Have Your Mechanic Check These Things Before Buying a Used Car

October 29, 2019

When you buy a used car, you’re taking a chance on a vehicle that may have been involved in an accident or that has other hidden damage. It may not be immediately clear whether the previous owner performed routine maintenance or took care of their car, which can make the difference between a reliable used car and a lemon. You should always conduct a thorough inspection of the car before you sign on the dotted line. When you’re ready for a used car inspection in Hanford, CA, talk to the team at AAA Sandoval Transmissions. We’ll follow the checklist below to ensure that your used car is up to par:

  • Engine: The engine is the single most important item to check. Your mechanic will look under the hood and look for drips or leaks. They’ll look at the fluids and check the levels in the oil pan, radiator, power steering and transmission, then start the engine to make sure it runs without sputtering or stalling out.
  • Exhaust: The exhaust is an easy enough fix, if there are any issues. A mechanic will look under the car to see if there are any holes or missing parts. If there are, you may choose to replace them with aftermarket parts.
  • Exterior: Your mechanic may be able to spot places where the car has been damaged in an accident. They’ll look for mismatched panels, slightly different paint colors or other indications that this is not the original exterior.
  • Interior: You can look at the interior yourself—sit in all of the seats and see if there are any springs poking up, seams stretching or other issues with the upholstery.
  • Lights: Your mechanic will check all of the lights, including interior, dashboard, headlights, taillights, turn signals and brake lights. Dim or broken lights can indicate a hidden electrical problem.
  • Suspension: The suspension is checked by grabbing the car and giving it a good shake—if it moves more than a quarter inch in any direction, your mechanic will further investigate suspension issues.
  • Tires: Although tires are easily replaced (and should be, as the tread wears down), the condition of the tires may indicate how the previous owner took care of the rest of the car. Cracked or bald tires suggest that the owner did not regularly maintain their vehicle as they should have.
  • Title: Finally, you (instead of your mechanic) should investigate the title. If there are any issues, it may be because it’s not owned free and clear or is being sold for far more than the vehicle is actually worth. Always walk away from title issues.

Used car inspections in Hanford, CA

At AAA Sandoval Transmissions, we know just how important good maintenance is, which is why we step up and provide used car inspections in Hanford, CA, as well as complete maintenance services for your car. Look to us for everything your car needs under the hood. Call or stop by today to get a used car inspected before committing to a purchase!

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