 200 thousand miles, factory materials rarely stand the test of time and intensive use.
The condition of the seats, pedals, steering wheel, and shift knobs can say a lot about the car mileage. Pay attention to:
- Steering wheel. If the color is different from the rest of the cabin, the steering wheel has been replaced. The reason may be, for example, the airbag deployment.
- Multimedia. Check if all speakers are working.
- Sound signal. Check for breakage.
- Windows. Open and close all windows. Rattle is a sign of wear.
- Ventilation. A foul odor from the air vents indicates a worn cabin air filter or a malfunctioning air conditioner.
- Air conditioning. If the interior does not cool down a degree in a few minutes, the air conditioner does not work. A working air conditioning system will cool the interior by ten degrees in fifteen minutes.
- Backlight. Check the dashboard, buttons, doors, interior, and trunk illumination.
- Indicators. They must go out in the correct order. If not, they might be buggy.
- Moisture. Excessive moisture inside means that the car body is leaking. Check also what’s going on under the rugs.
- Wipers and mirrors. A damaged mechanism will prevent them from being used correctly.
- Heated rear window. The inability to turn on the heated rear window will make driving difficult in cold weather.
What to Do If the Interior Is not Impressive?
Today, there are different ways to refresh the interior. Sometimes it is enough to clean and polish the plastic in the cabin. If you replace the upholstery of the seats, dashboard, ceiling, and pillars, the car will look just like new.
Technical condition is the most crucial point when buying a used vehicle. A good sign is if the car has a service book with notes about all maintenance procedures. However, it is always indispensable to get a confirmation that all systems are in working order.
If a buyer can’t perform a thorough check on his own, it is better to invite somebody well-versed in mechanics and have special equipment or take the vehicle to an independent service station. But a full inspection will cost additional expenses.
So that buying a used car in Indianapolis does not become a throwing between the price, the ideal model, and the working condition of the main car systems, address a reputed dealer, like Indy Auto Man. All cars in their stock get through a qualified pre-sale inspection and come with a 7-day exchange guarantee. It is also possible to take any vehicle for a test drive to check the performance of the electronics and see the engine capabilities. The seller will answer any questions about the model and offer the most advantageous options, such as used car financing or trade-in.