Test Drive Tips Before Buying a Used Car

  • May 17, 2016

Are you planning to buy a used car? If yes, then this article could be a wise read for you. Test driving a car is the first and the foremost thing that comes to one’s mind when buying a car, used or new. However, test drive becomes even more crucial in case of a used car in order to evaluate its actual position and form. Although, you won’t get a chance to roll it through the expressways but driving within a city path would eventually help you in making a final call. So, here are few points, which you need to consider when you hit your nearest used car dealer for a test drive.

Closer look at the car’s exterior

civic exterior images

Before driving a car you’d like to have a closer look at it from the outside. Check out for rust patches, scratches, dents on the bodywork. Check out the windscreen for any cuts, scratches or cracks. Look out for any loose bumper panels. Check if the car has undergone a paint job in the recent past (the newly painted area would be a little different from the original paint of the car). You’d also want to have a closer look to the door panels, window panes and bumpers of the car in order to ensure the car’s health is up to the mark.

Moving inside the cabin

car's interior

Get inside and ensure seats are satisfactory and they are worn out. Check out the wraps that cover gear knob, door panels’ leather/cloth, floor mats for the quality. Don’t compromise on the quality of these wraps as the faulty wear looks extremely poor. Also, ensure if the AC is in proper working condition in addition to the electric equipment like windows etc.

Go under the hood

car engine pics

Pre-inspect the car before rolling it through the city streets. Open the hood and check out for unpleasant odour, if it prevails then something fishy is definitely there about the car. Pull out the oil and transmission sticks to check out the dirty or low-level fluids. Also, check out for the sludgy deposits on the interior of the oil filter cap, if these deposits are prominent then it hints at the improper or infrequent oil changes. Check out the battery terminals for rust and other unwanted deposits. Make sure there is an adequate amount of engine coolant, brake fluids and other liquids are present. Get down on the floor and investigate for any leakage beneath the car.

Examine the tyres

car tyres

Make sure there is optimum tread over the tyres and they aren’t worn out from one side. Usually, the improper alignment of wheels leads to wearing out of tyres from one end. And, if this isn’t the case then something more serious can be there, which you’d like to consult with an expert.

Steering wheel

Steering wheel photos

While on the go make sure the steering wheel is in control at all times and the car doesn’t pull to one particular side on a long stretch of road. Also, ensure there aren’t any judders while on the go.
Braking mechanism

Check that the braking mechanism works absolutely fine as it is one of the crucial factors while driving a car and it needs to be up to the mark. Investigate if the brakes work like a switch or stops the car in a straight line. Ensure the handbrake is fine too by moving the car to an inclined plane and identify if there is any slippage or not.

Suspension needs to be stiff

While driving the car check if the bumps are absorbed smoothly by the car or you feel bouncy and wavered inside. There shouldn’t be any unwanted noises when the car crosses over the bumps and potholes.

Final Word

Aforementioned are the few points you need to ponder before making a final decision on your used car. Hopefully, the article is good enough to analyse the car before your final call and to get more such useful article in future too, stay tuned with CarBay.

Also read: A Very Helpful Questionnaire When Buying a Used Car  


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