10 Questions to Ask When You Find Some Car Deals

Buying a previously owned car can involve many different decisions. Choosing your next car’s model and color will usually be based on your personal preferences. Your credit rating and amount of available funds will also influence which car you decide to buy. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few cars, you should look at them and inspect some of the functional features of the car.

Check the Car for Possible Problems

One important thing to do during some car deals is to look underneath the car: at the floorboards, the door hinges, and the car’s under-body. If you see any rust or leaking fluids, they will inevitably result in costly repairs if you buy the car. It would be best if you were also sure to look at the exhaust system. If there are black dots on the exhaust pipe or the exhaust fumes are white, this is a sign of serious engine problems.

You should also check the car’s windshield and windows for cracks or chips. While small cracks in the glass may not obscure your vision, those small cracks or chips can easily spread to a larger portion of the windshield and become a dangerous vision hazard. In some states, it is illegal to drive with a cracked windshield. So, if you buy a car with a crack or chip in the windshield, be prepared to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Another important area to check is the belts and hoses. Look underneath the hood for these items. A soft or cracked radiator hose can burst and result in serious damage to your car. Check the serpentine belt carefully. If your serpentine belt stops working, your car will no longer be drivable.

More Things to Check Before Buying a Car

One important thing to check is the transmission fluid. The color of the transmission fluid can determine if the car is in good condition. The transmission fluid should be full, and its color should be red or pink. If the transmission fluid is black or smells burnt, driving the car with this fluid could be dangerous.

Since a car’s safety is crucial, check the headlights to be sure they’re working. You should also check the function of the signal lights, hazard lights, wipers, and horns. Not only must these be in good working order during a standard vehicle inspection, but they’re also essential for your safety if you decide to buy that car.

Once you’ve checked the car for safety and decided which vehicle you’d like to buy, there are some questions you should ask the previous owner or car dealer before you sign the sale paperwork. You’ll want to know the history of the car and what condition it is currently in. Asking the right questions will allow you to be confident about your purchase.

1. What Was the Car Used For?

The numbers on the odometer and the above check of the car’s parts will give you many important facts about a car’s potential performance. However, it would be best if you also tried to find information about the types of activities the car was used for. A previous driver who used a car for multiple short trips while working as a food delivery driver will have a different effect on the car’s engine and tires than someone who used the car mainly for work, errands, and a weekly trip to the golf course.

Asking the dealer or previous driver for details about their use of the car can reveal a lot about what problems you may face if you buy this car. The effects of a car’s history on the car’s performance are only sometimes evident at first glance. By asking the dealer or previous owner for the car’s usage details, you may discover details about the car that can prevent you from making a poor choice.

2. Was the Car Ever Involved in An Accident?

Asking about past accidents is one of the most important questions you can ask during a search for another car. Even if a car has been repaired after a car accident, there may be a lasting effect on the car’s performance from the accident. You may not be able to see those effects at first, since they are often not visible on the surface.

There are many online services where you can enter a car’s VIN and find a printout of that car’s history. The previous owner may even have had to consult an auto accident lawyer because of the seriousness of an earlier accident. You can use that information to find out what damage the car sustained. It’s better to have this information during some car deals and then use it to help you make a completely informed decision before buying the vehicle.

3. Why Did the Previous Owner Sell the Car?

This question is another crucial one, and with some car deals, it can become the deciding factor in deciding whether to buy a car. Some reasons for selling a car may not affect the performance or value of the car. For example, the previous owner may have agreed to an auto loan, yet has become unable to continue the loan payments. In extreme situations, the former owner’s financial status may have deteriorated to the extent that they need to consult a bankruptcy attorney.

Other factors may have resulted in the reason for a car’s sale. The previous owner may have sold the car because they needed a larger vehicle after welcoming a new baby to their family. They may decide they merely enjoy buying the newest version of car each year. On the other hand, the car’s previous owner may have experienced a series of problems with the car and be in a hurry to get rid of it.

4. Are There Any Spills?

Asking about a history of spills can be an important factor in some auto deals. Although many people accidentally spill food and drinks while driving or riding in a car, those spills can affect the appearance of the car’s interior. Spills can stain the car’s carpets or can cause a mess in the cup holders. If a liquid with an intense smell – such as craft beer – you may need to find a local carpet cleaning service to thoroughly clean the car’s interior to remove all of the stains and odor.

