Buying a used car can be hectic task. Questions that will be popping up are Has it been properly maintained? Will it be reliable? Will I get a good deal? Do I trust the person selling this piece of machinery? I advice It's always better to go with a mechanic you trust but if you intend going alone, These tips will take you a long way.
Check 1: Exterior Checks
Starting with the basics, what you intend doing are quick visual checks. Take a good look at the body panels for dents or scratches. Is the vehicle in need of body work or paint job? Check the tires, wheels, brake caliper and discs properly as that would also save you a huge amount of money if you don’t need to replace them, the headlight and taillight, are they filled with water or is it still clear and not broken? You could stick your head under the car and check rust around the arches and sills because they can be expensive to repair and sometimes be a car killer.
Check 2: Warning Lights
After the above check, the next thing is to check for warning lights from the dashboard. It could be warning codes from the engine, ABS, battery. If you’re observant, you might even notice an engine with overheating problems.
Check 3: Engine Check
What you should be looking out for are oil levels. With the bonnet up, have a look at the chassis legs to know if they’re bent or deformed, that’s how you know if the car has had a front-end collision. Look at the side of the engine to make sure there are no oil leaks. Generally, just make sure the engine is happy.
Check 4: Interior Check
The power windows, the gear lever and steering wheel is not worn as that may seem like too much use and lack of proper maintenance, the handbrake (if it has). And while you’re inside, don’t forget to check its service history, it’ll keep you up to date with the car’s maintenance.
Check 5: Test Drive
Start up the car, while idling it, listen for squeaks either from engine or steering before driving. While driving it, listen to the steering, gear lever during selection, brakes, belts. Test to know its condition before taking it to your garage.
You can drop any other checks you know