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Tips And Ideas

Weekly Tips For Buying Your Next Used Car
Inspect the Car’s Exterior and Interior
  • Inspect both the outside and inside of the vehicle.
  • Look over the exterior of the vehicle, checking for scratches, dents and rust. You probably don’t need to be worried about small dings or scratches, but larger areas of damage may be cause for concern.
  • We also recommend checking to see that body panels line up evenly, as uneven panels may indicate the vehicle was in an accident but not repaired well.
  • It’s also a good idea to open and close the doors, hood and trunk to see how easily they move.
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) suggests checking for paint overspray on the inside of the hood, trunk and doors and to be sure the color of the vehicle matches on all parts. If you notice overspray or mismatched paint, that part was likely repaired and repainted.
  • Inspect the interior by sitting in all the seats and looking for unusual wear and tear in the upholstery. If the interior of the car smells musty, check the carpet and floor mats for signs of a leak.

Check back next week when we will have tips about checking the "roadability" of your next car.

Go for a Test Drive

Going for a test drive can help you determine the condition of the car and whether it’s a good fit for you. You may want to turn the key to the “accessory” position before starting the engine, says Kelly Blue Book (KBB). You should see all the dashboard warning lights go on. If they do not light up, or stay on when you turn the ignition, make sure the issue is inspected.

When you start the engine, KBB recommends listening for tapping and clicking sounds, which could indicate a problem. While on a test drive, keep your eyes and ears open. CARFAX suggests driving the car on different types of roads and at varying speeds to see if the transmission shifts smoothly. Make sure to note any unusual engine or brake noises, and whether all the electronics in the car are working properly. Also, be sure the brakes work properly and do not pull the car to one side, says CARFAX.

Consider the Mileage

While you should take a vehicle’s mileage into consideration, high mileage isn’t necessarily a bad thing and low mileage doesn’t always mean the car is in great shape.

What Is Good Mileage for a Used Car?There’s no simple answer to this question, because the way the car has been maintained and used may be more important than its mileage, according to AutoTrader. It’s a good idea to use caution when considering a car with high mileage, because certain components and engine parts simply don’t last forever, says AutoTrader. However, if the owner has kept up with maintenance and taken care of any issues, the car may have a lot of life left in it. AutoTrader also notes that how the car was used can make a difference. A car with 100,000 miles on mostly highways may be in better shape than a high-mileage car that was used mostly on city roads, which can be harder on a vehicle. At JJ'S Auto Sales, not only do we test drive every car but, we also put it through a rigorous 27 point inspection process by our in house mechanic. We repair or replace any mechanical items, including new tires if needed, and provide a 30 day, 1,000 mile warranty at no cost. Stop by and test drive that perfect car for you.