How To Test A Used Car Before Purchase?

Tips For Inspecting A Used Car For Purchase

Tips For Inspecting A Used Car For Purchase
By John Hayden

Shopping for a used car can be stressful; you are not only looking for a safe and reliable vehicle, but you also want a good deal. Test driving a car is very important, even when you’re buying a certified used car. Good news is, you don’t have to be a specialist to evaluate certain factors. Here’s how you can perform a basic inspection:

Engine Oil:

Use a dipstick to check the engine oil. If it has a creamy consistency, the engine could have significant problems.


When checking the transmission, make sure that the engine is cold. With the emergency brake on, start the car and put the foot on the brake. Now, when you try to shift from park into drive or reverse, notice whether the transmission takes longer than two seconds to engage. If you encounter a big jolt or jerk, it means that the cars transmission is wearing out.

Dashboard Lights:

Start your vehicle to check the color-coded symbols on the dashboard. A flashing check engine light indicates that something is wrong with the engine system. If the anti-lock braking system light is on, this could indicate that the speed sensor isn’t functioning properly. If the airbag light flashes, this could mean that there is an issue with at least one of the airbags on the system.

Vehicle Identification Number:

Look for the hidden vehicle identification number or the VIN stickers on each panel of the car. These unique numbers give relevant information about the vehicle. For example, you can use the VIN to track the status of the car. If the VIN has been painted over or is missing, the car could have undergone major repairs or may have been towed from a crash site.


Take a closer look at the car tires. Mismatched tires are a major red flag. Remember to check how the tire is wearing  an overinflated tire will have wear in the center while a underinflated tire will show signs of wear and tear in the edges.

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