Used Car Buying: 5 Telltale Signs of Vehicles to Avoid
It probably comes as no surprise that consumers are holding on to their cars longer. A lot longer, as in 11.6 years. Here at our Harrisonburg VA dealership, we see this a lot.
That's why it's important to carefully rule out the clunkers so that you can get a quality used car, especially if you choose to buy a car privately.
If you choose to buy a pre-owned car, truck, or SUV from Joe Bowman Auto Plaza, rest assured that each vehicle must pass a 75-point checklist to be eligible for sale.
Further, each vehicle, depending on the mileage, comes with a 30/60/90 day warranty.
For private used car buying, take a look at the 5 telltale signs of vehicles you should avoid.
5 Signs You Should Walk Away from Buying A Particular Used Vehicle
You love it. It's perfect for your lifestyle, but is it worth the money? Take a tour around the vehicle to find out:
Excessive Rust-This is the most obvious. Some rust is expected on a used vehicle. But, if the undercarriage looks rusty, walk away. It could mean there are structural issues, which will mean an expensive repair.
Also look for excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off. And you want to avoid cars with rust in the key area. However, a spot of rust in the driver's foot well or in the wheel may make sense, especially if it's an older vehicle.
Electrical Issues-These are hard to fix, especially with imported cars, not to mention, expensive. Check lights, traction control, windshield wipers, and brake lights.
Dashboard lights-Does the "check engine light" come on when you start the car? If it doesn't, it could mean that the bulb is blown. Or, it could mean that the seller is trying to hide a faulty engine. If the oil light comes on, definitely walk away!
Very low price-Maybe it really is an insanely good deal, but more often than not, it's a red flag that the owner just wants to unload it. Vehicles priced below their current value with no issues is incredibly rare.
Funky Interior Smell-Used vehicles with a moldy or musty smelling interior could mean it has experienced possible flood damage. Insurance companies generally write off a vehicle as a total loss when this happens because water damages nearly every system. Walk away!
Bottom line. Check out the vehicle thoroughly. And, of course, if the seller doesn't consent to having the car checked out by your mechanic, that's a huge red flag.
You must feel confident that the vehicle is in good mechanical condition. Otherwise, what's the point?