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Unlock the Secret of Test Driving a Used Car

Posted by henry lee - 27 September, 2013

Nearly everyone does a test drive before committing to buying a used car. And yet, few people actually know how to make the most of a used car test drive. The secret to effectively test driving a car is knowing what you should be looking for and the questions you should ask.test drive car

Engine and Exterior Check

Before you get behind the wheel for a test drive, look at the engine and exterior of a used car. While checking the engine you should look for obvious dents or signs of repair on the interior frame that could indicate an accident. Next, determine if the car is still warm from having been recently driven, as you will want to know how the car runs after a "cold" start. Check the fluid levels and make sure there isn't a burnt odor coming from the radiator. You should also inspect the exterior body of the car for scratches, dents or evidence of repair.

Interior Check

Once in the car, you should conduct a thorough inspection of the interior components, like the upholstery and the electrical systems. Check all of the lights, stereo, power locks, windows, heating, air conditioning and the horn. There are few things in life more frustrating than buying a used car and later discovering that one of the electrical components isn't operational. You should also make yourself aware of the interior finishes, as wear and tear damage can be used to lower an asking price during negotiations.

The Drive

The best way to test drive a used car is to take it through as many kinds of traffic as possible. Try to drive the car slowly through residential areas, faster on a highway and through stop and start traffic in more congested areas. Doing this will give you a complete impression of how the car actually runs.

Ideally, you won't be buying a car from someone who is very chatty so that you can hear any troubling noises coming from the engine. While you are driving, turn the radio off for the same reason. Take mental notes of sounds or other problems coming from the engine so you can ask about them once the drive is complete.

The test drive is often the most heavily considered factor in the choice whether or not to buy a used car. Make the most out of your test drive by paying careful attention to how the car looks, feels and sounds throughout your test.

* Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Topics: Used Cars


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