If you are shopping for a used car, you’re likely looking to get a good deal on the car you purchase. Fortunately, this is not too hard to achieve as long as you’re willing to do a little groundwork and be patient. But what exactly should you be looking out for during the inspection? Here’s all you need to know.
Check the engine light: The most obvious thing that you want to watch out for when buying a used vehicle is the check engine light. If there’s an issue, this light will typically appear on the gauge cluster.
Squealing noises: When you start the car, look out for squealing noises, which could point to a worn serpentine belt. Erratic noises may also be caused as a result of a dirty airflow sensor, faulty fuel injectors, vacuum leak, or worn spark plugs.
Colored exhaust smoke: It’s also a good idea to check the color of the smoke that’s emitted from the exhaust. Blue smoke could be caused due to burning oil, black smoke could indicate the engine is getting too much fuel, and so on.
Humming: Once you are on the road, listen for excessive humming sounds, especially when driving through corners or straight. If you hear anything, stop the car and check the tires for signs of uneven wear or cracks.
High-pitched whine: It’s normal for cars to get noisier as the years go by, but if the car makes a high-pitched whine when it is being accelerated, the noise should certainly not be ignored.
Mushy brakes: If the brake pedal feels a little too mushy when you are bringing the car to a stop, the brake fluid likely needs changing. It’s also a good idea to check the brake lines in this case.
Grinding metallic sound: If you hear a grinding metallic noise when applying the brakes, the cause is likely worn brake pads, so pay attention to such noises.
Faulty lights: It’s a smart idea to inspect the car during the day, but ensure you don’t forget to check out if all the lights are working. Remember that it can be expensive to replace lights.
Unresponsive buttons: Cars today come with a plethora of features, so you should check whether all of them work as they should. From stereo to air conditioning, don’t leave anything unchecked.