Test Driving A Used Car: 3 Tips


Purchasing a used car is an excellent way to save money. However, purchasing a used vehicle isn't without its risks. The dealership does its best to inspect vehicles prior to placing them on the lot for sale. However, this doesn't guarantee that the vehicle you purchase will be free of problems. To protect your investment and make sure you make a good purchase, it's crucial that you perform your own inspection, as well as pay close attention during your test drive. When you're in the market for a pre-owned car, here are three tips to help you spot a problem:

Drive At Higher Speeds

Unfortunately, many consumers aren't aware that some front end problems are undetectable at the typical street speeds. This means you can test drive a vehicle around a residential neighborhood and not realize that big trouble lies under the hood. You'll want to test drive the vehicle for a brief distance at a speed of 55 to 65 miles per hour and make note of any noises, shakes, or problems that crop up at those speeds. Typically you'll notice any existing issues around 55 miles-per-hour and then find that the problem gets worse as you increase to 65 miles-per-hour. 

Drive at Slower Speeds

Some issues only crop up when the vehicle is driving slowly, for example, making a turn down a residential street. Look out for any wobbles when the car is going slowly, or any jerking motion when you are turning the wheel to turn a corner. Another thing to look out for is problems when you slow to a stop and then accelerate slowly. Make sure to make more than one left turn and more than one right turn. Preferably, you want to make each turn at different speeds. For example, some vehicles will jerk the opposite turning direction at certain speeds, but not others. So making multiple turns at different speeds helps ensure you'll catch a problem.

Accelerate, Decelerate, and Stop a Lot

It's crucial that you accelerate the vehicle, then reduce the speed and come to a complete stop several times during your test drive. This is often best performed by going down a side street and waiting until no vehicles are behind, or in front of you. Then go ahead and accelerate for a short distance, then reduce speed and stop completely, then repeat multiple times. It's not enough to test by just driving down your typical four-lane street. You need space to rigorously test the vehicle. Look out for knocking noises, alignment problems -- car veering to the left, or right -- and anything else that doesn't feel like natural driving conditions. 

Contact a used car dealership for more information and assistance. 


24 June 2017

Car Dealer Auto Selection: How The Process Works

After going to my first auto auction, I became very interested in how dealers select the cars they're going to put on their lots. I spent a lot of time talking with local dealers, auction regulars, and others in the industry to learn the behind-the-scenes secrets to picking out the perfect auction cars and getting them lot-ready. I created this site to help others understand what goes into the process in the hopes that it would help car buyers understand what they're looking at when they hit the car lot. I hope the information here helps you better prepare for buying your next car.