When you’re buying a used car, as well as conducting a thorough inspection of it, you should also conduct a test drive, so that you can see how the vehicle actually handles in practice.
If you’ve never test driven a used car before if you have but you have never really been sure what you were doing, here are some test drive tips that will help you to make the right choice:
Get a Professional to Do It
Okay, so this might be cheating a little, but if you’re friendly with a mechanic or you’re willing to pay an automotive professional, then having them check out the car, test driving it and inspecting it for you, you can be much more confident that you’re making the right choice.
Watch the Exhaust
When you start the engine, whether it’s used Honda S2000 Cars or second-hand BMW i8’s you’re interested in, it is very important that you pay close attention to the exhaust. Why? Because it is a sure sign that a car is unhealthy if it emits an excessive amount of smoke, especially if that smoke is black.
As you drive the vehicle you’re interested in around the block, listen very carefully for any sounds that are being emitted from your car. Rattling sounds could suggest that there is something loose within the vehicle and that is rarely a good sign! Also, does the engine sound good? If not, you’re going to want to investigate further before you even think about purchasing.
Another thing you should listen out for is a screeching noise from the steering wheels or brakes. If either is making a high pitched noise, then they are unlikely to be truly safe, and you’d be best looking elsewhere.
Does the Car Stop Straight?
On the subject of brakes, when you apply them, you should check that the vehicle stops in a straight line. If they don’t, they may not be correctly aligned, and they could result in a dangerous skid in the wrong conditions.
Does the Handbrake Slip
Try to ensure that your test drive route includes at least one hill and stop on it. The handbrake should not allow any slippage – if it does, this is not the car for you because the last thing you want is to buy a car only to have to pay even more to get the brakes fixed.
Test All the Gears
You should also take the time to test all of the gears if the car isn’t automatic. If they crunch and the movement is clunky, then it’s back to the drawing board for you!
If the vehicle is automatic, then you should be looking out for smooth, silent and fast changes.
How Smooth is the Ride?
While you’re driving, you should not be bumped and jostled around very much at all. If you are, there is a good chance that the suspension is on its way out and that can be pretty expensive to fix. Avoid!
Once you’ve conducted these simple tests, check the paperwork and if all is in order, go ahead and buy.