Cars Used Ontario Top 9 Things To Look At When Buying a Pre-Owned Car


certified preowned

Ok, so you did your research online, read the used car reviews that are available and you have narrowed your choices down. Now comes the time to head off to the dealerships or lots where the cars are and take a look, EXCELLENT!

These 9 tips will help in what to look for generally and which will help you make a more informed purchase decision:

1. Take a walk around the vehicle and look for any sort of differences in paint colour. It could be an indication that there has been some body work done due to an accident. While you’re at it are there scratches and dents that need to be discussed about getting fixed if you were to purchase the vehicle.

2. Check the ground and under to hood for any sort of fluid leaks. Leaking fluid can generally be a sign that something needs repairing and if so depending on the leak it could be a costly one.

3. Start the engine and look under the hood. How does it sound smooth or rough? Is there an excessive amount of smoke?

4. Look at the general wear and tear of the vehicle. If there are leather seats, what is the general condition? Keep in mind that the driver seat wears more because of high use. But generally look at everything. It can usually give you a sign if the car was taken care of properly. Or that it was driven hard.

5. As odd as this sounds but I see it a lot now, check for odors. If you can’t handle the smell of smoke or the smell of a dog then the last thing you want is to buy a car that already smells like that. It takes a lot to get rid of those odors and if they are right in the seats you may never get it out, are you ok with that.

6. Was the vehicle mainly used for highway driving or local driving? Again, the stop/go of local driving is generally harder on a car than getting it out on the highway and letting it go. Was it a one owner car?

7. THIS IS BIG and something I see all the time. Is EVERYTHING in working order? In the winter does the heat work and if applicable what about the heated seats are they working. In the summer, how is the AC. Check the sunroof that it works, check your radio, power windows (all of them), locks, mirrors? Make sure all your accessories are in working order. Is there one key or two, is there an owner’s manual, mats. Make a note of them and use them as bargaining power when you are working out a deal.

8. When you’re driving, drive with the radio off (now that you know it works of course). Listen to the engine, how is the drive, do the brakes squeak or are they soft? Is there any excessive rattling or any sort of vibrating in the steering? Again, these are all signs that things are not necessarily right with the car.

9. Ask to see the Car Proof. DO NOT take the word that it is clean and no accidents. Ask if it is a daily rental, taxi or police vehicle. A dealership/car lot is suppose come forward and tell you but there are some that won’t. DO NOT accept this statement “Printing off a Car Proof is expensive and we don’t do it until the car is sold.” That’s bogus, don’t sign a thing, and walk away.

Keep in mind that once you have narrowed your selection down, there is nothing stopping you from putting a condition on the sale, ie, “sale subject to mechanic inspection.” What that means is you make arrangements to have a mechanic come and take at look at the car. In most cases a dealership will let you take the car to your mechanic to have them look at it, or at the very least make arrangements for the mechanic to go with you to the dealership. They can put the car up on a hoist for you and your mechanic can take a look and let you know if it is ok or not.

These tips will certainly give you a good foundation of what to look for when you are buying a pre-owned car. Do not allow yourself to be pressured, take your time. There is nothing wrong with taking the car out on a test drive and getting the information you need and then going back the next day. Take your time.

Good luck!!!

Creative Commons License photo credit: TheTruthAbout…

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