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What to look out for when buying a used car

What to look for when buying a used car

Buying a used car can be an exciting experience but you need to look out for the pitfalls. You need to avoid potential problems that could end up costing you thousands more in repairs and maintenance while also stressing you out.

This guide will highlight what you should check for when shopping for a used car.

Tips to buying a used car

First, it’s important to check and confirm if the seller is the person who owns the car. You don’t want to end up buying a stolen car. By doing a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) search, you can confirm the vehicle’s owner. Also, you’ll need to make sure the car isn’t secured against an outstanding loan and the previous owner has stopped repaying the loan, the lender could then repossess the car.

Next check for accident damage. You don’t want to end up with a defective vehicle. You need to ask a few questions to find out if the car has been in an accident and if so, how severe it was. Some repairable write-offs are fixed, inspected and re-registered then re-sold but the standard of repairs may be poor, putting you at risk.

By arranging an inspection of the car by a trusted mechanic, you should be able to find out whether the car has had any accident repairs. And make sure the seller provides you with a valid roadworthy certificate.

Check under the bonnet

Any build-up of dirt that appears caked on is often a sign of fluid leaks which could be come from the power-steering pump, radiator, hoses, transmission, oil pan, engine seals, or oil-cooler lines. Look under the car and see if excessive fluid has leaked onto the ground.

Does the car’s exhaust blow out white smoke? It could be a sign its coolant has drained into its combustion chamber which might be a serious problem.

Next check the vehicle’s body and panels for rust. If there are major signs, it’s best to walk away.

Do the doors swing freely, close securely and form a weatherproof seal?

Examine the tyres, make sure there is enough tread. You don’t want to pay for the car then get stuck having to buy new tyres. Make sure all the lights, air conditioning and electronics are working.

Take it for a test drive

How are the brakes and acceleration? Does it make unusual noises? Are you comfortable driving it and do you feel safe?

For your peace of mind, before you buy a used vehicle make sure it’s been fully inspected by a licensed mechanic. Call our expert team at Mainstreme Automotive on 07 34251503 and we’d be happy to book a vehicle inspection. It could save you a lot of money in the long run.

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