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Used Car Buying Guide

Motor Vehicle Inspections: A Must For Used Car Buyers

A motor vehicle inspection is a must for used car buyers. The inspection is meant to give the used car a clean bill of health or condemn it. It can end up being a fatal mistake for you to buy a second hand car without knowing its overall condition.  This not only applies to make sure that the car is safe, but also that you will not need to invest large amounts of money in order to make needed repairs. Even though you may already trust the auction company that is reselling the vehicle to you, it’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.

Some of the reasons that warrant you having a used vehicle inspected right before you purchase it is because millions of cars that are resold have major defects or other damages that make them extremely road unworthy. It is very possible that during previous repairs some of this damage was overlooked by mistake. Instead of paying for this mistake with your life or with another person’s life, it is always advised to have your motor vehicle inspected to avoid the worst-case scenarios.

You could either decide to have the car inspected by a third party (other than the seller) or do it yourself.  While, in general, it is always best to have a mechanic look over a vehicle before you bid on it, sometimes it simply isn’t possible.  If you have to check out a car on your own, then here are some important indicators that are easy to check.

In checking whether there’s anything wrong with the tires, make sure that the tires rotate according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If in driving you experience vibrations in the steering wheel or the vehicle tends to move to a particular side then know that there is something wrong with it. Ensure that the lug nuts and fasteners are not missing and that there is no damage to the spokes or rims.  It is important to know that sometimes you are not able to check some of these issues before on auction, because you will not normally be able to actually take it for test drive.

Test the brake pedals and see whether they are working properly. Brake pedals that don’t go all the way down to the floor board are an instant clue that there might be a big problem. You should also check and see whether or not the brake pedal holds for less than one minute without fading. You should also test the brakes to see that the vehicle has brake equalization. If there’s a significant pull at the wheel then the brakes are not equalized.

Check to see that the steering wheel does not have an excessive free play. Make sure that the shock absorbers are in good condition and that the chassis does not have an excessive sway or bounce. Ensure that the power steering and the condition of the belt are also in good operating conditions.

Test the lights. To do this you need to have a second person on the outside who will confirm whether the bulbs are actually lighting or that perhaps they are burnt out. Try and determine whether the headlights work on high and low beam mode, check to see if the stop lamps are working, if the license plate lights are too dim, check whether the hazard warning lights are in good condition and determine if the directional signal indicator is working.

While this may seem like a tedious task, motor vehicle inspections are a must for used car buyers.  If you do not check out the condition of the car, then there is a real risk that you will either have to invest a large amount of money into your used car much sooner than expected, or that the car might suddenly fail while you are driving.  Either way, the effects of this mistake can be devastating.

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