The cost of buying a new AWD vehicle can be prohibitive for some, so many people choose to buy one second hand saving themselves many thousands on the price when new.
But of all cars AWD vehicles are the most complicated and the most expensive to maintain. So it’s in your interests to buy a good one. Making a mistake can cost you the thousands you were hoping to save. With that in mind here are some considerations to take when buying a used AWD vehicle.
Has it been maintained properly?
Proper maintenance of any vehicle is vital, but never more so than with an AWD vehicle. Your average AWD vehicle has many more moving parts than a conventional vehicle so proper maintenance is a must.
NEVER buy any AWD vehicle without the appropriate maintenance records. Don’t just assume the maintenance has been carried out, look for any relevant receipts and even check with the technician who’s supposed to have carried out the work to see if he remembers the vehicle and while your there ask him about any potential future problems.
Has it ever actually been off road?
It’s a fact that most AWD vehicles never go off road. But that doesn’t mean they all don’t. A vehicle that’s seen considerable mileage off road will be much the worse for wear than the equivalent on road mileage.
Always check underneath the vehicle and look for wear marks on the chassis, this is a dead giveaway to off road use. Another good way to check is to look under the wheel arches for any mud; people don’t often clean the underside of their cars.
Do your homework
If you have a particular model of AWD vehicle in mind, do your homework on it. You’ll be amazed what you can find out. Certain models may have a potentially troublesome transmission, whilst others may have timing chain issues after a certain number of miles. For instance if you know that a timing chain should be changed at 50,000 miles and the car your looking at has done 52,000 miles, check to see if its actually been done, if not then at least its ammunition for you to negotiate a better price.
Has the vehicle been in an accident?
Never buy a car without checking its history. A good way to do this is to make a note of the vehicles VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and then contact Carfax who will carry out a full history check on the vehicle and flag up any potential concerns.
If you buy a car without doing this you’re buying a car blind and your mistake could end up costing you thousands of dollars.
When is the next state inspection test due?
When you buy any car always make sure it has at least 6 months before its next state inspection and emissions standard test is due. You don’t want to spend thousands on your dream AWD car only to find its going to cost you thousands more to get it through the emissions test.