Buying a Second Hand Car

  • inspect it in daylight, in dry weather if possible.Use a torch to look underneath for rust, tyre bulges, oil leaks etc.

  • check engine oil, it will be reasonably clean if recently serviced.

  • look from 20 feet away and check the car is level. If not, the suspension may need attention.

  • press hard on each corner in turn. When released, the car should not bounce more than twice. If it does, the shock absorbers need renewing.

  • check inside for damp areas indicating water entry and/or rusted floor panels.

  • check slack in steering action. More than 2 inches of play indicates a badly worn mechanism.

  • check the doors open and close easily. Misalignment could have been caused by accident damage.

  • on the test drive, check for a clean exhaust and smooth clutch and gear operation. Check braking pulls the car up smoothly in a straight line.
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