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Elijah Murphy
Elijah Murphy

What To Check When Buying A Car

The tire tread should be worn evenly and all four should match. Uneven tread or extra wear on a few of the tires often means poor alignment, which can be a symptom of steering, suspension or frame issues. A poorly aligned car will pull to the right or left when driving.

what to check when buying a car

Blasting the radio when your favourite song comes on is one of the little joys of car ownership. Press some buttons and make sure the stereo and the other electronic components in the cockpit are working properly. Turn on the air conditioning and heat as well.

Buying a used car can be a good option when you're looking for a quality vehicle without the higher price tag. While a used car can be a sensible option, buyers still need to make smart choices. There's a lot to look for when buying a used vehicle, but here are some ways to help you choose the right car for you.

Inspect both the outside and inside of the vehicle. Look over the exterior of the vehicle, says CARFAX, checking for scratches, dents and rust. You probably don't need to be worried about small dings or scratches, but larger areas of damage may be cause for concern. CARFAX also recommends checking to see that body panels line up evenly, as uneven panels may indicate the vehicle was in an accident but not repaired well. It's also a good idea to open and close the doors, hood and trunk to see how easily they move. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) suggests checking for paint overspray on the inside of the hood, trunk and doors and to be sure the color of the vehicle matches on all parts. If you notice overspray or mismatched paint, that part was likely repaired and repainted.

Inspect the interior by sitting in all the seats and looking for unusual wear and tear in the upholstery, says CARFAX. If the interior of the car smells musty, check the carpet and floor mats for signs of a a leak or water damage.

Going for a test drive can help you determine the condition of the car and whether it's a good fit for you, according to Edmunds. You may want to turn the key to the "accessory" position before starting the engine, says KBB. You should see all the dashboard warning lights go on. If they do not light up, or stay on when you turn the ignition, make sure the issue is inspected.

A vehicle history report can help you see title problems, ownership history, service points and previous accidents, says KBB. You can get a vehicle history report online for a fee by entering the VIN or license plate number, says Edmunds. If you're buying through a dealer, though, they may provide a history report for free.

Purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) car can be a wise choice because it usually offers the buyer an extra level of quality assurance. KBB states that each manufacturer has different standards for CPO vehicles, but they're typically less than five years old and have less than 75,000 miles on them. Generally, the dealer has checked all major systems and reconditioned the vehicle. Many dealers also offer these vehicles with warranties.

For many people, buying a used car is daunting. No one wants to be stranded with a lemon, paying for costly repairs the day after they drive the car off the lot. Good news. Buying a used car does not need to be the crap shoot it once was. You just need to know what to look for and what questions to ask.

This is a must-check when buying a used car. The transmission fluid should be pink or red. It may appear darker in older cars, but the fluid should never look black or smell burnt. Transmission fluid level should also be full. If the transmission stops working, it may be more cost-effective to buy another car than repair the damaged car.

This is a surprising, yet important tip when buying a used car. Make sure the amenities such as heat, air, radio, CD player work to your liking. While everything on this list might seem like a luxury, remember: not only do you want to get from point A to point B, but you also want to enjoy the ride.

History reports are inexpensive and provide valuable information for purchasing decisions. Reports include details on accidents, flood damage, number of previous owners, VIN verification, actual mileage, and recall checks. If you are considering buying a used car from a dealer, ask to see a vehicle history report from CARFAX or similar service.

You do not have to pay sticker price. Negotiation is important when buy a used car. Know the Kelly Blue Book value of the car so you can negotiate with confidence. Consider any needed repairs and factor that cost into the offer you make.

Tip: Use parts of the car that are unflattering to your advantage. If a car is not the color you are looking for, tell the dealer something like, "I really like the car, but I don't like that it is green, that is the only thing holding me back from buying it." The dealer will see that you want it, and find some way to get you into that car.

While this will come at a price - increasing the outright cost of buying the car - it can offer you priceless peace of mind in knowing the car has been thoroughly checked out and is covered by a warranty.

