- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
How To Properly Check Your New Used Car And Getting A Fair Deal
When it comes time to purchase a new used vehicle, there are many important steps and procedures that you really need to learn to ensure you get a great vehicle and a great deal. Many of us are highly emotional when we are looking for a vehicle. One important step to remember is make sure you shop arround. Once you know your budget and spending range, don't just shop at one location. You need to visit dealers, buy-here-pay-here car lots, check the newspaper, classifieds, weekly auto traders, and the internet. Once you have did your research, you will be prepared to go out and see what kind of vehicle you can find.
When are emotions are running high, we tend to buy the first nice vehicle we see. This is especially true for those who are attempting to buy their first vehicle. It is not wise to shop on these impulses. Take your time and evaluate the situation.
Now, in all honesty, how many times have you really checked every detail
THINGS TO CHECK
- STARTING THE ENGINE- There are certain signs that can show when the engine is started. You need to pay close attention and listen to hear if the motor is skipping, struggling, making noises, or smoking. Almost all car lots clean the vehicle's motor. They can make it look brand new, A clean engine doesn't mean that it is in proper condition. Listen and make sure the idle is smooth and not jumping around.
- CHECKING THE ENGINE- While the engine is running, you need to visually inspect the engine. Make sure the engine is not making making odd noises. Inspect the hoses and wiring on the engine. Look for leaks. Make sure it is not leaking oil. It is normal for a used car to leak oil. You want to make sure that the leak is at a minimum. Check the back of the engine for build up and the bottom as well. You do not want to buy a vehicle that leaks oil bad. Make sure there are no damage to the engine components. Look for cracked parts, hoses, and for missing parts.
- CHECK ALL FUSES- You want to make sure that all the fuses are in the fuse boxes. If they are bad fuses, replace them and make sure the fuse is not constantly blowing. It would be wise to bring a few fuses just in case. Make sure that you have the diagram to the fuse box. It is usually on the outside or inside of the cover. You want to know which fuses control what. A blown fuse will cause the part to not work. Also, you need to check the wiring going to the fuse box. Make sure the wiring is not damaged.
- CHECK YOUR WIRING- This is a very important step to follow. Check the wiring to the computer. Just make sure it looks legit. Loose wires or wires that are unbundled usually means the vehicle has electrical problems. These can be hard to pinpoint and can cause you a lot of trouble. Check the wiring under the dash. Electrical wires run everywhere on the car. Check all you can and remember bad wires can cause parts to not work.
- CHECK YOUR BELTS- Why you are scanning the engine, make sure the belts properly work. Make sure that they are not making noises or smoking. Make sure the belts are not loose or torn. You also need to check the timing belt/chain if it can be done. You will probably have to remove the cover that protects it, but test it the same. Make sure it is tight. The timing belt, if damaged, can cost a lot of money to repair. If it breaks, it can cause internal engine
- CHECK YOUR FLUIDS- You need to go ahead and check the oil levels. Make sure the right amount is in the vehicle and make sure it is only oil. Check your transmission fluid, coolant fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Check around these parts for leaks as well. All your doing is making sure the fluid levels look correct and there is no signs of leaking fluid. If there is a leak, it will probably show
- CHECKING YOUR INSIDE COMPONETS- To be honest, most of us haven't checked all the inside components. Check all your powered equipment, such as power windows, power seats, and power locks. Check your signals, hazard lights, gauge lights, mirror lights, engine light, trunk lights, and radio. You need to make sure the heat and air work correct. Check all your lights on the outside also,
- CHECK YOUR INTERIOR- You need to make sure that your interior is not damaged. Check all your seats and check your dash. Open up your glove box and make sure it is attached properly. Check your visors and mirrors on them. See if the owner's manual is there. Check for any damage on the door panels, such as a blown speaker or broke window handle.
- CHECK YOUR TRUNK- It may be simple, but it is important to check it. Make sure you have a spare tire in the back and make sure you have a jack and a arm. On cars, you can make sure the back seats fold down if the vehicle has that option. Since your back there anyway check to make sure you have a gas cap. All these things cost money.
- CHECK YOUR TIRES AND ROTORS- Tires are very expensive. If anyway possible, you want a used vehicle that has good tires. It may not be always possible, but keep an eye out. You want to pay attention to the tires and rims. Make sure the rim is not cracked or damaged. Make sure you don't see a tire lower then the others. Make sure the tires doesn't have uneven tread. This is a sign of a sticking brake caliper or a bad alignment. You can glance at your rotors as well. Make sure they are smooth. If they are cuts in the metal, the brakes are probably bad. Make sure the rims are not scratched up bad. All of this takes away value from the current asking price.
- CHECK FOR FLUID SPOTS- You also want to check under the vehicle to see if there are any fluid spots. If they are any, they are likely to be in the front under the engine or transmission. If there is one in the back, it could be a leaking brake line if it is a dark color or leaking gas if it is clear. You will usually smell gas in this situation.
