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An Auto Repair Expert’s Guide to Buying a Used Car

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An Auto Repair Expert’s Guide to Buying a Used Car

Cars are something that most of us can’t get by without nowadays. However, buying a brand new car can often be a little out of the question. A used car is a much more economically viable alternative to a new car. In addition, a cheap used car makes a great first set of wheels for that inexperienced or younger driver. Still, others are looking for a good deal on a cheap fixer-upper. With a little auto repair, they can turn around and ‘flip’ the car to a new buyer, earning plenty of money in the process. However, it may be daunting to find a good used car. It pays to know how to navigate through the sea of used car advertisements and postings about ‘great deals’ for a used car. Here are some great tips from the auto repair experts. These tips can help put you on the right road to a great used car:

Find Out What to Look for First

Check out online communities focused on the car you are looking for before you take a look at the vehicle. Chances are, they’ll know what issues to look out for in regards to trouble areas.

Get the Vehicle Title

Once you arrive to check out the vehicle, ask to see the car title. The title will let you know right away if the car was considered ‘totaled’ or ‘flooded’ at some point in its life. Check for the word “salvage” on the title. Also, purchase the carfax vehicle report to check and verify the vehicle's history.

Ask for the Vehicle Service History

Along with the vehicle title, ask for any records of auto repair or vehicle maintenance. A thorough record of service history is good for any used car. It shows you that the previous owner properly maintained the vehicle. It should also show any auto repair work done to it, and verifies the car's mileage.

Look at the Car in Natural Lighting

Get the vehicle outside to look at it in the sunlight, as it will help you find any flaws around the exterior. Check the condition of the tires, or any other damage that may need a little TLC from your auto mechanic.

Bring a Flashlight and Camera to Examine the Interior

Most phones come with a flashlight app anyway, among other car-related apps. Put it to good use by thoroughly checking the interior for damage and wear. Since phones also double as cameras, you can also take pictures as you go along.

Look for Signs of Rust, Leaks or Damage in the Body

Check the underside for rusty areas. Also look for metal that looks crinkled, dented or gouged by prior auto repair work. You can also check underneath for signs of fluid leaks. Phone cameras and ‘selfie sticks’ make great tools to see otherwise hard-to-reach areas!

Check All of the Engine’s Fluids

As long as they’re well-maintained, modern auto engines are quite durable. Check all the fluid levels and their colors. Fluids are the lifeblood of the car and can tell you a lot about its condition.

Check the Engine Wires for Wear

While checking the fluids, look at the wires to check their condition. Worn or bare wires, or wires with dried fluid in them, may raise a flag about the engine itself. It may also question any prior auto repair work performed on it.

Listen to the Engine

Start the car and listen to the engine for any misses, knocking, or other out-of-the-ordinary noises. Allow the car to fully warm up to get a good listen. Then, give it some gas, and listen for any unusual noises at both high and low RPM.

Take it for a Test Drive

Finally, give it a proper road test. Test it on both long and straight rods, and curvy or bumpy roads. Also, check for any steering or suspension problems, and listen for any strange engine noises.

Let an Auto Repair Specialist Take a Look

If they will allow it, take it to an independent auto repair specialist. For a small fee, a qualified auto mechanic should be able to take a quick look at the vehicle. You can ask for a written expert opinion to take with you to later use to negotiate a price.

Use Your Intuition

In the end, it’s your decision whether the car is a good buy for you. If the flaws are minor enough, you can use them to negotiate a fair price for the car. After checking thoroughly, you should be able to make an informed decision how you wish to proceed.

Great Tips on Used Cars From the Auto Repair Experts

Those looking to buy a good used car are far from alone. Whether from a dealership, auto repair facility, private-party, and dealership sales, millions of used cars exchange hands each year. And with so many cars on the road, you’ll need a good auto mechanic to make sure that used car stays in good working condition. The reliable auto repair experts at West Coast Tire & Service have got the LA Area covered. With a reliable auto repair service a phone call or click away, you can keep your newly purchased used car running for a long time to come.

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