This list of check will give you a good insight into what you need to look out for when inspecting a used car, however, it's always advisable to take someone with you who has a good knowledge of cars and mechanics, if you don't yourself - especially if you are spending any significant amount on the car.

For a fee, trained mechanics will visit the car with you and check the running order and working condition of the vehicle, potentially saving you a significant amount down the road in repairs, should they spot a lurking issue.

If you buy a used car privately, it's a case of 'Buyer Beware'. You don't have the same legal protection as when buying from a dealer. It's up to you to ask the right questions and check the car thoroughly before you buy.

Ron Montoya with, the car buying website, says a lot of people think, " 'Hey, this car's new. I'm driving an old car. I don't really need to drive this new car. Anything is going to be better than what I'm currently driving.' So they don't test-drive it."

Always insist on having a full professional inspection before buying any used car. Most garages will perform these inspections. There are also specialist pre-purchase inspection services. After the inspection both you and the seller will receive a report detailing any repairs needed.

Find a hilly road that is safe for a test drive. How does the car drive up hill? This is a good time to check for blue exhaust smoke (from burning oil). Go down the hill, foot off the accelerator. At the bottom push the accelerator. If the engine is old it may take a while to accelerate and you may see a big puff of smoke from the exhaust.

A cashier's check works like a personal check but with one key difference: Instead of the check being guaranteed by money in your bank account, it's guaranteed by the bank or credit union that issued the check.

When you request a cashier's check, you'll pay the financial institution that issues it, either with cash or a withdrawal from your bank account. The check is then issued to you, with the name of the person or business you're paying in the recipient line. You cannot get a blank cashier's check.

A certified check is a type of personal check that's drawn from your account rather than the bank's or credit union's reserves. But as added security, the issuing bank or credit union certifies that funds were available for the amount of the check at the time you wrote it.

The bank or credit union also verifies that the signature on the check is genuine and sets aside the amount to be used only for that transaction. That action essentially guarantees the check won't bounce.

Money orders are similar to cashier's checks in that they are both prepaid and guaranteed by the issuer of the check instead of the person buying it. With a money order, however, the guarantor is typically a company like Western Union, the U.S. Postal Service or a retailer like Walmart, and not a bank or credit union.

Money orders are also typically more convenient to buy versus a cashier's check or certified check due to their wider availability. If you need to send money securely or make a utility or rent payment, a money order may suffice. Money orders typically have a $1,000 limit, however, which means it may not be an option if you need to make a large purchase.

Cashier's checks may be required on certain large transactions, such as when you're buying a car, motorcycle, boat or RV from a private party or dealership. It may also be possible to use one to close on a home purchase, though the title company may request a wire transfer instead.

You can get a cashier's check from any bank or credit union, but you may be required to be an existing customer to buy one. Whether you're heading into a local branch or submitting your request online, here are some steps you'll need to take.

Because the bank or credit union guarantees a cashier's check with its own funds, it'll require you to pay the amount of the check upfront. You can do this with cash or funds from your own checking or savings account. In some cases, you may be required to pay a small fee.

The bank or credit union prints off the cashier's check, including the recipient's name and the amount of the check. This means you'll need to have all the necessary information ready to give the teller.

Once your request is completed, the bank will either freeze the amount of the check or deduct it from your account balance, plus any applicable fees. Once you have the check in hand, make sure to also ask for a receipt, which may be helpful if you need to track the check or if it goes missing.

In general, cashier's checks are among the safest payment methods available. But even with the security features they include, they're not entirely immune to fraud. Here are some best practices to keep in mind.

If you don't know the person who gave you the check, it's best to avoid using the funds until after the check clears with your bank. This typically only takes a day, but it can take longer depending on the bank and the amount of the check. Avoid buyers who want to give you a cashier's check for more than the purchase price or who offer you checks with misspellings or no security features. These are both signs of common cashier's check scams. 041b061a72


discussion about poetry by Kelly Alexandra Hoff.
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