If you are on the search for a used car, performing your own vehicle safety check is a great way to avoid making a bad purchase. Here are four tips to help you perform your own vehicle safety check:
- Bring a Tire Gauge: You definitely don't want to buy a used car that needs new tires right off the bat, so be sure that you bring along a tire gauge when checking out a used vehicle. This can end up saving you hundreds since you can easily determine whether or not there is a leak in the tire or poor tread. If you do notice a problem with the tires, be sure to negotiate on the price so that you can afford the new tires that you will need if you decide to continue with the purchase.
- Check All the Lights: If you are checking out a used car during the day, always be sure to bring a friend along with you or ask if you can check the car out in a garage. This way, you can check that all the lights are in working order. This includes the blinkers, brake lights, headlights, and high beams. It can be a pain to have to replace these since you will need to do so right away, which takes away from the fun of having a new car.
- Look for Leaks: Once you've taken the car for a test drive, let it idle on the driveway for a bit. Once you get out of the car, check for leaks underneath. If you notice any, it might be a concern because it could indicate a problem with brake fluid, antifreeze, or transmission fluid. Whatever the case, you should have a mechanic inspect the vehicle before moving forward with the purchase.
- Check Fluids: If there are no leaks, then this means that there shouldn't be any major problems to worry about with the car running smoothly. However, you should still check fluid levels. If the levels are low when you check the dipstick, you will need to fix that right away. You will also want an inspection of the brakes, transmission or engine depending on which had low fluid levels to be sure that it didn't affect any components that make up these moving parts.
Utilizing the above four tips can easily help you determine how comfortable you feel with the purchase of the used vehicle. However, if you still have concerns, it's best to have a mechanic provide a full vehicle safety check to further ensure that you are making a safe purchase.