5 Factors to Consider When Buying Used Second Hand Automatic Cars

January 27, 2012

Whether you call them second hand automatic cars or pre-owned cars, there are many things to consider when buying a used car. It can be a daunting task if you're unprepared. Often a brand new car is not affordable, but if you know what to consider, you can find the best used car to fit your needs and budget.

1. Check for Leaks

Look under the car and check the ground for any oil or coolant leaks. Lift the hood and look for signs of leaking, such as oil on the engine. Check the fluids in the radiator and the oil. If either is low, it could be due to leakage.

2. Examine the Car Body

Lightly tapping on the car will help you to determine if it's has been in an accident and repaired. If you tap and it sounds like it's padded, then there is a chance it has been repaired. While some body work should not be an issue, if there is a lot, then it might indicate a serious accident and there could be more wrong with the body than meets the eye.

3. Ask a Mechanic to Look at the Engine

If it is possible, ask a qualified mechanic to look at the car. Maybe this person can accompany you when you go look at the car or maybe you can arrange ahead of time to stop when you test drive the car. The mechanic will be able to tell you if the car is mechanically sound or if you will have to invest a lot of money in it.

4. Check the Interior of the Car

While a used car is not going to be as perfect inside as a new car, you will want to be sure to take a good look at the interior. Look for any serious damage. This could include torn seats or holes in the floor. Make sure that there are no odors inside or stains that you can't live with.

5. Test Drive the Vehicle

Taking second hand automatic cars out for a test drive is one of the most important things to do. Don't pass up the opportunity. Drive the car for a reasonable amount of time, but long enough to allow the engine to warm up fully so that you can hear if the engine knocks. Listen carefully for any strange noises such as clunks. Pay attention to the way the car handles and how the steering and suspension feel, and if the transmission shifts smoothly. These can be expensive parts to replace if they're damaged, and it's better to know before you get the car home.

There is nothing wrong with buying used automatic cars as long as you're willing to take the time to look them over carefully prior to making a final choice. Choosing one that has a strong, stable engine is more important than basing your decision on the car's appearance alone. Don't be afraid to ask questions and talk to the party that you're buying the car from. You want to make sure that it will be worth the money you're spending.

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