If you feel as though now is the time for you to buy a new car, then you’ll know how easy it is to find one suitable on the market. Sometimes it may feel like there are hundreds of potential options, but that being said, you need to make sure that the investment you are making is the right one for you and your family. If you want to know what the biggest red flags are when buying a new car, then this is the guide for you.
The first thing you need to do is check to see if the car has a troubled past. Even if everything appears perfect, you still need to do your homework. Be sure to ask the owner for the VIN number. This is an identification number and you can use it to check the history of the vehicle. If the car has been in an accident in the past, you can find out and you can also uncover any outstanding liens. If there are any recalls on that particular model, it’s easy to find this information too.
Take your Time
Another thing you need to do is take your time walking around the car. You need to take note of any dents, rust, scratches or dings. You don’t need to be too concerned about superficial damages or surface marks, as this is expected with any used car. The owner will have probably considered these damages before they listed the price for the car, so be mindful of that. Make sure that you look out for large amounts of rust or body panels that don’t seem to line up properly. Things like this can indicate that the car has been in an accident and that it has not been repaired properly. Make sure that you open the doors, the bonnet and the boot too. This will give you the chance to check the mobility of the car. If there is any awkwardness or stiffness then again, this can indicate that the car has been damaged in the past or that it has only been partially repaired. Mismatched paint or overspray are also concerns.
Check the Fluids
As you look around the car, it is important for you to check under the car for any leaking fluids. Black fluids mean that the vehicle is leaking large amounts of oil. If you see yellow, green or pink fluid then this would indicate that the vehicle has an antifreeze leak. Red fluid would indicate an issue with the power steering fluid or a leak in the transmission.
Check under the Hood
When you are in the process of buying a new car, you need to look under the hood if possible. Knowing what you are looking for, however, can be tough. If you want some help here, then make sure that you turn the car off and that you pop the bonnet. Looking for any leaks is important, as well as looking for signs of corrosion or rust. Check the transmission dipstick to see if there is any discolouration and also make sure that you are checking the oil. Motor oil should be light brown and your transmission fluid should be pink or red.
Check the Interior
Climb inside the vehicle and take note of any damages that could be present on the upholstery. Look out for stains, wear and tear or cracks in the leather. If there is a musty smell then check the carpet to see if there is water damage. If you see a lot of water damage, then the car could have been involved in a flooding accident and this can cause you a huge range of issues in the future.
Look at the Dashboard
Get in the driver’s seat, make yourself comfortable and check the dashboard. Specifically, you need to be looking at the odometer. Low mileage isn’t everything when you buy a new car, but it is a key component when it comes to the asking price and it gives you a good idea of where the car is in terms of its lifecycle. A car that has a higher mileage will have more tear and tear when compared to a car that has a low mileage. If you want to find out if a car has high mileage or not then check the odometer and compare it to the age of the vehicle. Every year, the average car will accumulate 20,000km. If possible you need to take note of the dashboard and ensure that there are no scary symbols present. Check the engine light as well, as this could indicate huge issues ahead if this is lit up. The electronics and radio should work properly too. Sure, issues like this aren’t a big deal as it is easy to replace a car radio, but if there are problems like this then you don’t know what else is going to happen later down the line.
Go for a Test Drive
If everything seems to be in good shape then it is wise for you to take the car for a test drive. Take it down a few back roads and also make sure that you take it on the highway. Some issues will not become apparent until you are driving the car at a faster speed. Take note if the car seems to steer to the right or the left when driving, as this is a clear sign that the vehicle is out of alignment. If you are buying a motorcycle then you will have different things to look out for here, so make sure that you do your research with that. One way to make sure that you are getting a solid bike without issues would be for you to visit TX Toy Sales.
Call a Mechanic for a Second Opinion
Sure, the car handles like one hot off the shelves, but does that mean you should buy it? You may be concerned about the rust patches or even the vibration that is happening when you take a tight turn. If this is the case then you need to go to a mechanic so you can get their opinion and go for a test drive. This service will not be free but it could be worth paying for it if you are spending a lot of money on the car in question. If you have a seller who is trying to pressure you into making a decision or a quick sale then this is a major red flag and it could indicate that it is not the right car for you. Even if you go through a dealership, you should never buy a car if you feel as though you are being pressured.
If you are buying a new car then you also need to find out if it comes with a warranty. A lot of car dealerships will give you a warranty when you buy a used car through them because they have given it a good check-over. If you are going through a private seller then you won’t be able to get this as an option, but you should still enquire to see if they can offer you a 24-hour cool-off period. This means that you can return the car within the next day if you notice an issue with it. A good seller should always give you the option to do this, so make sure that you keep that in mind when choosing your new vehicle.