Visit any used car dealership, and chances are you’ll find a wide array of vehicles, any of which could satisfy your auto-related needs. From full-sized SUVs to compact commuter sedans, the options are practically endless. But getting the best-used car experience means a whole lot more than just making the right choice. Beyond buying the right car, comes a degree of regular upkeep and expert guidance that can help you get the most from your used car. Buying used serves as a fantastic option for drivers on a budget, or those who want to spend as little as possible. By making the most out of your used car, you can not only enjoy years of reliable driving but save money while doing it. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to buy a used car and how to keep it running smoothly well into the future.
Buying from a Reputable Dealership
Buying a used car is a great option for drivers as it helps them get behind the wheel of a great car without paying for the high sticker price of a brand new vehicle. That said, those benefits go out the window if you constantly have to keep up with repairs and maintenance.
When you buy a used car, you’re getting behind the wheel of a vehicle with a potentially wide range of previous owners. While certified pre-owned vehicles receive thorough inspections from their automakers, used vehicles are often dropped onto a lot, sometimes with little to no evaluation by the used car dealership. For this reason, buying from a reputable used car dealership can make a huge difference in your long-term driving experience. There are many ways to find out the standing of a car dealership, but beyond online review sites, visiting them and test-driving their vehicles can go a long way in helping you determine the quality of their services.
Purchasing a used car from a dealership you trust can help you take home a car that’s in it for the long haul. However, a lot more goes into buying a used car than simply going to a reputable dealership; it also helps to recognize what kind of used car will satisfy your day to day needs.
Purchasing the Right Car
So, you’ve found a used car dealer that you can trust – what now? Well, your next step involves not only finding the car equipped to handle your daily needs but with a reputation for longevity. Your first move should be to determine what kind of used car is going to give you the most satisfaction. For example, a parent of five kids isn’t going to want a compact car, no matter how much legroom the vehicle offers. Instead, they’ll go for a full-sized SUV or minivan. The same could be said of the avid hiker, who more than likely will want a vehicle sporting a robust powertrain to tackle off-road trails and rigorous road conditions. So, before you run and purchase the nicest thing on the lot, ask yourself, ‘what kind of car is going to satisfy me?
Beyond this simple question, you should also do your research. Even if an auto dealership inspects its vehicles before putting them out on the lot, certain models just last longer than others. Don’t be afraid to conduct your own research before you buy. Check for recalls or notoriously faulty parts before signing the dotted line. A good dealer will fill you in on this information before you buy, but you shouldn’t rely on the knowledge of a dealer alone. Take a degree of initiative and see for yourself what body style, make, and model will give you the most bang for your buck.
The Test Drive
Next in your journey to buying and enjoying the long-life of a quality used car is the test drive. The test drive is potentially the most important part of your used car buying experience, as it is your chance to get a good first impression of the state of a vehicle. It is worth paying attention to things like the sound of the engine, how the vehicle accelerates, how it handles, and the state of the interior amenities. Paying attention to all of these aspects can give you a good idea of what the future might look like for a vehicle.
For instance, if you’re test driving a car and it stutters before accelerating, it’s likely you’ll have to deal with some serious mechanical issues in the future unless they’re resolved right away. Alternatively, this works both ways if you purchase a vehicle that is in a pretty good state of repair, chances are it’ll hold up over an extended period of time.
Another aspect of the vehicle worth paying attention to is the odometer. While mileage isn’t a sure-fire way to determine the state of a car, it can give you a good idea of how previous owners treated their vehicle. For instance, a newer model with excessive mileage and a relatively newer year model could show that the previous owner drove their car quite vigorously. Comparing the mileage, against what you’ve researched about a particular vehicle could also give you an idea of what kind of repairs you can expect moving forward.
Ownership and Maintenance
Even after you’ve found the used car of your dreams, the work is far from done. Now comes the long haul of maintaining your vehicle and continuing to enjoy peak performance. A lot goes into auto maintenance, and while you can attempt to implement repairs on your own, it’s always recommended that you seek car care guidance from a professional mechanic.
Of all the forms of maintenance out there, motor oil changes are possibly the most important thing you can do for the long-term performance of your engine. Lubrication is crucial to the function of every engine, and motor oil is solely responsible for lubricating all of the moving parts of your engine. Receiving motor oil changes once every 5,000 miles or so can go a long way in promising a great driving experience moving forward. This fact is particularly true of vehicles with a high-mileage count on their odometer. The older the engine, the easier it is for grime to accumulate, and grime can hinder the effectiveness of motor oil.
Your tires are another essential component of your vehicle. Much like motor oil changes, tire inspections and rotations can play a huge role in prolonging the life or your vehicle. Tires are responsible for safe driving, but also supporting the weight of your car and everything inside. By keeping your tires in condition, you can, by relation, keep your vehicle in good condition as well.
Beyond just tires and motor oil, your transmission should be checked on a regular basis as well, especially if your mileage count is high. Your transmission is central to transferring power to your drivetrain, and without it, your vehicle would not function as intended. By having your transmission checked and potentially flushed on a regular basis, you can keep this central component running smoothly long after it’s intended shelf life.
Keeping Up the Quality of Your Vehicle
All of these factors combine to provide you with the best used car experience possible. Selecting, buying, and maintaining a used vehicle is far from simple; however, the effort you put in can directly translate to the quality of your drive in the future.