Test Driving a Used Car

When you're purchasing a used car and you're ready to take it for a test drive, you want to be sure that this time is used properly evaluate everything from the engine to the way the car handles rightin order to spot a bad car or a good car. For someone who is an experienced in performing these tests, you might want to look up a little bit of background of probation so you have a better idea of which are both looking and listening for. This information can be found using federal resources and we can break down some, and tips that can be used on any vehicle, no matter what model that is.

Mapping a Route

Before you actually arrive at the car lot, you might want to lay out a great test driving map so you have a variety of road conditions to test the handling of the vehicle on. You will want to include the highway, some of the major thoroughfares through town, and perhaps a parking lot so you can see how the car behaves in different situations. This will let you see not only how the brakes respond, but also how it responds when you step on the gas pedal for more power. If you do notice something in this test drive, make a note of it so you can ask your auto mechanic to look it over when they inspect the vehicle.

While it might be fun to bring your friends and family members along with the test drive, it can also be distracting because you have several opinions going on at once. It is probably best to limit this group to those who are familiar with the reason to have a test drive and what the benefits are as the purchaser. They will be able to help you listen and watch for problems, as well as make note of what is working well on the ride. Anything that's going to distract you should probably be left out of the test drive process.

Test Drive Length

Talk to the salesman about how long the test drive will last. Some issues with the car may not show up in the first five or ten minutes that you're driving around, but once it gets warmed up, they become more visible. Because this is not a brand new vehicle, you want to be sure that it's going to behave correctly and efficiently even after the engine has warmed up and is ready to drive as normal. Before you leave the car lot, make sure that all the necessary tools are in place to check the tires and perhaps change a flat tire if you suffer one unfortunately on the test drive.

Also ask to see the maintenance records that have been performed by either the previous owner and/or the dealer. This will let you know whether the car was well-maintained, and if not, what should probably be checked out first. In the middle of test driving a used car, you could probably find a parking lot and be able to walk around the entire vehicle. This will let you see whether there are major dents and scratches that need to be dealt with and if there will be a paint job required in the future. Check the pop the trunk and hood alike to see what the engine looks like, as well as the trunk space. All of these factors combined will give you a much clearer and accurate picture of the vehicle from the point of view of someone who will be driving it often and need to be as safe as possible.

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