Buying a used car may seem like a roll of the dice, but there’s a way to stack the deck in your favor. Any car is an investment, but the best way to protect yourself when looking at used cars for sale is to pay attention and take notes before purchasing.
Preparation Is Key When Looking For Used Cars in Colorado Springs
Don’t go shopping empty-handed. Take the following items with you to help inspect used cars for sale and help you make the best decision:
- Pen and notebook: You’ll want to mark down the mileage and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) of the car. Take notes on anything you may see missing or damaged.
- Small flashlight: For peeking into dark places such as the nooks and crannies of an engine or in the wheel wall.
- CD disk and a cassette tape: To check out the stereo system.
- Paper towel: To check the oil and other fluids.
What Should I Look For When Shopping For Used Cars?
Prepare to take at least 30 minutes to inspect used cars for sale. Take your time; if the salesman is pushing or rushing you through the process, you might think about choosing another provider. This is your money you’re sinking into a used car purchase; a reputable car dealer should have no problem with you checking the car thoroughly when looking at used cars for sale.
Take a good look at the body to make sure there are no major structural defects. Make note of all scratches, dings and dents. This could be a price negotiating point later on. Check the mirrors, make sure all of the doors open and close and are flush. Note any ripples in the body that indicate the car has been in an accident.
For used cars, checking for wear and tear on the tires is important. Irregular wear could mean problems with the suspension or alignment. Are there bubbles or cuts in the tires? Are they “name brand” tires, and how does the tread look?
Note any tears or damage to the interior of the car. Check out the air conditioning and heat. Does the stereo work? Push all of the buttons, making sure each one works properly whether it’s the hood latch or fuel tank release. Is there a spare tire and jack in the trunk?
You’re not a mechanic, but there are things you can look for. Does the engine look like it’s in good shape, free of oil leaks? Check all the fluids and the oil in particular. Is the oil clean or dirty? This is a good indication of how the car has been cared for.
Looking for used cars can be a bit of a gamble, but if you do your homework and keep your eyes open, you’ll put the odds in your favor. Prepare yourself properly, and used cars for sale won’t be a dangerous mystery.
Make sure you check out our full used car specials in Colorado Springs or Denver at SpringsAutomotiveGroup.com