Knowing about spills inside the engine is very important before buying it. Knowing whether any oil has been spilled on the car’s engine is important. Even if oil is cleaned after it’s spilled, the residue of the spilled oil may drip inside the engine’s parts. There can be dangerous and costly damage if the oil gets into the serpentine belt or into other auto parts.

5. Was the Vehicle Often Parked Under a Tree?

Knowing the previous owner had often parked their car under a tree may seem relatively unimportant. However, that habit can cause damage to the car. Asking this question during some car deals can reveal that fruit, sap, bugs, or other debris from trees has caused damage to the windshield or the car’s body.

If too many bugs or tree sap fall onto the car’s surface, these can erode the car’s paint and damage its surface. If this type of damage has occurred inside the car you’re considering buying, you can assess the extent of that damage before making a final decision. Once you buy a car, remember this potential problem and use a tree trimming service to prevent such future problems.

6. Was the Owner a Smoker?

You may not need to ask whether the previous owner smoked cigarettes when you’re contemplating some auto deals. Once you open the car door, the odor from cigarettes or other tobacco products will often saturate the car’s interior. No matter how hard the seller may try, it’s often impossible to completely get rid of the smoke odor. You may not want to buy a car with such a pervasive interior odor, so the owner’s smoking status is a crucial factor.

Another issue related to smoking that could affect the car’s resale value is whether there are cigarette burns on the upholstery, dashboard, or carpets. These will adversely affect the appearance of the car’s interior. If you buy a car and decide to repair or replace the upholstery or carpets, you may face a considerable expense. Knowing about this potential issue before agreeing to the sale will be one of the many things to consider before finalizing the sale of the car.

7. Did Children Use the Car?

Anyone who’s taken a road trip with one or more children knows that kids can cause multiple spills, wedged crayons, lost toys, and other problems with the car. If you have children of your own, check the seat belts in the back seat. If the previous user drove with children, they’d be able to tell you about any problems they had while riding with children in the car.

In the case of some car deals, needing a safe and efficient way to transport your children can be your primary motivation for wanting to buy a car. Your previous car may have been sufficient for taking your children to kindergarten or martial arts lessons. But, once your children get older, a bigger car may be essential for transporting their soccer team or when the family wants to take a camping vacation.

8. Was the Vehicle Used for a Delivery Service?

Using a food delivery service has increased in popularity. Many car owners try to make extra money by delivering pizza or other types of food. If you’re considering a car used to help the driver make deliveries, you’ll inevitably notice the car has a higher mileage total than expected.

If the car you’re considering was used to drive for a delivery service, that higher mileage will result in a lower ‘Blue Book’ value than it normally would. Although this can result in a lower selling price, it can also mean the car has incurred a high amount of wear and tear on the car. In some auto deals, you may decide there are attractive aspects of buying the prospective car. These aspects may outweigh the lower Blue Book value and the increased wear and tear on the car. Make your decision based on all the factors involved.

9. Did the Owner Have Pets?

Another thing to ask the dealer or previous owner is whether they had pets. This question is an essential question for people who have allergies to pets. Even if the car has been thoroughly cleaned and deodorized, when pets have been in the car, it isn’t normally possible to remove enough pet dander and animal odor for an allergy sufferer to be comfortable.

With some auto deals, there could be other challenges related to pet ownership. If their pet urinated inside the car, that could leave a stain or a lingering odor that will affect how the car interior looks and smells. It’s also possible some pet supplies were left in the car.

10. Has the Vehicle Been Cleaned?

This question has already been partially answered due to some of the topics above. When a car is offered for sake, it’s standard practice for the previous owner to clean it. Some very considerate car owners will even incur the expense of hiring a professional cleaning service.

To help it have optimal resale value, a smart car owner will take the extra effort needed to clean the car. The previous owner will wash and detail the car’s exterior for some auto deals. To further enhance the car’s value, they may also choose to use glass cleaner on the windows to ensure the carpets are also clean. A good car deodorizer is also a good addition.

Buying a used car always involves risk. However, using these guidelines to gather information before signing the sales agreement will help you be a well-informed buyer. The more you know about your next used car, the better you’ll be able to prepare yourself for potential problems with that car.

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