What to Check When Buying a Used Car

Used cars on a car lot


Will your next vehicle keep going for years or leave you wanting more? Understanding what to check when buying a used car can make all the difference. Although you can trust the used cars for sale at Penske Chevrolet, it’s always a good idea to do your research and look over the vehicle closely before you drive it home to Carmel or Noblesville. We’ve put together a list of things to check when buying a used car, so you can move forward with confidence.

Five Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

So, you’ve calculated your monthly payments and you’ve found one or more models that will fit into your budget. You’ve determined that the model has good mileage for a used car. Before you bring home your next used vehicle, make sure to look over each of the following:

  1. Vehicle History Report: By now, you should have done research to see how similar models have held up over time. But by checking the vehicle history report, you can see if this particular model has a clean service history. You’ll also be able to see if it has been in any major accidents. Structural damage and spotty service can both indicate that a vehicle won’t be very reliable.
  2. Suspension and Tires: If there are significant differences in treadwear beneath the tires, or if the tires have been replaced on a model with relatively low mileage, this can be an indication of some deeper issue. You should also push down on all four corners of the vehicle and see how the suspension responds. If it doesn’t feel normal, there could be a deeper issue. Faulty suspension is also likely to lead to accelerated wear.
  3. Interior: Use your eyes and your nose to investigate the cabin for signs of damage or water leakage. During your test drive, use as many features as you can in order to see that they’re all working properly.
  4. Under the Hood: With the engine cool, check under the hood to make sure that there are no obvious signs of damage or factors that could lead to expensive repairs. Oil splatters, weak, hard hoses, and off-color fluids are a few of the most important things to look out for.
  5. Around/Under the Vehicle: If you see motor oil (or another red or green fluid) leaking from beneath the vehicle, you should exercise caution. Rust is also a sign of damage that you’ll want to watch out for. 

Additional Checks for Peace of Mind

When all is said and done, it’s never a bad idea to take your preferred used vehicle to a mechanic before you sign on the dotted line. Ask the mechanic to look it over and find out if the model will require expensive repairs. If the seller objects to this step, it’s probably a good idea to go elsewhere.

If you want to be absolutely sure that you’re bringing home a high-quality used car, choose a certified pre-owned model. These vehicles all undergo extensive, factory-designed testing and must meet strict qualifications. They even include warranty coverage!

Find Your Next Vehicle at Penske Chevrolet

No matter what kind of used car, truck, or SUV you’d like to drive home to Westfield, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of our current pre-owned vehicle specials. Take a moment to value your trade-in and contact us to schedule a test drive today.

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