- CHECK THE SUSPENSION- You also need to check the suspension components to make sure there is no visible damage. There could be anything wrong with it. Check your boots and the axles. Check your hub assembly. If any of these parts are bad, you should hear noises when you test drive the vehicle. When driving, it may appear to be coming from the front tires or the back tires. If you hear any noises, do beware of the purchase. Suspension work can be very costly. You also want to make sure that you have no holes or damage to the muffler and exhaust. It can get you pulled over and it can cause you to not get a sticker for your vehicle. A vehicle will be extremely loud if this is the case.
- CHECK THE BODY- You also want to check over every inch of the body to make sure there is no damage. Check the insides of the body work as well. The vehicle may have been involved in a big crash and may have been reassembled cheaply. Body work can cost a lot of money. You don't want to overlook something and realize it later down the road. Remember, the dealer just wants to sell the car. They can wait. Check for scratches and peeling/chipping paint and dint marks.
- THE TEST DRIVE- You have to make sure you test drive the vehicle. You really want to run it hard. Most test drives are just a few miles, but you really need to go closer to 50 if you can. You want to use all the inside controls while you are driving the vehicle. Test the brakes, emergency brakes, wipers, lights, radio, ect. You can test the alignment of the vehicle as well. Test everything that you can think of. If it is a solid car, it can handle 50 miles of hard driving. If not, then you don't want it anyway. Once done, make sure you scan the engine again and look for leaks. Check everything again and make a final assessment.
You should try your best to familiarize yourself on basic vehicle mechanics. These are simple steps that a woman can learn and do. I was fortunate enough to work with a friend that use to work at a dealership. Some of the things that he told me was unbelievable. In nearly all cases, dealerships know what is wrong with a vehicle. If they have to fix it, they will. If there is a cheap way around it, that is the route they will take.
Most car salesmen are great at reading character. They aim to prey on the weak, which in most cases is women. It is nothing against women, it is just that most of them have very little knowledge on vehicles and upkeep. This is why it is important to learn the basics on vehicle maintenance. Plus, it will help you get a better price when you can pinpoint everything that is wrong with the vehicle. Trust me, they will know you are all business when they see you checking out everything.
BEFORE YOU PURCHASE
Now that you know what to check for, you can estimate what the vehicle is worth. You want to get the mileage on the vehicle you plan to purchase, then look up the Kelley Blue Book Value. This will give you an idea of the base value of the vehicle you are planning to buy. You also need to ask for a Carfax report on the specific vehicle you plan to buy. This report will tell you the history of the vehicle, from the number of accidents it has been in to major repairs and the number of owners the vehicle has seen.
You want to consider everything you learned while searching over the vehicle. The dealer is always going to add money to their asking price. Their plan is to start out high and if they can't make a deal, they will shave a little bit of money off the asking price. This is to make you think you are getting a deal.
At this point and time, you should know or have a general idea of what is wrong with the vehicle. You need to estimate the cost of repairs and subtract them from the value of the car. Then, you consider the asking price and make a counter offer. Remember, when a vehicle leaves a lot or dealership, it automatically loses value. You can use the example below as a reference.
The dealership is asking $8,000 for their vehicle. You have looked up the base value of the car and it is valued at $7,000. Already, the price is $1,000 more then what the car is worth. When you examined this car, you noticed that the tires had uneven tread and that the engine has a high idle. Because of these two problems, you will need to estimate the cost to fix them. This can be hard for someone that doesn't know anything about vehicles. In this case, tires can cost $100 a piece and we will say the high idle is because of the IAC sensor, which cost $150. An alignment will cost $100 in this case. The total cost of fixing this car is now $500, only for example. This price adds to the asking price of the car, which now is $8,500. This is $1,500 more then the car is worth. This is a bad deal. It was a bad deal from the start because the asking price was a $1000 more then the overall value of the car.
Now, the dealer will always ask more then the vehicle is worth. This is how they make a living, basically by getting you to buy the vehicle for a bad deal. First, you would explain to him that this car is only worth $7,000 in its current state. Plus, the car is out of alignment and the idle is high, which can be a host of different things. This will cost me $500 or more to fix and then you already are asking $8,000 for a vehicle that is only valued at $7,000. This is a bad deal and I am not paying that for this vehicle.
Your next move would be giving the price that you would pay. You can tell him I will give you $6,000 for the vehicle and not a penny more. It is important to keep explaining what is wrong with the vehicle. Keep bringing up the total value of the vehicle. Almost in all cases, their asking price is higher. More then likely, their asking price will go down. Keep in mind, they only get paid when you buy their car. If you walk away, they are missing out on a check.
You can have the advantage when you walk on the car lot. Learn how to properly check the vehicle you want and learn how to find what the total value is. Not only will this give you an edge over the dealership, it can also land you a great deal on your new used vehicle. It is much harder to get a good deal on a new car because there isn't anything wrong with the vehicle.
You have the right to get a fair deal when you go to purchase your new used vehicle. Most of these vehicles are bought at auctions for very low prices. Don't feel as if you are taking money away from them. They still make good money when they sell you a vehicle at a fair price.