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Top tips on how to test drive a used car in Alexandria

Test drives are vital when you look for the best value in a used car. However, only a few knows how to perform an examination that distinguishes the good and the bad used car. Instead, most drivers looking for a used car just motor around a bit and listen to the sound system. Airport Auto Sales Used Car Dealership in Alexandria, Virginia suggests you employ the following test-drive techniques to have a better chance of finding a reliable and safe used car.

Inspect the chassis and the bodywork

On top of the test drive is checking the physical condition of the used car carefully. Crouch down and look along the sides for possible scratches and dents hidden by reflections. They are surprisingly expensive to put right if you are bothered by them.

The used car may also have uneven gaps between the body panels. It can indicate poorly-repaired crash damage before. Lift the bonnet and check the metalwork properly inside and look for signs of impact or botched repairs, such as folds in the metal, cracked plastic, or mismatched paints.

Check underneath the car, as it may be dirty, but it is essential to pay close attention to damages. Check the jacking points to see whether it looks as though the car has jacked up, which may indicate that it had some underlying problems

Check the oil level

Feel the engine if it has been properly warmed up to disguise a starting problem. If it is cold, lift out the oil dipstick to check if the level is correct. The car oil should be yellowish-brown in color. A dark and dirty color is a sign of poor maintenance in a petrol car, albeit diesel-engine oil will be slightly darker.

It is essential to check the underside of the oil filler cap. Having some white deposits can explicitly indicate that there must be problems in the engine.

Look out for potential leaks

Inspect the engine and its surrounding parts for some evidence of water or oil leaks. Oil will leave brown stains, while water leaves a white and chalky residue. Do not forget to look at the ground underneath where the car has parked for a long time.

Check if the mileage is genuine

One of the problems still rampant in modern cars is clocking. Hence, it is essential to check if the interior is the same as the mileage displayed in the odometer. Some indication when the car has covered more miles than its owner claims is worn pedal rubbers, sagging seats, and a shiny steering wheel rim, to name some.

Check the V5C registration documents

Never buy a used car without a V5C registration document or a logbook. You can also verify it by checking the online inquiry service to confirm that the car’s color, date of registration, and engine size match what is in the V5C.

Check servicing records of the used car

A used car should have a full-service history and receipts for all servicing or repair works. Check for the serving bills and look if the odometer’s mileage correlates with the record and the servicing has been carried out at the appropriate times.

How does it feel to drive in a used car?

Before you take a test drive on a used car, Airport Auto Sales Used Dealerships in Alexandria, Virginia suggests that you must be insured first. If you have comprehensive insurance, you may have a third-party cover to drive another car if the owner allows it.

  • Check if you are comfortable in the car and operate all the controls easily.
  • Try the car test on different roads and at various speeds. Check the brakes, gearbox, and clutch if it functions smoothly and effectively.
  • Do a three-point car turn to check for a place in the steering.
  • Pay close attention to mechanical problems. Listen to odd noises or rattles that could indicate some mechanical problems.

Final thoughts

Used cars are now rampant in most used car dealerships. Do not buy one if you have any doubts or feel pressured into buying one. If you have other queries on some tips on how to test drive a used car, do not hesitate to contact Airport Auto Sales—Used Car Dealership in Alexandria, Virginia for comprehensive tips. We are looking forward to serving you soon.

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