What are things to look at when buying a used car (and where can I find that info)?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, first off get a carfax (do a search) report. This will tell you how many owners it's had, where's it's been, and if there's been any damage to it.

    Next if the carfax report checks out you will want to have the car mechanically checked out. If you're not confident enough to do it yourself you can take it to just about any mechanic and they will look it over for about $50-100 and give you a report back on anything that may need to be replaced or repaired soon and the overall condition of the car.

    If you don't want to spend the money here's some basics to look for.

    Under the Hood:

    Check for any fluid leaks and the general appearance of the engine bay. It's ok for it to be dirty, but it shouldn't look wet or grimey, if it's wet and grimey chances are there's something leaking or there was and you should ask about it.

    Under the car:

    Check under the car, again for leaks and for any damage or rust to the subframe, suspension components and welds.


    Everyone wants a good paint job, look for cracked paint, large chips, dents, and rust. Obvious stuff. Also check that all the lights, and directional systems work.


    Check the suspension by applying pressure to all 4 corners of the car, the exact feel should depend on the car but overall you just don't want it to feel soft. There should be some resistance to your pressure/weight. Check the tires, they should all match and have good tread. Take a look at the bakes if you can see them, look at how much pad is left.


    Just check that everything works, opens, lights up etc.

    Driving Feel:

    It should drive straight and smooth, find a level straight road and with the steering wheel straight let go of it for a few seconds. The car should travel straight on the road for a good distance. Check that you can turn the wheel to complete lock both directions and turn the car without any rubbing, squeeling or other unusual noises.

    That should do it. :) Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    Once you see car you like, look for it on MSN autos. Go to used autos and type in the info like make, model, and year. Then pick it from the list that comes up. Click on reliability. That will show you a chart of problems that have been reported for that model and year. If no problems, go for it.

    *Hint sometimes a models reliability improves greatly from one year to the next.

  • 1 decade ago

    first look and check engine conditions, check for any false documents,body parts, tires, shocks,interior of vehicle.brakes working, all lights,seats.spares,and the last servicing of vehicle

  • 1 decade ago

    Just read the novel that Nate wrote.

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